You (or your partner) are 39 weeks along and your health care provider has indicated that she/he’d like to induce labour at 41 weeks gestation. You’ve done your research and asked your questions and have decided that you really want to avoid an induction. So you ask around about “natural” induction methods.
Wait a minute…. “natural” and “induction” are not two words that go together! If you do something to try to get labour to start, this is not natural. It might be “non-pharmacological” or “non-medicinal” but labour and birth are meant to happen “on their own” and so applying a certain cream or gel or drinking different concoctions is still not natural or what nature intended.
Instead, it might be better to talk about “preparing your mind & body for labour & birth“. Taking care of yourself during pregnancy — eating healthily, staying hydrated, exercising, reducing stress, ensuring you rest/sleep, connecting with your baby, making informed decisions about your care, etc. – is the first starting point to ensure you and your body are ready to welcome a baby (or babies!) into the world.
Staying on top of these things in the early months of pregnancy and especially when working in an office environment can be tricky, but it is possible. And it’s never too late. Lifestyle changes can be made at any time (and what a better time to do it than during pregnancy the adjustment period to the huge lifestyle change that will happen once baby is born). And there are things you can try later in pregnancy, especially in the third trimester, to ensure that your body reacts when your baby sends the signal that he/she is ready to be born.
Talking with a doula, midwife or childbirth educator can help you find tips and tricks for your specific case, but some universal options include:
- Good Posture
- Sitting on an exercise/yoga ball
- Abdominal Lift / Pelvic Tilt exercises
- Hypnosis for Childbirth
- Prenatal Osteopathy or Chiropractics
- Talking to your baby (haptonomy)
- Emotional & Physical connection with your partner/spouse (to release natural oxytocin & prolactin)
- Talk through (or journal) any fears or nagging questions/worries
The list is endless.