In today’s hectic lifestyle and busy work schedules, people are looking for ways to improve their overall health. People primarily look for ways to further improve their experiences particularly for specific life events such as pregnancy. One such enhancement is the possible use of certain natural methods to induce labor. People may still ask though “What are some of the natural ways to induce labor and do they really work?” In this article, we will look at the different and natural ways to induce labor and the truth behind their effectiveness.
Techniques to Naturally Induce Labor: A Brief Backgrounder
Labor due dates were created as a form of guide or milestone tracker during pregnancy. Some people, however, may not totally rely on the said due dates as they can be totally different from what actually happens and they are either lengthened or shortened based on a number of factors or variables. As such, some individuals are curious as to how to naturally induce labor and help with the efficient accomplishment of their respective labor due dates.
Some Natural Labor Inducing Techniques
The list enumerated below on some natural labor-inducing techniques are arranged in no particular order and has been listed along with some scientific nugget or fact to describe why they can contribute to the process of giving birth.
Eating Spicy Food Can Induce Labor
Spicy foods have been suggested by mothers and other individuals in possibly inducing labor for pregnant women. Most of these are anecdotal recommendations that are not totally founded in any scientific theory. People must be cautioned though, that eating spicy food can cause a number of different side effects such as allergic reactions, burns for overly spicy food items, and heartburn.
Evening Primrose Oil Can Help Induce Labor
This supplement is considered as a homeopathic agent that can help ripen or increase the maturation of the cervix due to it helping the body achieve prostaglandins. Evidence suggests, however, that evening primrose as a whole does not really have that significant of an effect in terms of actually inducing labor. One study conducted almost 20 years ago showed that people or individuals who took evening primrose oil did not show any increased or decreased activities for labor. Neither did it shorten or lengthen the duration of when pregnant women experience labor.
Having Sex Can Help Induce Labor
One important compound to induce labor is known as prostaglandin and semen. There are claims that sperm has one of the highest levels or contents of prostaglandin for any known biological source and as such, having sex to induce labor may be effective. This is because prostaglandin is known as a ripening agent for the cervix.
Further research is needed, however, as there is little scientific evidence to actually establish the relationship between sex and sperm to the induction of labor. This could probably be attributed to the lack of willing subjects who would agree on conducting experiments of a sexual nature while they are already monitoring for the upcoming birth of their baby.
The Stimulation of the Nipples Can Help Induce Labor
Nipple stimulation can result in the contraction of the pregnant woman’s uterus and further lead to labor. Oxytocin is the hormone responsible for uterus contraction and for the excretion of breastmilk. This is why mothers who breastfeed their babies after giving birth will contribute to the uterus shrinking back into its normal size. Couples may choose to assist one another by having the partner stimulate the nipples of his pregnant mate. The pregnant woman can also use a breast pump.
Activities that can lead to an increased heart rate can help induce labor. These include long walks or light upper body movements. Even if exercise does not totally help in inducing full-blown labor, its benefits of relieving stress, improving health and promoting good blood flow or circulation are may still be reasons enough to try it out.
Acupuncture Can Help
Acupuncture can help the body in releasing oxytocin as evidenced by a study conducted in 2013. In the said trial, 400 pregnant women were given membrane stripping and acupuncture right before giving birth. No outright results were noted but the pregnant women did experience less need for any further form of medical assistance or induction for their labor.
Evidence suggests that acupressure can also help in the starting and even restarting of labor. Pregnant women are advised to seek medical advice before undergoing acupressure. Acupressure may not always be effective in inducing labor, but it can still aid pregnant women in reducing discomfort and alleviating pain during pregnancy.
Some healthcare providers may offer membrane stripping as an option to help the induction of labor. Membrane Stripping procedures are usually done in a health facility and do not require any medications. Instead, the medical professional will use his or her gloved finger to segregate the patient’s amniotic sac from the patient’s area around the cervix. This act should ideally release hormones known as prostaglandins which can lead to labor. Patients with any form of infection of the vagina should not undergo this treatment. It can result in other complications or adverse medical conditions during pregnancy. Membrane stripping may also result in spotting and cramps which should immediately be coordinated with the patient’s medical professional.