If you or someone you know wants to induce labor, it should not be done prior to the 39th week of gestation. However, an accurate estimation of the due date is not always possible. The standard way is by knowing the first day of your last period and calculating from that point. One issue with this method is that it only works with women that have a regular cycle of 28 days. For women that have irregular cycles, this method can be off by several weeks. Avail of transvaginal ultrasound services to increase accuracy with an error factor of just three days instead of several weeks.
Induction of labor can be done medically or naturally. Medical ways to induce labor is considered the standard albeit the riskier approach. This is because several methods of intervention are performed to induce labor. It is never just one. With each separate technique, the risk on both you and your baby increases as well. IVs and medicines are injected into your body, which can lead to more frequent and painful contractions.
A safer way is to induce labor through natural means. Although natural techniques are considered safer, mothers are still advised to consult with a professional health provider before attempting any of the tips. There are several natural ways to induce labor. One involves stimulating the nipple area. The stimulation process results in the production of oxytocin in the body. As oxytocin is produced, this causes the uterus to contract. Hospitals use pitocin, a synthetic form of oxytocin, to produce the same results. Another physical stimulation technique you can try involves sexual intercourse. The female orgasm is known to stimulate contractions in the uterus. Your partner’s semen contains prostaglandins, which also help in ripening the cervix.
The last few weeks leading to the delivery can be a stressful experience for pregnant mothers. To reduce stress and help the process along, try relaxing by meditating, taking warm baths, listening to music or doing aromatherapy. These help in initiating the labor process.
Last involves eating the right foods. This is by far one of the most well known natural ways to induce labor. However, determining which ones are real can be a challenge. Tea made from raspberry leaves may not directly induce labor but it does help in constricting the uterus. Evening primrose oil is often available in capsule or caplet form. Taking the pills can help in softening the cervix.