14 ways in 14 days to jumpstart labour
Want to give birth to your baby as soon as possible? Check out this article by a mum who tried 14 ways to induce an early labour and her thoughts about the methods she used.
As I started to get closer and closer to my due date with my second little one, I got extremely impatient. Everyone had told me that I would go into labour early (not sure how they knew) and I let them get my hopes up. Combine that with all the discomforts that now plagued my life this late in the game and I was absolutely ready to be done at 38 weeks.
Considering there are so many home remedies for jump starting labour, I decided to try one a day until my due date.
Read on to see what worked and what didn’t.
Day 1: Sex
Since I was still a little early, I wanted to start with something easy that wasn’t too outlandish. My significant other and I still enjoyed a somewhat regular sex life so this wasn’t too out there. We tried some positions that we hadn’t tried in a while though just to mix it up. The results were some slight cramping and spotting.
Day 2: Nipple Stimulation
Apparently the thought behind stimulating one’s nipples is that it triggers the breast milk to come in which fools the body into bringing baby out. This home remedy came recommended to me by a nurse with 4 children so I thought if anyone knew what they were talking about, it would be her. Unfortunately, it did nothing but STOP my cramping from the day before. The two home remedies cancelled each other out.
Day 3: Fresh Pineapple
I’m not exactly sure the science behind fresh pineapple starting labour, but many people swear by it. I love pineapple so I had nothing to lose. Well, nothing but my taste buds anyway. Too much pineapple is not good for the tongue. I was left with no baby and a very raw mouth. It was a good snack though!
Day 4: Spicy Foods
I’ll be honest, I didn’t put much faith into the spicy food home remedy because I spent my entire first pregnancy eating everything spicy in sight and my daughter was ten days late. There is no possible way I could have eaten anymore spicy foods than I did at that point in my life. However, I tried the spicy food theory out anyway. No symptoms of labour were present. I knew it.
Day 5: Cumin Tea
Cumin Tea? I had never even heard of this before. Since nothing else even produced the smallest results, maybe it was time for something a little more out of routine. I found a recipe online which combines cinnamon, cumin, and honey. It wasn’t bad, but it’s not something I plan on continuing on a regular basis. No luck with this remedy either! Am I ever going to have this baby?
Day 6: Pressure Points
To be honest, I didn’t give this one a fair shot really. I looked up the pressure points that reportedly induce labour and tried this one at home. It failed miserably, but maybe I should have gone to a professional? I was getting too big and too uncomfortable to leave the house much more than necessary though. Pressure points didn’t bring my baby, but I don’t completely discount this remedy.
Day 7: Hot Bath
Day 7 was heaven with my hot bath, except when it came time to get out. My now very awkward body made getting out of the tub seem like a yoga position only attainable by experts. I required help. The bath was relaxing but the whole ordeal made me realize how miserable I was getting and how none of my remedies were working. Come on, only 7 more! Something has to work!
Day 8: Walking
Well this didn’t seem like a fun idea at all, but my doctor said this works most often for women who are getting close. We trekked outside and walked about a mile uphill. Apparently for those that tried report that they walked a lot. I’m thinking more than a mile. It didn’t work and just left me tired. Maybe I should have walked longer.
Day 9: Yoga Ball (bouncing)
Since I didn’t have a yoga ball and didn’t want to purchase one this late in the game, I bounced on my daughter’s super buoyant bed like I would have done with a yoga ball. To my surprise, this did bring on some contractions! I thought I had solved the puzzle as to what works and what doesn’t. I went to bed expecting to be woken up in the middle of the night by extreme contractions or at least my water broken. Neither happened and I woke up the next morning as if nothing had happened. Boo.
Day 10: Egg Plant
I despise eggplant so this one was not fun at all! I choked down the oddly textured food in hopes that it wouldn’t all be in vain. It was. No baby, just a disgusting taste left in my mouth and the feeling that maybe I was going crazy. I was pretty sure at that point that I was going to be huge, pregnant, and miserable forever.
Day 11: Red Raspberry Leaf Tea
I saved this remedy for later on because it seemed to have worked for my first pregnancy. 5 years ago, ten days after my due date I drank this tea and went into labor only a few hours later. I swore by this labour jump starter and recommended it to everyone. It had about a 50% success rate among my friends. For my second pregnancy, I had no luck. It did nothing this time. Maybe you have to be overdue for it to work.
Day 12: Swing
Apparently heading to the playground and swinging like a youngster helps some people go into labour. I’m not sure why. My daughter and I headed to the park to test out this theory. Long story short, I still had a baby in my belly.
Day 13: Stripping Membranes
I am not exactly sure what the doctor does when he “strips your membranes” but I do know that it is supposed to send pregnant women over the edge at the end of the third trimester. Doctors wont generally do it until close to the due date because it is so effective. My doctor told me that her personal rate of success is about 50%. I fell into the glass half-empty group, as I did in my first pregnancy as well. My children come on their terms and do not care what anyone does apparently.
Day 14: Hands and Knees
This remedy was no doubt invented by a man as it requires the woman to be on her hands and knees cleaning all day. Supposedly the way the hips are positioned and gravity alone advances labour. Now you see what I mean about a man inventing the theory. It didn’t work for me. It probably doesn’t work for anyone. However, my floors look lovely still so it wasn’t a complete loss.
Day 15 of my experiment was my official due date and the day I was scheduled for an induction. Because I started to develop high blood pressure, my doctor didn’t want to let me go further into my pregnancy. My two weeks of researching labour kick starting methods was fun, but didn’t produce anything. I had to be induced with medicine. My conclusion is that if these work for anyone, it is purely coincidence. After all, we have no idea of knowing when we would have gone had we not eaten pineapple.