Getting labor started… naturally!

I am 39 weeks pregnant with my second baby. I feel like I’ve been waiting for this baby to come for sooooo long. It’s definitely a different feeling from the first time. I didn’t have expectations the first pregnancy and when I went into labor I had no idea how it would start and how long it would last- so I really didn’t think about it. Now all I can do is think about when it will start!!

On Monday I went to my appointment and my Dr. told me I was 1 cm dilated and 75% effaced… which I immediately took to mean that labor was imminent. Plus the full moon in Virgo on Monday night was another reason that I was expecting my labor to start. But of course it didn’t happen. It didn’t happen the next night or the next. I have been getting Braxton Hicks contractions here and there but nothing legit.

Labor is one of the most unpredictable of life’s events. You have no clue where, when and how it will start. It’s pretty insane. So I’ve been trying to distract myself… all the while feeling intense pressure in my pelvis like I’m carrying around a bowling ball between my legs. I’m just so excited to move through this phase and get on with the next. And that’s the lesson I feel like I am being taught during this process. Not to rush through. Not to try and get “to the other side”, but be happy here in the now.

I should enjoy the last hours, days or weeks of this pregnancy, it could be my last. I should enjoy being with Everly as my only child, it will never be the same once the new baby arrives. I should enjoy the full nights sleep I get every night once Ev goes to bed. The full moon in Virgo represents letting go and surrendering. I am trying to practice surrender this week in preparation for the arduous task of labor which demands surrendering to the wisdom of your body. I am trying. In the meantime, I am staying busy and positive! I also have tried a few of the natural remedies below to help get my labor started : )

A few things to try to get your labor started:
Raspberry Leaf Tea

Delicious, caffeine-free beverage that is rich in iron can help tone the muscles of your uterus. Many midwives and doulas recommend drinking red raspberry leaf tea to help get your uterus ready for labor and shorten the length of your labor. Raspberry leaf is rich in nutrients, minerals and an alkaloid called fragine, which is thought to help strengthen the uterine muscles which could make your contractions more productive! I started drinking this tea in my 37th week of pregnancy and tried to have at least 2 cups a day. This week I am bumping that up to 3 cups!natural ways to induce labor, new mama wellness, herbal remedies in pregnancy

Evening Primrose Oil
This is one of the most commonly used natural methods to instigate cervical dilation.  Some say it can help the cervix to soften and efface (thin out).  During the last few weeks of pregnancy, you can take evening primrose oil capsules in order to ripen the cervix or rub the cervix with evening primrose oil.  It’s derived from the evening primrose plant and contains Linolenic acid, gamma linolenic acid, and vitamin E.   It has been known to shorten labor duration due to the linolenic acid, which may trigger a prostaglandin response in the body. I picked up some capsules at the local health food store that contain 500 mg per capsule and the recommended dose is 3 pills daily.
Sex
Sex may have been the last thing on your mind theses last few weeks of pregnancy but if you need a reason to hop in the sack with your hunny there are many people who swear by this! (FYI, the best position is doggy style)Sex is thought to help bring on labor in two ways: first, semen is a natural source of prostaglandins, which are used in synthetic form to encourage cervical ripening in preparation for labor and second, orgasm can trigger uterine contractions.
Exercise
Exercise isn’t proven to get labor started but the benefits of exercise are universally positive. You can reduce stress, increase blood flow and just by moving your body will feel relaxed (which is essential for labor). In my last week of pregnancy I have been hopping on the elliptical for 15-20 min and not trying to go crazy but enough to get my heart rate up and blood flowing. I try to do a nice calming stretch afterward.
Prenatal Massage
This did wonders for me in my first pregnancy. I saw Regina once a week before my due date and I was in labor the next day! Choose a prenatal massage therapist that has excellent reviews and who you trust. They have special pillows and table to make you feel comfortable with your big ol’ belly.
What have you tried to get your labor started?

2 thoughts on “Getting labor started… naturally!

  1. All the very best to you as you enter the last stages of your pregnancy. I remember the same feeling with my second, wanting it to happen and yet trying to just go with the flow. Try and enjoy every day, soon enough you will have another bundle of joy in your life.

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