Nowadays in modern Western culture in a lot of pregnancies medical induction is suggested for several reasons. When it is felt that it would be safer for the baby to be born rather than stay inside the mother medical induction is often recommended.
If it looks like a baby will need to be medically induced, there is a lot to say for trying natural ways to bring on labour. It is desirable to go into labour spontaneously for several reasons. One is that with a spontaneous labour a woman’s own natural pain-relieving substances are released more effectively. This means it is often less painful.
Another reason is that the drugs used for induction could possibly have side effects for the baby as well as the mother. Also, there is just not great evidence that increased intervention like a medical induction actually prevents complications.
Think of waiting for labour as an exercise in patience, something that will be required of you a lot as a new mother! We recommend you take natural approach to labour, let it happen when it happens. Only about 2 percent of women are pregnant for more than 1 to 2 weeks past their due date. In the mean time, here are some natural suggestions:
- Drink warm Chamomile tea, this has an overall relaxing effect.
- Eat a couple of dates a day. Randomised trials have found that eating dates in late pregnancy, may increase cervical ripening and reduce the need for a medical labour induction.
- Moderate exercise is safe and highly recommended. Go for a walk with free swinging thighs.
- Relax & Laugh. The more relaxed you are the better it is!
If it is seen necessary to medically induce labour the use of acupressure can be commenced 3 days prior to medical induction. The aim is to establish contractions and promote cervical dilation. Even if labour doesn’t start spontaneously there is an increased chance that you progress through the induction with minimal intervention.
Apply direct firm pressure to the specific points in the picture below.
- Find this point between the bones of the thumb and the first finger. Apply firm pressure with your thumb so that you experience a dull achy feeling.
- Midway between the bony prominence of the neck and the top of the shoulder joint. This point is best stimulated by a support person. Apply firm downward pressure with the thumb/knuckle or elbow.
- Find this acupressure point in a depression between the tip of the outside ankle bone and the edge of the achilles tendon. Grip the ankle and apply firm pressure with thumb.
- This point is found 4 finger widths above the tip of the inside of the ankle, slight your finger off the edge of the bone. Apply direct pressure with the index finger or thumb.
Acupuncture can be very beneficial in preparing the body for labour from around 37 weeks. The aim is to relax the body and the muscles around the pelvis and the cervical ligaments. If medical induction is imminent, acupuncture can be used to establish contractions and promote cervical dilation.
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