Among the common text questions I get, is "What can I/my friend do to get labor started?"
The answer I want to give: Wait.
My_theory is that here is nothing you can do that is going to start labor if the baby isn't ready. And sometimes it's not the baby...it's the mother. The mother has more factors in play that can be influenced: physical, chemical, mental, emotional...any one or all of these can delay the onset of labor.
Since we are an action-type of culture, here are the things I offer when I get this text. All of them **do not** include "taking something". They are all things to help the mother and baby align physically and emotionally with the oncoming labor and birth of the baby.
Along with "doing something", we also invite our students who send us this text to do some internal checks: is there anything they are worried about? That they have left to do or say before the baby arrives? Are there any unexplored conversations or feelings to face?
An extra disclaimer: for any of the body workers, do your homework and check out their certifying organizations. In addition, trust your instinct - if you do not feel comfortable with them, politely decline an appointment and call the next person on your list.
So, having said all that...here are some ideas to try if you feel like waiting is not an option...
Acupuncture - an ancient Chinese modality that involves inserting very fine needles along meridians of energy in the body.
Acupressure - if you are needle-averse, this uses applied pressure on the energy meridians.
Pregnancy Massage - your local childbirth educator, doula or midwife probably has at least one or two names for you to contact. These practitioners specialize in releasing tension and opening the body.
Chiropractic Adjustment - again, your local birth workers may have some leads for you. A chiropractor trained in the Webster Protocol can do an assessment to see if the mother's body is optimally aligned for labor and birth.
Making love - yes, really. If your partner is a man, his semen can help ripen your cervix with natural prostaglandins. If you were to be induced in the hospital, they will insert the synthetic version to get things going. Whatever gender your partner is, as long as they can help you climax, there is a possibility that one contraction of muscles may encourage the uterine muscles to start contracting as well. And if nothing starts, at least you (hopefully) both had an enjoyable time trying to get labor started.
Self-Reflection - Is there anything you still want to do - say - accomplish before your Sweet Pea arrives? Any issues or fears you would like to explore or resolve? I encourage our students to do some kind of fear release exercise or an art exploration to access their right brain and see if anything new comes up or any ideas present themselves. Sometimes just naming them makes a huge difference in being emotionally ready for the birth journey.
Pelvic Rocking - encourages the baby into an optimal fetal position. When you are on hands and knees, it is more likely for them to put their heaviest side (spine-down) against your belly-button.
Deep Chest-Knee Position - kneeling on the floor, instead of resting on your hands, put your chest on the floor. This position helps to get a malpositioned baby that has found a comfortable spot out of that spot that isn't allowing labor to start or progress. Once the baby is out of the pelvis, you can try other things to get baby back into the pelvis with a better alignment.
Miles Circuit - a series of three exercises to encourage optimal fetal positioning. Two doulas brainstorming over the phone gave rise to this popular labor tool.
Spinning Babies - a website that offers several ideas to encourage babies into an optimal fetal position.
Read more about how we used Webster Protocol and Deep Chest-Knee position in THIS post.
The material included in this video is for informational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The viewer should always consult her or his healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation. Krystyna and Bruss Bowman and Bowman House, LLC accept no liability for the content of this site, or for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of the information provided. This blog and video contain information about our classes available in Chandler, AZ and Payson, AZ and is not the official website of The Bradley Method®. The views contained in this video and on our blog do not necessarily reflect those of The Bradley Method® or the American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth®.
Birthing From Within and Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: convenient to Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, Payson