Have you reached the end of your pregnancy where you're patiently (or not so patiently) waiting for your little bundle to arrive? You're most likely getting irritable, frustrated and shouting "GET THIS BABY OUT OF ME" .. yes I reached that stage too, I remember it well. And I tried all of the old wives tales, did they work? No! But I've had many clients and friends who have had success with one or the other so if you really do want the baby out, it's got to be worth a go?
I'm sure you've had everyone give you advice and tips, and you've most likely Googled to get your own answers, but just incase you still need more, here's some useful things you could try to induce your own labour without medical intervention..
#1 - Spicy Food
Some Mums have sworn by having a hot curry to start off labour, although there's no scientific evidence to prove this theory, apparently having spicy food in your tummy helps stimulate your womb and causes uterine contractions for women who are already dilated. Great if you love hot food anyway! Just FYI, it also stimulates another area down below, so be warned. Especially when you may be pushing soon!
#2 - Walking
I'm guessing going for a long stroll during this time of pregnancy probably isn't top of your to-do list, but it's been known to help your waters break. The pressure of your baby's head pushing down onto your cervix helps to release a hormone which can bring on contractions and labour. And it may look odd, but walking on the kerb, one foot on the path and another on the road so you're taking uneven steps is even better for adding pressure. Maybe take someone with you, or at least stay in a public place with a phone.. just in case the baby decides it can't wait any longer. If you don't want to leave the house then maybe try walking up and down the stairs.
#3 - Sex
This is probably the last thing on your mind right now, and you’re most likely feeling at your least attractive at the moment. But it's one of the best old wives tails that seems to have the most success, so it's got to be worth a go right? That's if your partner is still talking to you after you shouted at him yesterday for not buying you the right kind of ice-cream. Something people get confused about is it's not just the sex that starts labour, although sex itself released the oxytocin hormone that helps contractions, it's actually the orgasm and semen that give the most success. Having your own orgasm may help to stimulate your uterus into action, and semen helps to soften the neck of your cervix, ready for it to open when labour begins.
#4 - Nipple Stimulation
Whilst we're on the topic of sex, yes nipple stimulation really can help. By gently rubbing and rolling your nipples, it produces more of the oxytocin in your body which helps bring on contractions. So if you're sat at home watching TV, just give your nipples a little tweak at the same time. Or even better, get your partner to do it during the 'bring on labour' sex.
#5 - Birthing Ball
This is just a fun way of bringing on contractions, bouncing or rotating on a yoga ball helps you dilate and brings baby's head down on your cervix. So instead of sitting on the sofa watching TV, sit on your ball and bounce and/ or do figures of eight for as long as you feel comfortable. Warning, as you're heavily pregnant, this may also push the baby onto your bladder so you may need to make a quick dash to the toilet.
#6 - Cleaning
You may be going through your nesting stage too, which sometimes happens when the baby is about due. So this could be a two in one. Just like bouncing on a yoga ball and walking, the moving around will push the baby down onto your cervix from the pressure. Cleaning the kitchen floor on your hands and knees is the sort of cleaning you'll need to be doing, not just standing doing the washing up. Bonus is that if you do go into labour you'll come home from hospital to a sparkling house.
#7 - Pineapple
As well as getting a healthy dosage of fruit in your system, pineapple contains an enzyme which softens the cervix in preparation for labour. Apparently you need to eat a lot of this for it to really work, and it has to be fresh. Don't make the mistake I did and sit and eat 2 large tins of it when you don't even like pineapple, and then finding out it wouldn't have made any difference!
#8 - Wait
If you're quite happy and comfortable being pregnant, and haven't been slapping everybody who makes it known you're still pregnant.. like you don't already know, eurgh! Then just enjoy it, and make the most of it before you literally won't get a second to yourself.
Please feel free to share any other tips and advice that have worked for you, and let me know if anything in this post helps to kick start your labour.