Babies don't work around anyone and they come when they want. But as each day nearer to your due date passes, you get more and more impatient and if you go overdue, well each day feels like a week and the impatience turns into frustration. Both of my babies were late, my first by 13 days despite 4 sweeps, and my second by 6 days despite trying to encourage labour from 38 weeks. If you're reading this it's probably because you feel uncomfortable, irritable and just bloody fed up. If you've found yourself saying "get this baby out of me" then you're in the right place.
I'm sure you've had everyone give you their two cents, and you've probably googled everything you can think of. But here's some collated useful things you could try to bring on labour. I'm giving you my top tips as a Mum and professional maternity and newborn photographer, this isn't medical advice.
SPICY FOOD :
Some mums swear by having a hot curry to start off labour, apparently having spicy food in your tummy helps stimulate your uterus and womb. Great if you love hot food anyway. Just FYI, it also stimulates another area down below, so be warned. Remember you're going to be pushing if it works.
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. 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.
I'm sure this is probably the last thing on your mind right now, and you’re feeling at your least attractive at the moment. But it's one of the best old wives tails that seems to 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...
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 'bring on labour' sex.
BIRTHING BALL :
This is just a fun way of bringing on contractions, instead of sitting on the sofa watching TV, sit on your ball and bounce for as long as you can, whilst also doing figure of 8 motions. Warning, as you're heavily pregnant, this may also make you pee your pants, but worth the gamble right?
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 work, so if you're not a huge fan of it, why not make a smoothie alternative? .. Or have it on pizza, if you're a believer that pineapple belongs on pizza.
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.