After last week’s doctor’s appointment, and hearing the doctor tell us that he did not anticipate Bonnie’s arriving until at least her due date, I became a little anxious about the possibility of having to be induced. Induction is one of the main things I have been hoping to avoid, which means I’ve secretly (or not so secretly) been hoping that she might arrive a week or two early.
We had another appointment today, where the doctor again told us that he would not count on Bonnie getting her before her due date. My cervix is still high, firm, and closed, and Bonnie is still high as well.
And then he took it a step further by telling us he does not think she will even be here by her due date. He said he will give us until June 27th before inducing, and that if she is not here by then, we will be induced on the 27th.
In short, he has unofficially moved our due date back. I know that due dates are only estimates, and logically, I know that the 27th is not that far away. But it’s farther away than what I have had in my head and on my calendar for the past nine months. And something about that is incredibly annoying.
I don’t know what makes my doctor so certain that Bonnie will be late. And I don’t know what makes him so certain that I will need to be induced. I do know that he is over 70 years old, and has been delivering babies since my parents were born. (Okay, so maybe that last part is a small exaggeration…) In light of this, I know he knows what he is doing, and I have a hunch that his hunch just might be right, as much as I hate it.
So now I am even more concerned about Bonnie’s coming in time for us to avoid an induction. And let me just say that if we have to be induced on the 27th, it is not for my lack of trying to get her to come on her own. I AM SO READY TO MEET THIS BABY!
Here are the ways I have tried to encourage labor NATURALLY over the past couple of weeks (yes, I started early):
1) Walk- They say that the sway and slight bounce that walking creates can help move the baby down, and walking also helps the baby work with gravity so that she can drop. Specifically, walking up and down stairs is said to be an effective way to encourage the baby to drop into her optimal position for birth. Also, the baby’s head puts pressure on the cervix and causes oxytocin to be released, which can help to start labor.
3) Squat often- This can help move the baby into the birth canal, while also opening up the pelvic area, stretching the muscles of the pelvic area and inner thighs, and relaxing the lower back.
4) Clean the house- The walking, bending, squatting, and standing involved in cleaning can all help to move the baby into her proper birthing position.
5) Have sex- Semen contains natural prostaglandins, a hormone that is naturally produced by the woman’s body… the same hormone that gets labor started.
6) Nipple stimulation- This is one that many women swear by. The idea is that gently rolling the nipples stimulates oxytocin, which is a hormone that causes contractions.
7) Kneel on all fours and swing your hips back and forth- This is something else that should help the baby get into the best possible position for birth.
*Here is a great video demonstrating 7 exercises you can do at home for an optimal labor and delivery.*
8) Spicy foods- Some people say that spicy food irritates your intestines, and causes the uterus to contract. I don’t think spicy foods are a trigger for me, but I love them, and eat them regularly anyway!
9) Pineapple- Pineapple contains bromelain, which is said to help soften the cervix, stimulate muscle contractions, and shorten labor. That being said, I have read that you would have to eat 7 pineapples to induce labor.
10) Basil and oregano- They cause the release of prostaglandin, which ripens the cervix, and helps the uterus to contract (supposedly.)
11) Eggplant Parmesan- There is a restaurant here in Georgia that claims their eggplant parmesan can cause women to go into labor, and it has done the trick for many women who were near or beyond their due dates. I tried it, and had no luck, but I think I’ll probably try it again!
12) Balsamic vinegar- We use this as dressing on our salads, mixed with olive oil, basil, and oregano.
13) Bananas- Potassium is meant to help with muscle contractions, so being low can offset labor.
14) Dates- Eating 6 dates per day leading up to your due date could help with dilation. I like to eat mine with a little bit of natural peanut butter!
15) Red Raspberry Leaf tea- You can drink this as a tea, or you can purchase it in capsule form. Its purpose is to strengthen and tone the uterus, which could result in a shorter labor.
16) Evening Primrose Oil- This can be taken orally beginning around 35 weeks, and internally (as a suppository) once you are full-term. It is meant to soften the cervix so that even if you do get induced, the doctor may be able to break your waters and not need any further intervention to bring on labor.
17) Borage Seed Oil- This can assist in dilating and effacing the cervix. I take 2 capsules a day: one in the morning, and one in the evening.
18) Clary Sage Oil- This is not intended to be taken orally, but is an essential oil that can be used for aromatherapy. I put a few drops into my bath, and at night, I put several drops onto a cotton ball, and place the cotton ball under my pillow. The scent is very relaxing, and being relaxed is essential during the earliest stage of labor.
Take all of these with a grain of salt, because though I’ve been trying them faithfully, I’ve made absolutely no progress toward labor! Either Bonnie will come when she is ready, or we will be induced, and apart from being as proactive as possible here at home, and bathing Bonnie and her birth in prayer, there’s really not much more I can do!
P.S. – Last week’s Strep B test came back negative, so at least we are in the clear there!