What has worked for you to ease or bring on labour?(21 Posts)
I've read raspberry leaf tea from 36w can get the uterus working and make it more effective during labour and helps to make it shorter overall.
Also acupuncture or reflexology from 37w onwards to bring on or encourage labour.
Appreciate any thoughts or experience with the above! This is my first baby and statistically first time mum's are more likely to go overdue or have a longer labour so if there is anything likely to help that would be great!
Nothing will bring on labour, really (other than induction!). I went 2 weeks over with DC1 and tried it all. The only thing that might have possibly got things going was lots of sex. Seriously - it was the last think I felt like at 40+ weeks pregnant, but even the mw was recommending it at that stage. Who knows if it was what spurred things on, most likely it was just that the baby was ready to come out.
In terms of length of labour, I think that's mostly down to luck, isn't it? Being fit and healthy probably helps. Keep moving in labour. Try to stay relaxed. I found natal hypnotherapy (hynobirthing) really helpful as it instilled in me an absolute confidence that I could do it and that everything was going to be ok.
It's not proven but the day I went into labour I took two spoons of olive oil in warm milk and sugar. I was a bit bunged up but it didn't make me need a poo but little one made an appearance
I frank raspberry leaf tea from around 34 weeks I think, I loved it and drank around four cups a day, first baby, labour was just over five hours long, no idea if it helped though as no previous experience to compare it too. With regards to inducing labour, I had a weak cervix and was 1cm dilated at 37 weeks, I still didn't pop until 40+5 on the day that i gave up trying to do things to bring on labour
*drank not frank
And *compare to
I drank raspberry leaf tea from 36w, they tell you not to before 36 weeks, I'm sure.
Was induced at 41+3 and she arrived 2 days later. 27 hours from first contractions which started coming every 7mins from the start.
I drank raspberry leaf tea from 36 weeks with DD, not with either of the boys. Boys' labours 9 and 12 hours respectively, gas and air, hellish painful. DDs labour 3 hours start to finish, no pain relief, only 2 painful contractions. Not sure that's why, think the fact she was footling breech and gravity played a part, but the raspberry leaf tea is supposed to help.
I had raspberry leaf tea with my DS2 but not with DS1.
DS1 birth was hard work, took 52 hours from the first contraction and I was in hellish pain. Needed shed loads of stitches too.
DS2 just sailed out. I literally nearly had him in the lift going up into the maternity ward. I still had my coat on! Much easier to deal with and very little tearing.
I swear it was the raspberry leaf tea. As for bringing labour on, lot of sex and lots of walking around.
I drank raspberry leaf tea from 36 weeks, and had DD at 39+4. Labour was 4.5 hours from start to finish. I also did hypnobirthing.
I know my mum had a similar labour with me and she did neither of these things so not sure how much is down to anything I did and how much is down to genes.
(I'll be drinking the tea again this time round though! I actually quite liked the taste and I guess it can't hurt!)
Why would you do any of these things? Your body is perfectly fine to be left be. Is it not easier to just let things be and nature take its course?!
I had sex and went for a looong walk (4 miles with spd). By the end of the walk I was having intermittent contractions. Waters went 8hrs later.
Induction, sorry! 11 days over, but on the flip side I had a 40 minute labour (DC1). Good luck!
Although I did drink RLT which I guess may have sped up the labour - PPs seem to agree!
No one knows what brings on labour. Many many old wives tales abound, many have been debunked.
What does have a known effect (ie scientifically verifiable):
- getting some kind of infection, premature births are often associated with an infection
- when you want the baby to come (significant date) - there is an observable trend for babies to not be born on significant dates that have negative
connotations but no one knows why. State of mind also seems to have an effect (sudden onset of stress will delay labour or stall it)
- when very close to being due, things that stimulate the bowel, eg castor oil, have been shown to bring on and reduce duration of labour
- when very close to being due, nipple stimulation (releases oxytocin) can bring on labour
- fetal positioning - if the baby is in a good position to put a lot of pressure on the cervix it helps it to dilate. You can influence this by how you sit and also certain exercises (see spinning babies website)
Things that haven't been proven to work: raspberry leaf tea, sex, curry, pineapple, acupuncture, homeopathy. That's not to say they don't work, but studies have been inconclusive.
I started taking rasberry leaf tea tablets at 35 + 2. I also had sex every day from that date until ds was born at 36+2 after a 2 hour labour.
I was to be induced at 37 weeks and was terrified it would take days to work so was treating 37 week mark as my full term.
If anything worked reliably, no-one would be induced.
I fully expected to go weeks over with DD as it runs in my family and first baby. Day spent on my feet cooking up for freezer dishes then a long bath. Had DD the next day. I do laugh because I lay in the bath thinking oh god I ache, and then texting mates saying oh no it will be weeks yet... Waters broke 8 hours later. Get cooking
Things my midwife has suggested are nipple stimulation which I've tried a few times and has just resulted in period pains / braxton hicks for an hour or so.
Sex - was going to give that a go tonight until I read you'd need to do it about 200 times to get the right amount of hormone to start labour so I decided to save myself the bother!
I've been taking raspberry leaf tea tablets for a few weeks but I think that is more to shorten labour rather than start it off.
It would be nice to think something would work (DC2 - was induced at 40+12 last time and don't really want to repeat it) but I do think it's probably coincidence that sometimes these things work if baby is ready to come anyway...
Seriously, for me what worked was time...Sorry! I went over 'due' by 11 days. I was a vbac, i decided i was having nothing to do with sweeps, investigations, anything. They could jyst leave me wekl alone till i was ready. I had a very good consultantcwho said i coukd wait till 14 days over. Quite frankly I could have got to that poibt and if everything was ok they could have fucked off. I relaxed, spent lots of time getting ready and then on the day before I went into labour I had done everything, had acupuncture, which kind of helped I think as I relaxed loads, did the 2 mile walking round trip school run very slowly and went to bed. Relaxed the next day, slow contractions but nothing notable, that night went into labour properly and 12 hrs later ds born at home.
My Doula told me the most helpful thing, that oxytocin is one of the most important hormones in starting labour, you need dark, to feel safe, loved, and laughing. Plus cuddling and sex, those help. (Laughing probably comes with the sex if you are anything like the size I was...)
Thanks everyone for sharing your experiences!
houseconfusion - sometimes letting nature take its course means an overdue baby that needs medical induction or too big a baby that needs instrumental delivery or EMCS to get them out safely. or sometimes even if not overdue people can go into labour that is protracted or fails to progress within a certain period that again will mean more medical intervention. I guess what I'm saying is RLT and reflexology are all natural remedies that if there is a chance it helps I would happily take that in the hope there will be less interventions than a labour that just took its course.
DowntonDiva i think DH would struggle to choose if I gave him the choice of me cooking up everyday vs DTD everyday to bring on labour.
I'm liking the idea of long walks but there are days depending on LO's position that the dreaded fanny daggers get me and walking becomes very very uncomfortable bordering on painful.
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