When you consider your options for jump-starting labor, many of the tried-and-true methods involve a lot of movement. You may be advised to take a long walk around your neighborhood, or even climb up and down stairs until you feel contractions. But for many women, the idea of any unnecessary movement this late in the game is excruciating. Fortunately, you can learn how to speed up labor without walking, because you might not be in the mood to lace up your sneakers right now. It's understandable.
These tips range from acupuncture to bubble baths. Some of the tips are backed by scientific studies, whereas others are from the collected wisdom of midwives and other pregnancy professionals. You probably won't have to try them all — unless your pregnancy is really trying to last forever — but at least a few of them should appeal to your taste. Whether you decide to go for a long ride or chow down on stuffed jalapeño peppers, these tips can help you take your mind off of things for a moment or two as you mentally and physically prepare for the task ahead. And one day, you'll have a great story to tell your kids about the time you tried acupuncture to speed up their arrival.
1. Take A Warm Bath
If you'd like to hurry up the labor process without leaving your home, then consider a nice warm bath. According to Kidspot, taking a warm bath is a good way to relax, and sometimes it's hard to begin labor if you're stressed. Light some candles if you want to get extra-fancy.
2. Take Some Evening Primrose Oil (EPO)
Using an oil to induce labor may sound a bit eyebrow-raising, but there could be some evidence of its effectiveness. According to Healthline, taking an evening primrose oil capsule may aid your cervix's ability to thin out and soften, thereby kick-starting labor. Although more study is needed to fully understand the oil's ability to help induce labor, it does appear to be potentially helpful.
3. Enjoy Spicy Food
Chances are, you've heard this tip from just about everyone. It's possible that spicy food may help spur the start of labor by boosting your body's of prostaglandin, a hormone that is associated with the start of labor, as noted in Baby Med. And while there haven't been any formal studies on the subject — it could very well just be a myth or folk remedy — you're still free to get the extra-spicy tacos if you want them.
4. Switch Positions
Although you may not feel like wandering around the neighborhood, a little movement may help the cause. According to Spinning Babies, if your baby is not in the right position for labor, then it may cause a delay in the process. In this case, your birth partner may walk you through various stretches or other moves that can help your little one get prepared for takeoff.
5. Take Some Personal Time
6. Sip Some Red Raspberry Leaf Tea
Basically, tea improves any experience. And according to New Health Advisor, drinking raspberry leaf tea is a common labor induction remedy that may provide iron content to help tone your uterus and help labor progress smoothly. As with many of the other remedies, there has not been a lot of scientific study into its effectiveness, but at the very least a nice cup of tea will give you some comfort and hydration while you wait for those contractions.
7. Change Rooms
Sometimes a change of scenery can make everything better. According to Very Well, moving to a different room may help you relax and get in the right frame of mind for labor. If nothing else, it will giving you something new to look at.
8. Go For A Car Ride
Do you live near a street with a lot of speed bumps? This might be the time to drive it again and again. As noted in Baby Center, anecdotal evidence from pregnant women suggests that a bumpy car ride may help your baby's head put pressure on your cervix and start labor. Again, this idea is not backed by a great deal of scientific study, but it probably won't hurt to give it a try.
If you're interested in acupuncture, this may be an excellent time to give it a shot. Anecdotally, women who are past their due dates have progressed into labor after two to three treatments of acupuncture, according to Pregnancy Birth and Beyond. Again, it probably won't hurt, and the deep relaxation often associated with acupuncture treatments can only help you.