Nature's Mothers Blog

Childbirth, Parenting and Other Passions

10 ways to encourage labour June 13, 2010


Today is baby’s official due date!  I was expecting her to come a little early as Erin was born on her due date, and normally the second comes sooner, but apparently baby Beanie has not read the books!  I wouldn’t say I’m fed up of being pregnant, because I’m not that huge and not terribly uncomfortable, but I would like to meet my little girl soon!  I’ve been having mild contractions off and on over the past few days, but that must all be practice ones.  At least I know something is happening, my body is doing all the right things. Slightly more twinges than normal today…we shall see, I don’t want to get too excited! Babies generally come when they’re ripe and ready, although sometimes they don’t and need a little help!

There are a few tricks I can try to help things move on…

  1. Walking –  I went for a long walk on Friday, and yesterday did plenty of walking and exercise too.  This morning Erin and I took the goats out, went to check for alpaca babies in the far field, swept & vacuumed the house (well, a bit of it anyway), and watered the poly-tunnels. This was taken during our long walk on Friday.On a long walk!
  2. Sex – as mentioned in a previous post – this worked with Erin…my waters broke minutes after sex with her. (not worked so far this time!) Semen contains prostaglandin which causes contractions. Sex also causes the release of the “love drug” oxytocin, which causes contractions.
  3. Yoga – there are a few yoga postures that are good, specifically squatting and rotating your hips. This helps get baby’s head down there, and hopefully triggers things off…I’m squatting as I type!
  4. Driving on bumpy roads – I drove the tractor over bumpy lanes and fields yesterday to go collect some wood. Perhaps I should do that again this afternoon.
  5. Spicy food – or anything that gets your bowel moving, it’ll often get contractions going apparently. I’m not sure I want to try that one as I’m going to hopefully be giving birth in a pool, and am not sure I want to risk it…if you get my drift?! Castor oil is another one that is meant to be successful but can make you feel nauseas for your entire labour…no thanks…unless I’m desperate.
  6. Herbs – black or blue Cohosh.  I have neither, but may try to get my hands on some if I start going way overdue.  I’ve heard of things happening REALLY fast with these, but you have to be careful and should only use them under the direction of a herbalist, as they are powerful plants.
  7. Homeopathy – Caullophyllum: I’ve heard of women delivering REALLY fast after taking this and then it doing nothing for others.  I have it in my Homeopathic birthing kit…I shall save it for when I’m desperate!  You should really consult a Homeopath before using this…
  8. Reflexology – The reflexology points on your feet which relate to your uterus and ovaries are said to help trigger labour.  This is best done by a Reflexologist, but you only need to do a google search to find out where these points are. So it’s worth demanding a thorough foot rub from your other half if you go overdue, focusing on those points….click on chart to see bigger version.
  9. Essential oils – Clary Sage!  You can mix a few drops with a carrier oil (olive oil from the kitchen will do) and rub it on your belly, or burn it in an oil burner, or alternatively put it on a tissue on a radiator. Why not get your other half to massage you all over with it if you’re way overdue.  I only have to sniff it to get a contraction.  I did add a couple of drops to my stretch mark oil this morning and rubbed it all over my belly. I am probably being a bit too impatient.
  10. Relaxation, Hypnosis or guided imagery – these help many woman…I have yet to trial them myself, although I do relaxation and visualizations a bit when I do yoga.  I also have been talking to baby Beanie and hoping that she feels safe enough to come into this big, wide and completely different world.
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13 days to go… May 31, 2010


Feeling really tired today. I tossed and turned with an achey back in the night, and was worrying about our cat who we hadn’t seen for over a day (she’s back this morning!).  The sun has come out though and I am determined to go get some…it always helps to recharge my batteries. Just had a little snooze with Erin too.  I think I’ll have another swig of go-go juice too, as possibly I just have low iron today, as tends to happen in pregnancy when your body is producing much more blood.

The good news is…Erin slept through last night for a change!  She woke up at about 6.30 very proudly announcing “all night Peppa Pig bed!” Very sweet!  She’s been a little unsettled lately, I think it’s the sense that things are about to change. I feel bad that I won’t be able to give her the attention that she gets now, but it will be lovely for her to have a sister in the long run.

Our blessing way yesterday went really well. A blessing way is an alternative to a baby shower, perhaps boring to some, but no silly games or horror stories and more focusing on positivity for the birth and preparing for being parents to a second little one.  Normally it is a woman only thing (Mother Blessing), but I feel that the father’s journey is as important and also needs to be acknowledged and celebrated, therefore ours was a Mother & Father Blessingway.  After all, Steven will be my birthing partner and he is the most fantastic dad and husband.

More people turned up than expected (some had not responded to my invite and brought their children along too), but it was really lovely, if not a little too chaotic for a while.  We had snacks, wine and juice out on the table for people to help themselves, and got down to the business of painting my belly mould.   Erin even added her touch on my right boob.  Here’s the almost-finished product…still to be varnished, trimmed and ribbon threaded through the top so I can hang it.  Isn’t it wonderful??  Very farmy and appropriate to the time of year too, I think. Steven did the yin-yang, which represents masculine and feminine, dark and light, pisces (the fish – steven’s star sign) and gemini – the twins(baby’s star sign…unless she’s way overdue, which she won’t be!).  The writing on the yin yang was me…it says “we can’t wait to meet you, to hold you, to love you and keep you in our hearts forever. May your journey be gentle” I also did a chinese symbol for tiger, as it is the year of the golden tiger. We have a lotus at my heart, a dragonfly which we’ve recently spotted at the pond, lots of beautiful buds and flowers,  sunshine, the symbol of creativity and the tree of life.

We also did hand-binding ritual with some hemp string. We sat in a circle and passed the ball of string around, wrapping it around our left hands. Once it had gone all the way around the circle (uniting us, and giving us a moment for thoughts for the birth and new baby) we passed scissors around and cut between each person, which we then tied into bracelets.  We will keep these on until the baby is born.

Steven and I also gave out candles to be lit when I go into labour and blown out once the baby has been born.

This morning we also did a trial run of setting up the birthing pool…it was all very quick and easy. It’s just the filling it that may prove a bit of a task.  You attach a hose to the tap of course, but we will need to keep the Rayburn stoked to keep the water hot.  Let’s hope my labour is this relaxing! The top ring is not fully inflated as it needs to be filled with water first.  It’ll make a great swimming pool for Erin afterwards too! Birth pool in a box

I’ve had one cup of raspberry leaf tea in today…and need to have 3 more! I love the stuff, even if I do have to put honey in to disguise the herbiness a bit.  I think it’s doing it’s job as I quite often get braxton hicks contractions, all good. Tone those uterine muscles baby!

Which reminds me…perineum massage is next on my to do list!! I certainly want to avoid tearing if I can!

I’ve also set Steven the task of brushing up on his massage and breathing skills to help me in labour, so tonight we’ll be studying the Active Birth book again together!

Thank goodness for my natural pregnancy kit! What would I do without it?!

 

 
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