It sounds crazy after nine months of carrying a baby, but there are some moms who actually want to delay their labor once the time finally comes to meet their little baby. There are many reasons why a mom would not want to give birth yet. Sometimes, it has to do with the timing. Perhaps there is a big event that she wants to attend before she gives birth. Or, some moms-to-be are simply waiting for their family to come into town and she wants them to be there at the hospital with her.
Other women have crazier reasons for delaying labor. For example, imagine being due near the end of December. Maybe the mom wants her baby to be born in the new year and so she’s trying to hold out until January.
The reasons can go on and on as to why a large and uncomfortable pregnant woman would actually want to stay pregnant longer. While it might sound crazy to some people, many women can be very stubborn when they set their mind to something. With that said, it’s important to understand if it’s possible or even safe to purposely try to delay labor. When it comes down to it, nature will take its course if that baby really needs to come out. However, when women are bordering the tipping point of labor, there some unproven things they can do to try and delay it.
15 Stay Away From The Pot Holes
While there is no solid proof that a bumpy car ride can induce labor in pregnant women, Babycenter.co.uk claims that many women believe that it helps.
Riding in a car can be rhythmic and that rhythmic pressure of your baby’s head on your cervix can release oxytocin which is the hormone that regulates contractions. It is said that walking can cause this exact same thing to happen.
So, while a bumpy car ride is not going to bounce that baby right out of you, the motion can cause labor to begin. Therefore, for the women who are desperately trying to keep that baby inside of her for a little while longer, I would advise avoiding those bumpy car rides.
Although there is no solid evidence that this method works in jump-starting labor, there are a lot of claims that it does so it’s best to be on the safe side. Any sort of vigorous activity can cause your body to think it’s time to get that baby out of you.
Since this bumpy car ride method is considered to be a safe and natural way of attempting to speed up labor, there is nothing wrong with avoiding it if you want to postpone your labor.
14 Avoid That Vigorous Activity
When a woman is trying to get a baby out of her, she will constantly be on the go. When my friend wanted to speed up her labor, she was walking every day, going on hikes, and even doing light workouts. The more you keep your body moving, the sooner you will move that baby right out of you.
Although being overly sedentary is not that healthy while you are pregnant, for the women who want to delay labor, they should avoid any vigorous activity. According to Livestrong.com,
Lack of exercise may not prevent labor past your normal due date, but it can prevent you from delivering earlier.
Livestrong claims that women who exercise during pregnancy usually deliver several days before those who don’t exercise. While the evidence is inconclusive, doctors usually prescribe bed rest for women who are trying to avoid preterm labor. Therefore, it’s safe to assume that avoiding vigorous activity can prevent labor from starting as well.
It is important to remember though that if a pregnant woman avoids exercising or any activity at all, it can cause her actual delivery to be longer and even more painful. There is evidence to show that women who stay active have easier deliveries than those who don’t.
13 Bye Bye Sugar
Sugar gets your baby moving and for the women who are trying to avoid that, she will also need to avoid those sugary treats. According to Babyprepping.com, those sugary donuts and chocolate cakes are not the only things that can speed up labor. Apparently, there are sugary fruits that women should avoid as well if they are trying to delay their labor.
Pineapple and papaya are two fruits that women swear can induce labor. Pineapple contains an enzyme that actually softens a woman’s cervix and prepares it for pushing out a baby.
And, research shows that the latex in papaya can cause contractions. On top of that, these fruits have a lot of natural sugar. So even though these fruits may not be ‘bad’ foods, their natural sugar still causes that motion from your baby that should be avoided.
It’s important to remember that the unhealthy sugary foods are not the only ones that can be a problem for women who are not ready to give birth. Diet can play a big role in when a woman goes into labor. Often times, doctors will recommend a woman to eat sugary foods if their baby is breech because it usually causes them to move around a lot and switch positions.
12 No Funny Business, Honey
Some people who are trying to start or speed up their labor actually choose to be intimate with their partner because it has long been said that doing it can cause labor to occur. So, if you are trying to delay labor from occurring it is best to stay away from any funny business between you and your partner.
Nearing the end of your pregnancy, it can be tempting to spend some final, intimate moments alone with your partner before the baby arrives and the dynamics shift.
However, if a mom is set on postponing her labor, it is advised not to have sex. Most pregnant women don’t feel all that sexy by the end of their nine months and so it might not be that difficult to hold off.
According to Independent.co.uk, doing it is what got you into pregnancy and it can also be what gets you out of it. Apparently, semen is a natural way to ripen a woman’s cervix and prepare for labor. While there isn’t a lot of scientific evidence to support the claim that doing the deed can induce labor, some doctors even recommend it and many couples swear by it. Therefore, if you are trying to delay your labor, it’s not worth the risk.
11 Keep The Sac Full Of Water
Pregnant women are always advised to drink a lot of water because it is extremely healthy for themselves and their growing baby. Keeping enough fluid in your body is very important all of the time, but especially during your nine-month journey through pregnancy. If women don’t drink enough water they run the risk of becoming dehydrated.
This can cause some negative effects on your body which might even cause you to go into labor.
According to Romper.com, dehydration can cause contractions to occur way ahead of time. Therefore, doctors usually recommend women at risk for preterm delivery drink enough water.
Staying hydrated all throughout your pregnancy is not only the healthiest route to go but in the end, it can actually prevent you from going into labor before you want to. The final days are even more pivotal because technically you would deliver a healthy baby if you went into labor, so your body may be more likely to think that your body is no longer a healthy place and naturally start going into labor. Luckily, water is healthy no matter what so no matter if you are trying to prevent labor or prepare for it, drink up.
10 Mentally Deny It
Okay, so this one sounds pretty funny but some women claim that they can mentally deny labor from taking place. They do this mind over matter thing and simply tell themselves that they are not going into labor. They think away the early signs of childbirth and will that baby to stay inside of them just a little bit longer.
I know it might sound completely bogus, but we actually do have a lot of control over our bodies. What we think can truly affect how we feel. And so, if you are firmly believing that you are not going into labor, it can actually subside.
According to MarchofDimes.org, stress in pregnancy can actually cause you to have your baby sooner than expected. So, if you are constantly stressed and worried about labor happening before you want it to, that might actually cause it to start happening.
Therefore, it can truly be helpful and useful to just have peace of mind and tell yourself that you’re not in labor. Even if you feel the early symptoms of it, stressing about it could speed up the whole process. So, since the goal is trying to keep that baby inside of you, just remember it’s mind over matter.
9 Load Up On Fiber
Just a warning, this one might be a little too much information for some people. But, in the later stages of pregnancy, it can be scary to go number two because they don’t want to accidentally push their baby out.
While that’s not exactly how things work and a lot of symptoms usually have to come before that, the idea of being constipated is really scary for a woman who is approaching labor. It is a real fear when you are on the toilet because you don’t want to push too hard or cause your water to break.
When it comes to the women who are really trying to delay their labor from happening at all costs, the best idea is to eat a lot of fiber. This way she won’t have to worry about being constipated or struggling while going to the bathroom. After all, going number two is something everyone has to do and so if it can be done without potentially causing your baby to want to come out too, women should be all for it. According to Whattoexpect.com, there are a ton of women who have this fear of pushing too hard and actually pushing out their baby. So, to avoid this worry, eat your fiber.
8 Physically Hold It In... For Real
According to Quora.com, it is possible for women to physically hold her baby in. That is, up to a point. If a woman is desperate to keep that baby inside of her, she can tense up her abdominal muscles and fight the urge to push. Using all of the muscles she possibly can, women are capable of delaying delivery.
Once your body gets to this point, there is only so much she can do before that baby starts coming out anyway. For some women, labor comes on quick and by the time they realize that it’s time to get to the hospital, it’s almost too late. There are many stories of women trying desperately not to give birth inside their car.
While technically this may be a way to delay your labor, it may not be the best option. As painful as delivery can be, preventing it in this manner may be even worse. Once your baby is ready to come out, most moms simply want to get the job done. However, I have heard stories of women using this method to delay their delivery for a couple minutes, just so their baby could be born on a new day or even a new year.
7 Get Yourself To The Hospital
I know it might sound crazy but many women actually claim that going to the hospital caused their labor to stall or completely stop. The reasoning behind this may be because when they were at home, they were comfortable and relaxed. But, once you get to the hospital there is more pressure on you.
People are expecting you to have your baby and it can actually cause your body to freeze up. You are out of your comfort zone, in a cold and unfamiliar hospital. Your body is no longer comfortable and so you actually delay your labor by leaving your house.
According to Verywellfamily.com, many women are actually sent home from the hospital once they go simply because their labor has stopped or delayed so much that there is no point in them being there. Since having a doctor break your water or taking drugs to jump-start labor can be riskier and lead to complications, the easiest method is just to let women labor at home where they are comfortable. But, if you are trying to delay that, try making your way to the cold and sterile hospital instead. Simply going there for a while can delay the labor that was starting.
6 Stay Away From Hot Bubblies
Hot showers or baths tend to cause your muscles to relax. This is not advised for women who are trying to delay their labor because if their muscles relax too much it could cause their body to go into labor. According to Natural-Pregnancy-midwife.com, it’s not so much the warm water that causes labor to occur.
It’s more so what the warm water does to your body. It relaxes all of your muscles and allows the stress to leave your body. When you are not super tight and tense, it makes it easier for a baby to slide right out.
It’s important to remember that taking a bath that is too hot can cause your baby discomfort since they are much deeper inside of you where it’s hotter. If your baby is feeling uncomfortable, this could cause too much movement and may even cause them to jumpstart labor.
Therefore, it’s important to remember that warm showers and baths should not be taken very often or for very long if you are trying to keep yourself from having that baby. Of course, bathing is a necessity and something that you can’t avoid altogether in your later stages of pregnancy. But, by being aware of the effects it can have, it would be helpful to try not to relax too much while you are washing.
5 Keep The Rooms Lit
Let’s think about when a woman feels most comfortable, relaxed, and cozy. It is usually when she is curled up in bed, all warm, with the lights down low. Dim lighting tends to make women feel safer and more comfortable which can cause labor to occur.
When a woman is fully relaxed and not stressed at all, her body thinks that it is safe for her to start laboring.
Often times, this is why women choose to have home births. They know that the comfort of their own home is where their body would be most comfortable.
However, if we are trying to delay labor, it is a good idea to keep those bright and annoying lights on. According to Preg-u.bloomlife.com, our bodies naturally desire to labor at night when it is dark out. It makes us feel more comfortable and relaxed. So, this could be another reason why hospitals slow down labors because of their flashing fluorescent lights.
It’s unclear exactly why our bodies prefer the darkness, but if you are trying to delay labor, it’s a good idea not to get too cozy in the dark. Keeping those bright lights on in your eyes might actually keep that baby inside of you for a little while longer.
4 Increase The Stress Levels
Going along with this idea of not relaxing is getting out of your comfort zone. When women are in their comfort zones they are way more at ease, relaxed, and not stressed.
If a woman goes to a friends house for the weekend, or even stays at a hotel her body will not be at ease like it would be if she were back home in her own bed.
Something about being away from her home causes a slight bit of discomfort which can actually delay labor.
Like we talked about earlier, labor usually occurs when a woman is relaxed and most comfortable. Therefore, getting out of her comfort zone is the best way to avoid those feelings of ease. According to Babycenter.com, stress can actually signal our fight or flight response which causes our body to naturally want to protect our offspring.
If we are in new environments and stressful situations, our body will naturally postpone labor as a way of protecting our unborn baby. So, if you are hoping to delay your labor and delivery a little bit longer, small getaways that remove you from your comfort zone and cause a little stress might be just what the doctor ordered.
3 Crowd The Delivery Room With Unwanted Guests
Once again, our bodies like to feel comfortable and safe in order to push out a baby. This is why we usually only want our partner or close family in the delivery room with us. We want people we trust to be around us so that we feel the most at ease.
Occasionally, we can actually stop or stall labor simply by adding someone that we are not so familiar with into the delivery room. Sometimes hospitals will ask women in labor if they are okay with a med student watching in on the labor and delivery process.
I would argue that a woman is not in the proper state of mind to make accurate decisions at this moment but there have been instances where that new med student in the room caused a woman’s labor to halt.
So, if your water breaks and you are making too much progress in the delivery room, start letting in random guests and there is a good chance that your body won’t feel so relaxed anymore.
Of course, people might look at you like you are crazy for doing this, but you must have a pretty good reason for wanting to hold off on delivering for a little while longer.
2 Turn Up The Volume
Calming and soothing music tends to relax your mind and muscles which are the two worst things to relax when you are trying to postpone your labor. Many people say that much of labor is actually a mental game.
If you are capable of placing certain thoughts in your head, you might actually be able to convince yourself that that is what you are feeling. Often times the mind is the part that is the most worried and anxious about labor. You’re either scared it’s going to hurt, you’re worried about ripping, and you are concerned about how long of a process it will be.
Listening to calming music can put all of these thoughts to rest which in turn will relax your entire body, and possibly start labor. According to Mynaturalbabybirth.com, distractions during labor can slow it down.
Apparently, the key to relaxing and allowing labor to start is the proper mindset, which can be brought on by soft and soothing music. It makes sense that calm music will make you calm. So, if you are thinking about delaying your labor, consider loud or stressful music. Or, simply find music that doesn’t cause you to de-stress and relax, and you should be fine.
1 Go To Sleep. Then Sleep Some More
Many people I know have actually said that trying to fall asleep was one of the best ways they knew how to delay labor from occurring.
Since our bodies go into a mini-hibernation state while we are asleep, if labor is not inevitably occurring, you can actually turn on the early symptoms of it by sleeping. Often times, moms would rather start going through labor in the morning after a full night of sleep than at night or in the middle of the night because by the time their baby arrives they will already be tired and behind on sleep.
This is often the reason that women who feel some slight contractions starting will simply crawl into bed and not think about them. If she is able to fall asleep, there is a good chance that her contractions will simply wait like she wanted.
According to TheBump.com, once your labor is in full force with constant contractions, there really isn’t anything sleep will do to stop it. Many women complain that their painful contractions wake them up from sleeping. Therefore, if there is any hope of delaying your labor with sleep, it will probably have to be the very early signs of labor that you are sleeping off.
References: Independent.co.uk, Livestrong.com, Babyprepping.com, TheBump.com, Babycenter.co.uk, Romper.com, Marchofdimes.org, Whattoexpect.com, Quora.com, Verywellfamily.com, Natural-pregnancy-midwife.com, Preg-u.bloomlife.com, Babycenter.com, Mynaturalbabybirth.com, TheBump.com