When Baby’s due date begins to creep up, some parents have just “had it” and are ready to simply do anything to get that baby out.
From swollen feet to body aches and pains, the amount of patience some parents need (in their last trimester of pregnancy) can be unfathomable. When it comes to waiting for the baby to finally arrive, some parents will try the techniques their Doctors recommend. Some will the old wives tales told by friends. Others will try a mixture of both to see which work and which do not.
No matter how crazy these suggestions may seem, some are scientifically proven while others may just be in our heads.
Read bellow as we have compiled the five true ways to induce labour and 5 myths that are not just unproven, but some unsafe to try.
10 MYTH: EAT A PINAPPLE
Sadly, there is no true evidence that proves that eating a pineapple may help bring on labour.
Some people have never heard of this as a potential way to on-set labour, but it is quite common when you search through the internet's advice. You will find anything from consuming exotic fruits to doing specific exercises. Though delicious and fun, it has not been proven to help.
Some believe that the juices contribute to cervical ripening according to this article within Evidence Based on Birth. Some just have fun with whatever advice that is given since they'd do anything to on-set their birth by their third trimester. We don't blame them!
9 TRUTH: DRINK RASPBERRY LEAF TEA
What a delicious way to actually improve the speed and health of your labour!
Whether it is recommended by your Doctor, Midwife or friend, the use (and consumption) of raspberry leaf tea has been proved to strengthen your muscles within your womb, described in this article by Baby Centre.
You truly can not over do it with this tea. Drink it daily during your entire pregnancy duration or in the last few weeks to improve the delivery process.
Though the pineapple may not be proven to do much, this tried and true tea concoction will surely aid in the development of your labour.
It's also quite tasty!
8 MYTH: KEGELS
Though practising your Kegel Exercises is incredibly important for your core health during and after pregnancy, it has not been proven to speed up labour and put it into action.
Kegel Exercises have been proven to prevent tears while giving natural birth, but strengthening your muscles around your vaginal opening will not promote delivery of your child.
Though they do not speed labour up, we do highly suggest this to be a habit you partake in at any time, any day.
To prevent vaginal prolapse and/or urinary incontinence postpartum, try and do your internal exercises as frequently as possible.
7 TRUTH: INTERCOURSE
Within this article in Web MD, a well-educated Doctor describes that sex releases prostaglandins which are also found in medications that are used to on-set labour.
These hormones can also be found in a man's ejaculation which can stimulate the cervix and influence its dilation.
Not only does this hormone influence the cervix to ripen, but it can also lead the woman/parent to begin contracting.
To be honest, you may want to sneak in some intimate time with your partner before baby's arrival, anyways.
6 MYTH: EATING SPICEY FOODS
There have been no valuable sources that prove spicy foods bring on labour to pregnant women/parents.
Though some believe that this too can provide the prostaglandins to form in the body, it is evident that the uterus and stomach are completely separate body parts. Thus, there is no correlation.
Though it may have you running to the washroom after consuming your meal, spicy food has not (yet) been proven to on-set labour.
If you enjoy the food, though- no harm in trying!
5 TRUTH: WALKING
Any type of healthy exercise can stimulate the woman/parent's muscles and movement.
Walking also naturally allows the baby to "drop". This will put pressure on their lower body and stimulate the baby's position to ready for delivery.
Walking is a great way to keep active and healthy during pregnancy. Knowing that it is a proven way to promote labour is a great excuse to get moving in that last trimester.
Especially during the last few days leading up into your due date, it gives you more of a "push" to keep active.
Let us tell you: walking during labour itself is also handy and will help baby come faster, too!
4 MYTH: THAI FOOT MASSAGE/ PRESSURE POINTS
Though a good foot-massage in your last few days of pregnancy is near to a perfect dream, using pressure-point to activate labour has not been proven to promote birth.
Studies have researched the correlation between the body's energy points and how well it effects different parts of the bodies, but there's no hard evidence that it actually proves to speed things up when it comes to labour.
Though it may not be scientifically proven, there's absolutely no harm in recommending a registered massage before baby's arrival.
...Or even insisting your partner try the Thai foot massage technique on you, too.
3 TRUTH: DANCING (SAFELY)
Just as walking promotes the position of the fetus within the womb, dancing does as well.
If you have not been very active during your pregnancy, we suggest not to begin any exercise you are not accustom to. Though if you have been quite active, a safe dance can promote labour, absolutely.
An interesting take on this is an article within Self, describing that when the body gets a big dehydrated from dancing, it can actually irritate the uterus and bring on contractions.
Though this specifically has no scientific proof, it may be logical enough to be true.
Though we do not recommend intentionally dehydrating yourself during your pregnancy at any given point, we do suggest a light workout to promote muscle strength, relaxation and cervical thinning.
2 MYTH: JOGGING AND JUMPING
A wild, old-wives tale is one that includes bumpy car rides and jumping on a trampoline. We highly suggest not trying these insane (yet too common) suggestions.
When it comes to "jogging", if you are a Runner and have been training your entire pregnancy, this could absolutely be safe to continue. Speak with your medical professional for more detail on continuing your exercise safely.
If you suddenly want to on-set labour and take up Jogging, this can cause more damage than good.
Do not jump, jog or bump on purpose to begin contractions as the fetus will come when they're ready.
1 TRUTH: STRETCH AND SWEEP
A stretch and sweep is a common procedure done to pregnant women who have passed the 42 week mark of their pregnancy.
A stretch and sweep takes no more than 5 minutes, and is a very hands-on process.
The medical professional will insert their hands and loosen your cervix for it to widen with some assistance.
Though this procedure can be a bit uncomfortable, it will surely induce labour in the most less-intrusive, medical way.
If you are interested, speak with your Midwife and/or Doctor to learn more. Please do not try this alone, without medical supervision.