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Full Term and Tired Of Being Pregnant? Here Are 5 Safe Ways To Induce Labor Naturally

alyson 39 weeks pregnant

39 weeks pregnant and so ready to meet this baby!

As of yesterday, I’m officially 39 weeks pregnant.  I’m also officially tired of being pregnant.  I’m large.  I’m uncomfortable.  My hips ache and I’m getting pretty good at complaining to my husband about all the things I’m definitely not going to miss about being pregnant.  Especially considering that two months ago I was convinced that this little man was coming early.  Now, only a week from my due date, I’m ready to attempt things to help speed up his arrival, whether they be old wives’ tales or proven facts.

Here are 5 ways to naturally induce labor that I think are worth trying:

1. Walking.  And lots of it!  It’s been said that between gravity and the swaying of your hips, walking helps draw the baby further down into your pelvis.  Now that the weather is finally looking up in Portland {the city of rain!} my husband and I have been walking as much as possible.  I can’t help but think that the walking helped me go from 0% to 75% effaced in a week or that I’ve been feeling a ridiculous amount of pelvic pressure over the past 3 or 4 days.  Want to take walking one step further?  Try going up sets of stairs – two at a time.

2. Sex. Sperm contains prostaglandins which are hormones that can help dilate and thin the cervix.  Plus, an orgasm releases the hormone oxytocin, which can trigger contractions.  So if you’re up for it, sex can be a great way to help move things along.  I suppose it’s all a matter of finding a comfortable position along with compensating for your giant belly.

3. Labor-Inducing Foods. Seems like this one is the one most often heard in movies or on TV.  Imagine the scene where an overdue mama-to-be sits down to an uber spicy, sweat producing Indian meal and wham!  She go into labor on the spot.  Certain foods are thought to bring on labor late in pregnancy, specifically spicy food, pineapple, eggplant parmesan, and chocolate cake.  I hate to admit but I’m a little skeptical of these foods’ ability to induce labor but I’m willing to try anything.  Plus, I’ve developed quite an appetite for spicy food lately.  Could it be a sign?

4. Bouncing on a birth ball. Rocking your hips in a circular motion and bouncing lightly on the ball is said to have a similar to the effect of walking.  The movement of your hips and pelvis will encourage the baby to drop toward the cervix.  Not to mention, it’s pretty comfortable and feels great on your back and hips to sit on the ball and rock back and forth.

5. Massage. Not only does massage seem like the perfect solution for our achy pregnant bodies but it is also said to raise levels of oxytocin.  Put on some soothing music and ask your partner for their help out by massaging your back or feet.  If you’re by yourself, cue up the relaxing music and simply meditate in a quiet room. Aside from assisting to get labor moving, massage provides some great relief for pre-baby stress.

Do these things really work to bring on labor?  Of course, no one can really say for sure, but I certainly won’t be turning down the excuse for a walk on a sunny day or chocolate cake for dessert.  Have any of these methods worked for you?

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