Nature controls most aspects of labor. However, there are times when labor needs to be induced to make it progress.
There are various ways to induce labor. But before we can truly understand these options, it is best to determine the reasons why you may need an induction.
Possible Reasons For Labor Induction
Your health care provider may propose induction of labor for various reasons, especially when there is a concern for you and your baby’s health.
One possible reason why you will need labor induction is that you are already approaching two weeks beyond your expected date of delivery and labor has not started naturally yet.
Also, when your bag of water has already broken and you are not having any contractions yet, labor induction is initiated. With labor induction, medications are given to promote uterine contractions.
If you have a medical condition that may put you or your baby’s health at risks like diabetes and high blood pressure, labor induction is initiated.
Other conditions that require labor induction includes oligohydramnios, placental abruption, and intrauterine fetal growth retardation. Oligohydramnios is a condition wherein the amniotic fluid inside your womb is not adequate. Placenta abruption, on the other hand, is a condition wherein the placenta partially or completely detaches itself from the inner wall of the uterus even before delivery.
Is It Okay To Wait For Labor To Start Naturally?
There is a certain timeframe that is considered safe to wait for labor to begin naturally. Nature typically prepares the cervix for your baby’s delivery in the most comfortable as well as most efficient way. Ideally, you can wait up to two weeks after your due date.
If your health care provider is concerned about your health or your baby’s health or when your pregnancy continues two weeks after your due date, inducing labor may be the best option.
When your pregnancy goes beyond the two-week allowance after your due date, there is a tendency that your baby will grow larger, making it difficult to deliver him or her through vaginal delivery. Also, as your pregnancy progresses, the placenta will age and mature and this may compromise your baby’s ability to thrive inside your womb.
Lastly, a post-term baby is more likely to inhale meconium or fecal waste during childbirth, which can cause complications in breathing or infection after birth.
Warm Versus Hot Bath To Induce Labor
Labor will not begin if you are too worried, tense or when you are trying hard to start labor. For this reason, it is always good to take some time to relax and one effective way to do this is to take a warm bath. A warm relaxing bath will not only help you relax but also calm your emotional state.
You have to check the temperature of the water and make sure that it is warm and not hot. You have to remember that if the water is too hot your baby will feel hotter inside your womb. If your baby feels too hot, your baby can become stressed.
To promote a more relaxing bath, you can add two drops of essential oil like lavender. Also, you can also get a professional massage to make you more relaxed.
Other Ways To Induce Labor
Aside from taking a relaxing and warm bath, there are other ways that you can try at home to induce labor. However, you have to make sure that you have sought advice from your health care provider before initiating these options.
- Sexual Intercourse. Sexual intercourse can stimulate contractions, especially if you have an orgasm. Also, the semen contains prostaglandins that can help induce labor.
- Nipple Stimulation. When you stimulate your nipples, your body will release oxytocin. This hormone can help the uterus contract, which starts the labor process.
- Herbal Remedies. There are a few herbs that are believed to be useful in inducing labor. However, herbal remedies should be taken with caution as some can overstimulate the uterus, which is dangerous to your baby. You can take castor oil, evening primrose oil or raspberry leaf.
- Acupressure. This technique is similar to acupuncture and works on the principle that there certain pressure points in the body where energy flows. If this technique is properly performed, this can start the labor process.
- Take a hike. Walking exercises is one of the most effective techniques for inducing labor. When your pregnancy nears the due date, your baby will start to apply pressure on your cervix. Taking a hike for about 15 – 20 minutes a day can help jumpstart the labor process.
Before you start taking steps to induce labor, you should always make sure that it is already safe for you to deliver your baby. You should always consider your baby’s safety as well as yours.
You should also speak with your healthcare provider so your doctor can go over the risks and benefits you can get from inducing labor.
With a warm relaxing bath, whether you are doing it to induce labor or not, it will be a great way to relax and calm your mind, allowing you to have a clearer point of view of what is about to happen and the changes that you will undergo as you become a new parent.