Finally passed the 37 week mark!!! At this point, most health professionals class baby as ‘term’ (full term being 40 weeks), although this is a bit of a grey area. My midwife said that if Ben came now, he would be perfectly safe and I’d be able to have him in the midwife led unit at the hospital. Harrison was born at 37 weeks through induction because I had suspected pre-eclampsia, and although a little on the small side at 6lb, he was absolutely fine. I know some people, especially mums of premature babies, may think I’m selfish saying I want him out now, but I am really starting to struggle. It is a massive struggle just getting out of bed in the morning, let alone doing school runs on the buses, and dealing with a two and three year old!
I know babies will only come when they are good and ready – even induction sometimes doesn’t work if baby isn’t at least part ready – but I don’t see the harm in trying out some of the harmless old wives tales for bringing on labour. I know that most of them are just that – old wives tales – and won’t work, but hey, what’s the harm in trying?
I asked a few friends and consulted google, and have found some of the most common ones:
Pineapple – Apparently, pineapple contains an enzyme which is thought to soften the cervix and so bring on labour. So far, so good. I like pineapple a lot. Until I read that you would need to eat around seven or eight whole fresh pineapples for any effect (and even that isn’t a guarantee!). All I can think about is the incredible heartburn that would bring on and the possible laxative effect that it might have. Hmmmm. Might skip that one…
Sex – Many people, including midwives have said the best way of getting baby out is the same way it got in. But as my mum and my mother-in-law read my blog, I think I’m going to leave that point here….do your own research on that one!
Hot Curry – it’s thought that curry, or other really spicy foods, can stimulate your tummy, which in turn can stimulate your uterus. It surely can’t be a credible way of bringing on labour because think about all the pregnant women in countries who eat spicy food every day – they don’t go into labour randomly!
Walking – This is one that is actually quite credible. It can encourage baby to move down onto your cervix, and the pressure can then encourage the release of oxytocin (labour hormone). The day that I went into labour with Alex (4 days before due date) we had been walking around a shopping centre, and the day before I had gone for a fairly long walk, so who knows if that helped? I know I do a hell of a lot more walking now because of the school runs, and I can definitely feel more pressure and more Braxton Hicks lately after a walk, so this is one to ramp up a bit!
Birth Ball – Bouncing on a birth ball has a similar effect to walking. They’re also useful for encouraging baby to get into the correct position if they’re back to back (as Harrison was – hadn’t heard of a birth ball then) and they’re amazing when you’re in labour! Again, this is one that is only going to have positive effects even if it didn’t bring on labour, so one I will carry on doing.
Castor Oil – Another one thought to stimulate stomach and therefore the uterus. However, it will more than likely just give you sickness and upset tummy (NOT what you want for labour!) but even worse, can encourage baby to do a poo, and that’s not something you want to happen. One I will be avoiding!
I think from looking at those, I might just stick to the walkin and birth ball, with the odd pineapple here and there (I like them!). As much as I want him out now, nothing will get him out unless he is ready. I just hope he is ready sooner than later!
Did you try any old wives tales to bring on labour?