All you want is to have your baby and be through with pregnancy. When you are overdue for delivery, it can be frustrating to wait for labor to start naturally. As time passes, many women resort to natural techniques for inducing labor. One of these techniques is called acupressure.
What Is Acupressure?
Acupressure is based off of the traditional Chinese medicine branch known as acupuncture. Ins traditional medicine, the body is divided into meridians of energy or Qi. When you are unwell, an acupuncturist will insert thin needles into different acupressure points to make you feel better.
While acupressure is often used to stimulate labor, it can only be used at certain times. To be effective, acupressure points can only be used when the cervix is already ripe and your body is ready to give birth. If this is the case, then you can use the following techniques to stimulate labor.
Pressure Points to Induce Labor
Maternity acupressure points have been proven to be a safe, fast way to induce labor. All you have to do is press certain points on your body, and they will stimulate your uterus to contract. Other than encouraging labor to begin, acupressure can also make the process of giving birth easily. You can use acupressure in the following three situations:
1. You are past your due date and ready to give birth, but have not started labor yet.
2. Your amniotic fluid has broken, but you have not entered labor yet.
3. You are already in labor, but your contractions need to be stronger to push the baby out.
Keep in mind that you should only employ these techniques when you are actually ready to deliver the baby. You should not try any acupressure points if you have not finished the stages of pregnancy. Your body and the baby must be ready for birth to try these points.
For this acupressure point, you should pinch the thin, webbed skin that is between your index finger and your thumb. You should apply the pressure toward the center of your hand. Once you have done this for 30 to 60 seconds, switch to your other hand. Change between hands every 30 to 60 seconds as you rub your fingers in a circular motion. When a contraction starts, stop applying pressure. Once the contraction has passed, reapply pressure again. Use a stopwatch to track the frequency of your contractions. When they are frequent enough, you are ready to start labor.
San-Yin-Jiao (SP 6)
This method can be used on both legs at the same time. Grab hold of your leg and put your hands so that your little finger is right above your ankle bone. Then, find the san-yin-jiao pressure point on top of your lateral tibia. If you are holding your ankles the right way, this pressure point should be where your index finger is.
Press with your thumb on the pressure point, which may feel slightly sore when it is touched. Rub this area in small circles for several minutes. By doing this, you can stimulate contractions. Once contractions start, you can stop applying pressure on this point.
5 Natural Remedies for Inducing Labor
Other than acupressure points, you can use the following five techniques to induce labor.
1. Evening Primrose Oil
This herb is available in several different forms. When used during pregnancy, it causes your cervix to thin and become dilated. It can be taken as a capsule orally, or inserted as a capsule or extract next to your cervix. You should talk to a doctor before using this treatment because it can make a condition like placenta previa worse. You can also use other herbs like red raspberry leaf to stimulate labor. Like any herbal supplement, you should always consult with your doctor before using them.
2. Nipple Stimulation
When you massage and twist your nipples, it causes your body to release a hormone known as oxytocin. This hormone will later be responsible for triggering your contractions. Nipple stimulation has fallen out of favor among doctors because it can cause longer, more painful contractions. Since it can also lower the heart rate of your baby, you should only use this technique if you are being monitored by a medical professional. Never use it without a doctor’s permission and supervision.
When you walk, your hips will start to sway. This movement naturally moves your baby farther down your pelvis. Once your baby applies more pressure in the pelvic region, it can trigger your cervix to thin out and prepare for labor. If you already have contractions, walking can help your labor progress faster. Even if walking does not help, it will help your body get in shape to handle the onset of labor. Either way, walking is a great activity for pregnant women to do.
Pineapple is easy to find, and it is by far one of the more delicious remedies for inducing labor. This fruit contains a natural enzyme known as bromelain. When ingested, this enzyme helps to soften your cervix so that it is ready for labor. At the same time, bromelain will work to stimulate your uterus and stomach muscles. If your body is ready, it can trigger labor to begin.
5. Castor Oil
Castor oil is known for being a natural laxative. When taken, it causes your bowels to become stimulated and spasms start in your intestines. This then causes your uterus to become irritated and to start contracting. While castor oil can induce labor, it can also cause diarrhea. Because of this reason, it is not always the best option for a woman who is about to give birth. Before you use castor oil, make sure to talk it over with your doctor first.