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Getting Your Labor Started

Getting Your Labor Started 

There are so many stories of women eating pineapple or dates or spicy foods to give labor a jumpstart. Michel Odent has said that he believes babies speak to their mother’s body by varying levels of hormones and chemicals as well as position of baby. This communication will be the initiation of labor. Until then, I am skeptical that anything can start labor. However, I do believe that if enough of the puzzle is in place and you try one of the traditional natural induction methods like breast pump, acupuncture or sex, you very well might tip the scale in your favor and labor might begin. On the other hand, you may try all the things and still need a medical induction.

What's a gal to do? 

Release any and all expectations of that right now. Trust that your baby and body know what to do and that your perfect birth story cannot and will not miss you if you trust.

You have to realize that you have no real control. You're only control here is the way that you choose to react. The way you react directly impacts the way your baby feels. Do you think if you are tense and nervous and your mind is going a million miles an hour, your baby will want to come out? ....I don't think so. However, if you are relaxed and chatting with your baby everyday and have communicated that you trust them to know the perfect time to come...then let that shit go and relax. Truly. Sit back and relax. 

You have what might be the last unstructured time you get for a while.. I'm talking months to years. Take advantage of it. But for those of you who truly need to be doing something or prefer concrete steps of action, here you go: 

Meditate: Sit and visualize your baby in the exact right position that she needs to be in for birth. Communicate to your baby that you trust them 100% and you know they will come when they are ready. Truly relax and know that there’s not a single person, ever, who has been pregnant forever. Your baby will be born, I promise that. You should know your options and ask your healthcare providers for help in the decision-making process. If you don’t trust your doctor, it is never too late to switch.

Walk: Exercise every day. Low impact like walking or swimming (indoors in the colder seasons, obviously), light biking. Movement is the key factor that helps keep baby shifting around. Sometimes all it takes is the slightest shift to kick things off. We never know when baby needs to slip or slide just a millimeter or two to make that perfect Keyhole Match.

Spinning Babies Daily Essentials: If you are concerned about any of the positions call your Healthcare Provider. These exercises are meant to relieve pressure that comes in late pregnancy, create more room for the pregnant parent and baby, plus helps support your body to find an optimal state for a growing baby and birthing said baby.

Relaxing Your Pelvic Floor Muscles: This one requires a pillow, a quiet space, and your imagination. Lie as flat on your back as is comfortable, use pillows to prop yourself up--avoid something hard like a yoga block. If you need something under your tailbone, try another pillow or a folded towel.  While lying back, put your feet together, and allow your knees to splay open. Imagine your pelvic floor as an elevator. Evaluate if you're pelvic floor is high or low. Where is your pelvic floor? Is it on the top floor (Floor three, this floor is tight), middle floor (Floor two, this floor is kind of relaxed and kind of tight), or the lower level (Floor one, loose & supple, ready to pass a baby). Your goal is to bring your pelvic floor to level 1. It takes practice so you must practice every day. Starting this practice around the 6-month mark of your pregnancy can be very beneficial. Make sure you are paying attention to breathing while doing this. 

Safe Sitting: This is something you should be practicing from the beginning if you have the knowledge. If you are learning this why you’re pregnant, then start practicing now. The goal is to make this so much of a habit that it is your “go to” posture. It will help support optimal positioning for baby and is supportive of breastfeeding as well. Imagine a laser coming out of your belly-button. You want to sit up straight so your laser is parallel to the floor. Another option is to sit on the edge of your seat (or an exercise ball chair), wide knees, and let your belly hang, pointing your laser toward the floor. Lounging backwards (sending your laser to the ceiling across the room) opens your body just enough to sometimes encourage babies to go head up!

Staying Hydrated and Well RestedBoth of these can cause false contractions. Consider drinking a glass of water every hour to hour and a half. Taking naps during the day will help keep you rested in case labor starts during the evening and you miss out on an entire evening of sleep. Think about your battery as a 36-hour battery. Your goal is to keep well rested enough that your battery remains at 90-100% charged at all times. Once labor begins, you may not have access to a charger at any moment (meaning labor doesn't stop). This is another reason we want to avoid false labor is to conserve energy. 

Warm Water: Taking a bath or warm shower can sometimes help relax things to calm the false contractions. Sitting in the tub and reminding yourself of your mantras each evening is a great practice to start in general while we are waiting for your baby. Creating an area in your home that you can relax fully is helpful. These are great opportunities to visualize your birth or your baby being here.

I've Tried All The Things, HeHe

If you've tried all the things and honestly you feel exhausted with trying to get your baby out.. then let that shit go, sister. Let it go and relax that your baby will come. I promise no one has been pregnant forever. Your baby will be born, and it will be perfect.

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Photo Credit: Grazie Belucio Photography


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