Drink Red Raspberry Leaf Tea
What are the benefits of Red Raspberry Leaf Tea?
Strengthens and tones the uterus.
- Promotes faster and healthier labor.
- Promotes quicker postpartum recovery.
- Might stimulate contractions.
- Rich in antioxidants and nutrients that are good for pregnant women.
I used Red Raspberry Leaf Tea in both of my pregnancies. I drank 2 cups per day in the second trimester and 3 cups per day in the third trimester.
If youre at the end of your pregnancy and havent started drinking it already, start with 1 cup to try to stimulate contractions.
For me and many other mamas, red raspberry leaf tea was a big part of our labors, and many women swear its the reason theirs were so short!
If you like the ease of bags- these are the red raspberry leaf tea bags I used and loved.
Best Birthing Ball Brand
I personally recommend The Birth Ball brand. Ive talked about this product a few times on this blog.;
Their balls come with anti-skid socks, a booklet of exercises for during and after pregnancy, and a hand pump so you can inflate the ball as firm or soft as youd like.
The Birth Balls birthing balls are also made of a thicker material than most, so they are very durable. I believe they have a superior product to most. The ball should last through several pregnancies!
Best birthing ball alternative
If you would rather get an exercise ball, I recommend this one. The reason I would recommend this one over others is because it has similar features to The Birth Ball. It is anti-slip, burst-resistant, and comes in different sizes (youll want a larger one for more support.
How Do You Choose One
To be comfortable on a birthing ball, its important to choose the right size ball based on your size and height. Birthing balls arent one size fits all. They usually come in small, medium, or large. Some birthing balls are sold fully inflated, but other balls must be inflated after purchase.
For the most part, you should be able to sit on a birthing ball with your feet planted flat on the floor. If youre on your tippy toes while sitting, the ball is too large. And if your knees are positioned higher than your stomach, the ball is too small.
As a general guideline, ball sizes correspond to height.
- if youre 5-foot 4 inches or shorter: 55 cm
- if youre 5-foot 4 to 10 inches: 65 cm
- if youre 5-foot 10 inches or taller: 75 cm
Keep in mind that recommendations can vary depending on the ball. So read the package label to see the manufacturers guidelines.
Some manufacturers may recommend a different ball size based on your height and weight. Choosing the right size is important because sitting too high or too low to the ground could irritate your back and knees.
If youre using a birthing ball for the first time while pregnant, do so with the assistance of another person to prevent accidentally slipping off.
Now that you know how to purchase a birthing ball, here are some suggestions for how to use the ball during pregnancy, labor and after delivery.
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Castor Oil Aka The Midwives Brew
The Midwives Brew was something I hear about a lot while pregnant. Supposedly, this concoction could help kickstart labor for women who nothing else worked for, and is known as a major labor inducer.
So what is the Midwives Brew? The Midwives Brew is a combination of castor oil and other ingredients that is designed to upset your stomach to help start labor naturally.
Before I mention this, its important to say that you need to proceed with caution when reaching for castor oil when trying to induce labor naturally. Again, I am NOT a medical professional.
There have been studies that say ingesting any of those may actually do harm rather than good. Be sure to first talk to your doctor or midwife before trying these natural options to induce labor.
Can Prenatal Massage Induce Labor
Nearly every pregnant woman I know has told me how much their bodies ACHE, especially towards the end of their pregnancies. Massage therapy during pregnancy has been shown to provide;many benefits! Prenatal massage is a specialized certification, and massage therapists who practice it receive advanced education in safe techniques for pregnant women. Unlike deep tissue massage, prenatal massage typically involves light pressure.
The American Pregnancy Association reports that the benefits of massage performed during pregnancy can help to reduce anxiety, decrease symptoms of depression, relieve muscle aches and joint pain, help with blood flow and improve labor outcomes and newborn health. Plus the relaxation youll feel after a prenatal massage might help you have better sleep, too! But what about when it comes to inducing labor?
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The Midwives Brew Recipe
If you get the green light and want to try the famed Midwives Brew yourself, first know that it is designed to upset your stomach . Also, do NOT ingest castor oil by itself, as you could become incredibly sick.
2 oz castor oil
Small can of apricot nectar
1 cup of champagne
Mix together using a blender. Drink quickly! Dont drink more than one dose per day.
Remember, the Midwives Brew is STRONG and should only be taken with the go ahead from your care team!
Using Acupressure To Induce Labor
Technically, no such thing as an official induction massage. However, from the standpoint of acupressure, trained prenatal or pregnancy massage therapists are aware of pressure points on the ankles and wrists that can gently stimulate pelvic muscles, including the uterus. While prenatal massage therapists and acupressure practitioners are taught to avoid those pressure points before the end of a pregnancy , it is widely believed that targeting those same pressure points after 38 weeks could be just the nudge a woman needs to get labor contractions going.
Pressure points go hand in hand with acupressure. Acupressure has been used as a technique to induce labor for a very long time, and focuses a lot on pressure points you can hit with a foot massage or on the inner ankle bone. It can be challenging to figure out exactly how to hit the right points. My husband and I discovered that there are a bunch of videos to help you figure this out!
Check out this video that shows you how to find a few acupressure points to induce labor:
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What Is The Quickest Way To Go Into Labor
The quickest way to go into labor is going to the hospital and beginning an induction. However, there are other methods like pumping to induce labor, taking special herbs, or having the membranes stripped that people have used to get labor going.
About Meagan Heaton
Hello! My name is Meagan Heaton. My goal is to help you and your family walk into your birthing experience, feeling empowered and confident.
As a birth doula of seven and a half years, I have served over 280 couples with expertise in VBAC. I personally understand the struggles one can face as I have personally had a VBA2C. As Co-founder of The VBAC Link, I have loved making connections with families further than just my local community.
Who Shouldnt Use Exercise To Induce Labor
Regular exercise is safe for the majority of pregnant women. However, there are some instances where exercises may not be the safest option for trying to induce labor.
If you have any of the following conditions, its best to speak with your care provider before performing any exercise.
- Prescribed bed rest.
- Short cervix.
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Yoga For Labor And Birth: 7 Poses To Get You Through It
Want to hear a funny story?
During my first labor Puppy Pose was my jam for getting through my early contractions. Every time one came on, Id basically bury my head into my bed, tail in the air, breathe deep, and wait for it to pass.
I remember thinking to myself, I going to ROCK this birth as long as I can keep doing this!
But then I got to the hospital. And a nurse who clearly didnt want to be there for the overnight shift made me; strip down naked and put on a gown that was open in the back.; This was a problem for me. It was night time, but I really didnt want to show all the hospital workers my FULL MOON pose, if you know what I mean.
Heres the part thats not so funny:
I am convinced that my hesitation to follow my bodys cues and do what came naturally to me was the biggest slowed my labor down. That was the catalyst for me eventually exhausting myself, panicking, and sending off for an epidural even though I had planned for an un-medicated birth.
Everything worked out in the end and I had the most healthy amazing girl. But the moral of this story is this:; When youre birthing youve got to get comfortable with not giving a flying flip what anybody else thinks and FOLLOW YOUR BODYS CUES for crying out loud.
It is YOUR birth. The people who are at your place of birth are there to SUPPORT you and make YOU comfortable.
Choosing The Best Birthing Position For You
There are instances where a chosen position may not be used. That includes after an epidural, if there are complications, and if the baby needs to be monitored. However, McNeil recommends asking for intermittent monitoring, if possible, so that you can still walk around. Also, as long as you are not tangling up in IV’s, you may ask to get up and move some.
Quite often, people find that their birth plans can’t be followed exactly, or as McNeil puts it, “there’s always a plan for the plan.” She says that building in a contingency plan will help things to still go your way, but that you should do whatever is best if the baby’s life is at risk.
Howell also recommends being proactive before your big day by maintaining an active pregnancy to make childbirth easier. “A combination of aerobic exercise and resistance training during pregnancy can really help prepare the body for birth,” she says. “As a physical therapist, I aim to incorporate targeted exercises for the hip and thigh muscles for many pregnant persons. Each person’s program is tailored to their needs and altered based on tolerance.”
As far as the best position? Our experts and mothers all agree that whatever the birthing person decides is best. No two birth experiences are the same.
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Birthing Ball Exercises To Prepare For Labor
The birthing ball is the most important tool you need to prepare for natural childbirth. Each Mom-To-Be should begin using a yoga ball as soon as she enters her second trimester.
This is the time in your pregnancy when you feel more energetic, less nauseous, and more relaxed. Now is the time to begin thinking about your birth and prepare for it. Learning how to use a yoga ball helps you prepare for labor physically and mentally.There are some important yoga ball poses that you need to learn really well because you will definitely need to use during labor.
Supine Happy Baby With Breath Work
*Place a couple of pillows beneath your upper back and shoulders to help relieve any unwanted pressure.
Lie down on your back and open your legs into a happy baby pose with your legs lifted and feet wide. Grab onto your feet, ankles or calves and allow your body to sink into this position. Finding your diaphragmatic breath, feel free to stay here or gently rock side to side.
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The Reaching V Motion
Sit on the ground with your back straight. Open your legs until they form a V. Place the bouncing ball between your legs and keep your hands on top.
Now gradually walk the ball out toward your feet but stop just as you start to feel a stretch in your legs. Hold in this position for a few seconds and then walk it back toward your body.
Repeating this movement stretches your hips and legs which in turn help to open up the pelvic muscles and help induce labour.
When Is It Safe To Do Exercises To Induce Labor
While you may want baby to come, and stat, you dont want baby to come too soon. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the risk of adverse outcomes is lowest if baby is born between 39 and 41 weeks gestation.
Its always a good idea to check with your doctor first before trying out any exercises to help induce labor. But generally speaking, unless youre dealing with certain pregnancy complications, gentle exercise and breathing techniques shouldnt send you into preterm labor if you try some moves out ahead of time. In fact, you may want to even test out some techniques while youre experiencing Braxton Hicks contractions, says Jess Jennings, MS, founder of Ma Yoga for Pregnancy, Motherhood & Beyond in Los Angeles, which also offers online prenatal yoga and birth prep classes. Your body is practicing, she explains. Its a wonderful time for you to practice too.
Jennings suggests finding a breathing rhythm during Braxton Hicks contractions while stretching back through your hips and swaying. If you get energy flowing through your hips as the contractions build up, she says, youll have the inner resources to pull through once the real labor contractions set in.
Still, even in a healthy pregnancy, exercises that help induce labor might not feel comfortable. Always listen to your body and stop or take breaks as needed.
Curious to learn which exercises might help move labor along? Read on for six options that experts recommend.
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Which Exercises Can Help
So what are the best exercises to induce labor at 40 weeks and are there any guaranteed ways to induce labor through exercise?
Deep Diaphragmatic Breaths On All Fours
This is a great low-impact exercise to start off with, and one you can do anytime to relax. This exercise integrates breath work with pelvic floor activation.
For this breath exercise, get down onto all fours, with your shoulders over your wrists and your knees aligned with your hips. Breath in and out rhythmically through your nose, making each exhale as long as possible. On each inhale, try to focus on lengthening your pelvic floor with a slow pushing movement. When you exhale, focus on drawing the pelvic floor back in. This exercise can naturally soften your pelvic floor.
Getting on all fours to induce labor might not be possible, as simply getting into this position is unlikely to suddenly make you go into active labor, but this activity can help get the baby into the right position to kickstart the process.
Why not try pelvic tilts to induce labor? This exercise is similar to a popular yoga exercise, the Cat-Cow yoga pose. This yoga exercise requires you to get onto all fours with your hips directly above your knees and your wrists directly below your shoulders.
Many people use yoga to induce labor, as it relaxes both the mind and the body and doesn’t have to be too strenuous.
Pregnancy Ball Exercises To Induce Labor
Happy Baby Pose
How To Use A Birthing Ball
Using a birthing ball is incredibly easy! Just remember:
- Careful not to over or under-inflate your ball- You should feel supported well without sinking into the ball too much
- Make sure your knees are not above your hips when sitting
- Think tall, have good posture and try different exercises for maximum benefit
- Get the right size for you!
55 cm 4 11 to 5 3 65 cm 5 4 to 5 10 75 cm 5 11 and up
You can use the ball to do squats, pelvic rolls and tilts, small bounces and more. All of these can help your pelvic ligaments stay loose and allow baby room to descend for labor. Not to mention giving you a break from carrying the extra weight around, it can really feel amazing!
You can watch how I used my birthing ball throughout pregnancy and to naturally induce my labor, below!
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Can Exercises Help Induce Labor
If a pregnant woman is in the third trimester of her pregnancy and her body is ready for birth, there are several safe and effective exercises she can do to help induce labor naturally.
In order to go into labor, your cervix needs to be ‘ripe’, or soft. Exercises can’t influence the cervix’s readiness to go into labor, so if your cervix isn’t ripe, these exercises won’t induce labor. But if your cervix is soft enough to dilate then these exercises might kick off your contractions! These activities are intended for use in weeks 39 and 40, but you can practice them before this to get yourself ready for labor and birth.
Exercise can help transition you into active labor if your body is already in the early stages of labor. Exercise can also help get your baby into position ready for birth and put more pressure on your cervix, which can prompt the uterus to start contractions.
Hip Circles On The Exercise Ball
Hip circles can create a big movement change in your pelvis and may help your sweet little baby snuggle on down into your pelvis. This movement may also stimulate your cervix, which in turn can bring on contractions.
Seated on the exercise ball, move your hips in large circles. Change directions after a few rotations, performing the motion for both left and right.
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