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Past Your Due Date? Safe, Natural Ways to Bring on Labor

February 27, 2012

You’ve been checking off the days on your calendar for nine months, and now your due date has come and gone. Between the insistence of your bladder and the discomfort during everyday tasks, you’re ready to meet your baby right now!!!

Once you’re past your due date, there are a few safe and natural methods that may encourage labor. The first technique is fun…and possibly tricky! Some doctors recommend having sex to bring on labor, as the prostaglandins found in sperm can stimulate the cervix and possibly lead to contractions. As long as your water hasn’t broken, you may want to give this tip a try!

Not in the mood? You might also try acupuncture or acupressure. Some studies have shown that women who have received acupuncture had a smaller chance of needing medical induction, and even had a lower c-section rate. While it hasn’t been proven that acupuncture works to bring on labor, it is safe in late pregnancy, and may even relax you. Check with your doctor and find a licensed acupuncturist in your area.

Of course, there are many remedies that people have sworn by for years that are safe and easy. Walking may make you more comfortable right now, and could ease the baby into position. It can also help labor progress, if you have already felt a few contractions. Some mothers swear that spicy food is what brought on labor for them. Even if it doesn’t work for you, a burrito or an order of chicken tikka masala can’t hurt! And some midwives recommend evening primrose oil, as it may help to thin and dilate the cervix. Check with your practitioner before giving it a try.

In fact, always remain in close communication with your doctor or midwife once you’re past your due date. S/he may want to discuss medical options if things take too long to progress.

Photography courtesy of Flickr.

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