There are many Old Wives’ Tales about how you can induce labor naturally. From eating hot curry to taking long walks, the theories are endless. Experts, however, agree that theories are often more fiction than fact. Below we have identified a few key facts and myths when it comes to inducing labor.
In a popular episode of “Reba,” Cheyenne is more than ready to give birth to her baby. When she doesn’t want to wait any longer, she and her husband turn to sex to induce labor. Is this fact or fiction?
Well, it’s definitely worth a try. Sex releases prostaglandins, which are hormone-like substances known to stimulate uterine contractions and soften the cervix, which can possibly lead to contractions. If you try having sex to induce labor, just be sure that the man ejaculates inside the vagina.
Spicy Foods and Castor Oil
There is no known food that brings on labor. Drinking castor oil is a method favored by some midwives and obstetricians. Studies have shown that castor oil, with its laxative and intestinal effects, may help to start labor. While it may result in contractions by causing diarrhea and dehydration, the general consensus is that it will really just make you sick and uncomfortable.
Mothers need to understand that there are no guarantees. If you would like to try eating spicy foods, that is up to you. There do not appear to be any disadvantages to eating spicy foods to try to get labor going, with the exception of maybe some gas pains or diarrhea.
Most women have heard the suggestion to take a long walk or do some light exercise to induce labor. This theory has less to do with the exercise part and more to do with dehydration. When the body becomes dehydrated, a hormone similar to Oxytocin is released to preserve water stores in the body. This hormone can cause labor-like symptoms, which is probably why pregnant women feel contractions when exercising.
While these contractions may seem like labor pains, more often than not they are not. Exercising is more likely to make you uncomfortable than to actually induce labor.
Acupuncture is a form of alternative medicine that most doctors agree does not induce labor, but has as much chance as other methods being used. In parts of Asia, it has been used for centuries to jump-start labor.
The theory behind it is that the acupuncture needles help stimulate the nervous system and cause the uterus to begin its rhythmic labor contractions. Many studies have been done that show both sides – some say it has a possibility of inducing labor while others disagree. What is true is that acupuncture can relax you and can help you manage stress during your pregnancy.
If you want to learn more about the realities of inducing labor, schedule an appointment online with Contemporary Women’s Care or call (407) 478-6249 today.