A standard pregnancy lasts forty weeks. However, many women end up going over forty weeks, finding themselves in a very uncomfortable overdue pregnancy.
There are many medical techniques a doctor can use to induce labor. A common method used in the United States is the drug Pitocin, intravenously, to start contractions. Another method commonly used is manually breaking the mom-to-be’s water. Both of these methods can be painful and are really only needed if there is a medical emergency which risks the safety of mother and/or baby.
Natural Home Remedies
Instead of opting for painful and often invasive medical techniques, more and more women are turning to natural home remedies to overcome an overdue pregnancy.
Drinking castor oil sounds almost as uncomfortable as labor, but some women believe it helped jump start their contractions. In order to avoid the legendary foul taste and smell that comes with castor oil, try mixing it with another drink or food product. Milkshakes are naturally thick which will help prevent the oil from floating up and becoming a concentrated puddle on top, plus the rich flavor can mask the flavor of the oil.
If castor oil isn’t your idea of an enjoyable experience before labor, try something more soothing such as herbal teas. Red raspberry leaf tea is not only delicious, cheap, and easy to make, but it has been shown to help aid uterine contractions.
While you’re in the kitchen mixing up your tea and milkshake, you could also attempt some spicy foods. The medical community has not provided any definitive evidence as to why spicy food induces labor, but many women can testify that it works. So, cook up some Mexican and Indian foods rich in peppers and pineapple and test out the theory for yourself. If it doesn’t work for you, you still have a yummy meal to enjoy.
Going for a Walk
Another natural home remedy for overdue pregnancy is going for a walk. A walk will not only help relieve stiff muscles from not being able to move around as much, but it also relaxes muscles which could possibly help your baby slide into a better position for delivery.
One of the most popular (and fun) ways to overcome an overdue pregnancy is what caused the pregnancy in the first place…sex! A man’s semen contains hormones that are said to induce contractions. This is a tricky home remedy because most women with overdue pregnancies are not comfortable enough to walk, let alone have sex. However, there are positions you could try, such as laying on your side or missionary style with your legs up. Any creative way you decide to try it, make sure it’s gentle and does not put any pressure on your abdomen.
If you’re willing and able to go outside the home for a natural remedy, there is research to support that massages that include acupressure can jumpstart labor. If you cannot find any locations that offer pregnancy massages, check out your local chiropractor. Not only do they have a medical degree in knowing how to relax the body, but they can do ‘adjustments’ that help drop the baby to a lower position the same as what happens when the baby is prepared for birth.
When trying home remedies it is very important to apprise your doctor of what techniques you are planning to try. Just because something is natural, does not always mean it is the best method for your situation and does not mean it is always safe. Your doctor can inform you of any risks that could accompany home remedies, but the decision is ultimately up to you. This is your pregnancy and your labor; you should feel comfortable with any technique you wish to use when experiencing the miracle of life.