Today I wanted to give you some insight into how I avoided a labor induction at almost 42 weeks pregnant. I used the following ways to naturally induce labor! Go back to read part 1 of my 3rd baby’s birth here and part 2 here and read part 4 here.
This post gives 9 PROVEN ways to naturally induce labor. I used these methods to induce labor at almost 42 weeks pregnant. I had a 3-hr. labor with NO meds!
As I said in part 2 of my third birth story, by the time I was over a week overdue, the OB office where my midwives practice began to talk about inducing me if I were to go the full 42 weeks.
I wanted to find ways to naturally induce labor.
Don’t get me wrong. I do believe there are viable reasons for inductions. However, I believe that the majority of inductions that take place in the United States today are for convenience and not a medical necessity. At my prenatal appointment on Monday, August 20, my midwife (Lynn) told me that I would need to be induced no later than Friday, August 24 (a full two weeks past my due date) but that I could be induced on Wednesday, August 22 with my favorite midwife (Beverly, who delivered my second).
Lynn didn’t pressure me, but she wanted to give me options. There was also the slight concern about some trace protein in my urine–my one and only possible indicator or pre-eclampsia.
I left the appointment with Lynn that day and went straight to get acupuncture. It was my first time to see an acupuncturist, and honestly felt a little funny. I believe that there are benefits of both Eastern and Western medicine, but I know that some New Age thoughts, etc. can seep into Eastern medicine at times. As a Christian, I wanted to be on guard against this. I felt OK, though, seeing a professional acupuncturist in my area to see if she could help induce labor.
Image by marniejoyce
The appointment went really well. The acupuncturist was kind, and she basically inserted the needles and left me alone to “empty my mind.” Instead of emptying it completely, I lay on the table, releasing my fears and worries to the Lord about the impending labor and meditating on Isaiah 26:3. Over and over I recited in my head: “He will keep in perfect peace He whose mind is steadfast because He trusts in You.”
At one point I burst into tears and told my baby: “I love you! I do want you to come!”
Even though Lynn had checked me and I had not dilated at all, my hopes were that the acupuncture had helped to induce labor. The therapist sent me home with these little pressure point disks on a couple places on my feet, legs, hands and on my ears. These are all areas that may induce labor, so I kept pressing them. (The ears were for relaxing.)
After my appointment I called Lynn and scheduled my induction to begin the next night. Because I wasn’t dilated at all, I was supposed to go in on Tuesday night, August 21 and get cervidil to soften the cervix and get pitocin the next day. But I still wasn’t at complete peace with this. As petty as it sounds, I grieved not being able to go into labor on my own. I know that many of you reading this may have never gone into labor on your own, and I pray I don’t offend you in saying that. But I felt very disappointed–to say the least.
The next day I got adjusted at the chiropractor again and prepared to go into the hospital that night. I felt extremely tired and drained the entire day. I tried to rest, but all I could think about was the induction. The night before I was supposed to have collected a 24-hour urine sample to again check the protein. But I filled the jug (sorry for TMI!) in 15 hours instead of in 24. When I called to notify the office of that, they said the test was void.
Image courtesy Advanced Spinal Fitness
Sometime that afternoon the office called me and said that the OB overseeing my case and two of the midwives–Beverly and Lynn–were discussing my case and said that I did not have to come in that night for an induction if I didn’t want to. They felt it was safe for me to go the full 42 weeks–until that Friday.
(I later found out that when Beverly heard how fast I filled the urine jug, she knew there was nothing wrong with my kidneys–which is what the trace protein could have indicated! I believe the acupuncture might have released some toxins that my kidneys may have worked overtime to filter out because I could not stop using the bathroom!)
When I hung up the phone, a peace fell over me. And I almost felt giddy! And somehow I knew–I knew she would come on her own!
That night, my parents volunteered to keep our two girls, so I could rest. I sent with them the bag I had packed for when we would be in the hospital. My husband said: “Won’t they need that when we go to the hospital?”
“I’m sending it with them in faith!” I told him.
And in the next few hours I continued to try a few more things to get labor going. Now, I want to be clear in that I don’t think you really should do anything–even natural means–to bring a baby along before he or she is ready. But desperate times call for desperate measures, and at this point I was trying to avoid a medical induction (for non-medical reasons).
Image by FeatherWeatherK
All within a 36-hour time frame, here is what I tried:
- Acupuncture (see above)
- Chiropractic Adjustment (which I had my entire pregnancy anyway)
- Red Raspberry Leaf Tea (which I had drank/taken capsules my entire pregnancy, but I made sure not to skimp at this point!)
- Trilight Health’s Labor Prep (I was wary of taking this before because it contains blue cohosh, which CAN BE DANGEROUS. I took far less than the recommended amount and just mixed it in my tea. Actually, my husband “spiked” my tea with it and didn’t tell me until later. 😉 Yes, he was just as ready as I was!)
- Relaxing Lavender Baths (Here’s a tutorial for a homemade lavender bath tea)
- Evening Primrose Oil (This may not work so late in the game, but I think it did help my cervix dilate. I used it both ways…sorry I’m not going to give any more details here…google it and ask your midwife!)
- Bouncing on the exercise ball/squats (but honestly not too much)
- Walking: My husband and I walked around our neighborhood three times, and I walked at the fastest pace I could!
- Time with my husband (and that’s all I’m going to say about that!)
So, which of these things truly worked to induce labor? Honestly, I don’t know if any of them did it, but as you will read on Friday, I can’t help but wonder if doing all this in the last 36 hours of pregnancy didn’t lend itself to the fast and furious way in which my baby arrived.
Check out these 7 more ways to naturally induce labor!
Have you ever avoided a labor induction? What did you try to naturally induce labor?
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*Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional. I am just a mom who likes to research and share what works for me. This blog is for entertainment purposes only. Please seek advice from your trusted healthcare provider. I asked my midwives about all of the above “induction” methods at some point in my pregnancy. One thing they advised me never to try was castor oil–and they gave me some horror stories!*