I'm 40 weeks pregnant today. While I know that the baby will come when she's ready, I was wondering what your thoughts are on using natural methods to induce (acupressure points, castor oil, etc). I'm on the fence because I believe that I should trust my body and to try to induce before spontaneously going into labor is not very trusting of my body. On the other hand, I'm READY to see my baby girl and experience my labor.
Although, a few more days/weeks shouldn't be that hard after waiting a full 40, right?


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Every day "overdue" can feel like a lifetime! lol

I don't like castor oil because the weeks before labor I am already visiting the porcelain god more often than I would care to! However I will be getting a pedicure and a foot massage (with accupressure) just before my due date (as a treat for myself more than anything else), we try to have sex as often as we can, and old wives tale items like spicy food, chocolate cake, walks, washing your floor on your hands and knees... stripping membranes can help if you are ready. As posted, baby will come when he/she is ready, and not a minute before (well unless forcibly evicted!)

What helped me most last time was talking to the nurse and coming up with a game plan to avoid an induction. Once I relaxed and was good with what we had come up with to try to get me going on my own, I was able to relax, rest, and sleep... and at 3am I woke up with contrax, DD#2 was born just over 3 hours later!

This time I hope I will be able to relax myself and just enjoy the ride... I am just a month away!
So, the thing with natural induction methods is that they may kick start the process but won't actually bring on true labor if your body/baby isn't ready. With my son I was a VBAC and my MW said that if I had not delivered by 40 weeks and 1 day they would sch a c/sec. I saw her on Fri and was told that I would be sch for c/sec the following Fri if hadn't delivered. So...

I did acupressure (acupuncture works also but I was weirded out by the thought of all the needles)

Sex (Semen). Semen is high in prostaglandins and can help soften and efface your cervix and orgasms produce oxytocin which cause contractions (Pitocin is synthetic oxytocin)

Nipple Stimulation releases oxytocin (will cause contractions but they may not cause you to dilate if your body's not ready, don't assume that just because you are having contractions when you stimulate that means you are dilating, the effect is delayed and true labor will be indicated when contractions happen without stimulation) : 15 min. every hour for several hours. You can do this by hand or with a pump. If you have a contraction during the 15 minutes stop the stimulation and wait awhile before starting again. This takes dedication and has to be done many times to have any effect (again though if you're not ready it won't work to dilate you but will cause strong contractions).

Castor oil (and spicy food) work by irritating your bowels/colon (causing loose stools/diarrhea) which in turn irritates your uterus, causing contractions that may or may not lead to dilation (much like the nipple stimulation). This was one that I did not try--I did not want to have an irritable bowel and be in labor at the same time. But I have heard that for many women it is a great option.

Good luck and hang in there. (BTW I did all these but acupuncture and Castor oil Fri, Sat, and Sun and went into labor at 4 am on Mon morning. Not sure if it was these things or just time, but at least it gave me a distraction while I waited "patiently" (or not) for my baby :)
I delivered a healthy 8lb 2 oz baby girl on 1/12/10 at 8:35am! Hopefully I'll soon get a birth story up. Thanks for the suggestions everyone. I actually didn't get a chance try anything, and started labor 1/11/10 at 4am.
Congratulations, she's a doll. Good job!
Congratulations on the birth of your daughter, Eleia!



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