Inducing Labour: My Experience

As you probably all know by now I’m generally not a fan of pregnancy, specifically in myself. I know I have had it lucky the entire way through and there are so many women out there who would be telling me horror stories of vomit-filled 9 months and braxton hicks as well as bladder issues keeping them sleep deprived. Even though I know this, I still do not understand the alternative view of pregnancy being the best time of life for a woman and how great it is. It isn’t. There is hopefully going to be an adorably cute little bundle of giggles in my arms after all of this, but that doesn’t make the process comfortable or fun: it’s a lot of waiting around mixed in with pain and loo trips.

Therefore, it is not that surprising that I am praying that my pregnancy ends sooner rather than later. Right now I have 3 days till my due date and I am in attack mode, trying anything I can to be giving birth on, if not before, my due date.

However, despite the number of stories commenting on how amazing some natural inducers can be, there is very little evidence, and even when reading these “I did this and gave birth within 2 minutes!” tales there is a strong feeling of coincidence behind each one. Even so, I am willing to try and unless they they are actually proven to be detrimental I figure there is no harm in it. If anything it keeps me busy.

The following goes through the options and what I’ve felt, if anything, following them. This is in no way proof but might be interesting.

Spicy Food: I think Bear enjoyed this a little more than I did because it was a decent excuse for a curry. I have been choosing spiced food, adding chilli to non-spicy food, and attempting to push my limits. Our midwife suggested that really if this one is going to have any effect at all it has to be at the very least Jalfrezi-hot. The theory is that because hot food effects your bowels, that it will simultaneously give the cervix a little shove in the right direction. Dad’s theory was a bit more basic: “OMGOSH GET ME OUT OF HERE! FIRE! FIRE!”.
So far no movement but I probably haven’t pushed myself further than a few surprising bites into a chilli. I also had to stop it for a bit due to family allergies, but today will be back on it.

Pineapple: I adore pineapple so this one is hardly difficult for me. I requested pineapple on every shopping list for the past week or so and have been having it as desserts, snacks, and breakfast as much as possible. Again, quantity is probably the pusher so this morning’s brunch was an entire small/medium pineapple. I have to say it wasn’t the ripest fruit and so my tongue is still suffering a little acid burn, however, in the same way as curry this is likely the point: kick your bowels about a bit and kick start your lower half into labour pains.
Again, so far nothing. Not sure my mouth could take anymore of this particular option though.

Long Walks: This idea is mainly about gravity, which would be great if Cub here wasn’t already in position. It can’t hurt and pup will hardly complain so we have been making a special effort. A little part of my brain does worry about suddenly having my waters break half way across a field and waddling back, but we’ll take the chance and Bear *might* try to carry me… if I’m nice and not screaming at him.

Raspberry Leaf Tea: I am sadly not a fan of tea and my first impression of this was not tasty. Adding a little sugar helps but I am pushing myself through this one because strangely, despite never hearing of it before, this one has been suggested by at least two medical staff, and one even warns women not to drink it before 36 weeks in case it brings on premature birth.
I have to say that I experienced far more braxton hicks contractions after drinking this than with anything else, which makes me think it’s worth continuing with.

Sex: I am not going to write about my sex life. I am very open about a lot of things but you don’t really need to hear anything about this particular bit. However, the reason so many doctors, midwives, and sitcoms suggest this is due to the prostaglandins (a hormone used in medical inducing anyway) in semen which is meant to soften the cervix and hence at least suggest a bit of movement. Despite such a lot of emphasis being put on this one method, there is still very little evidence and I’m not sure that many women feel comfortable talking about it much even if it was.

Hot Baths: One of my favourite comforts is a bath right now, so this one is hardly difficult. Although a friend went into labour a very short time after her own hot bath, it’s probably coincidence. So far I haven’t felt anything different after a bath, and there are also articles which would suggest showers are better due to the use of gravity.

I haven’t quite got to the stage where I’m asking for acupuncture or castor oil, and these will probably be my last resort. Medical induction is not a nice prospect so hopefully any update on this post will come with “YAY! It’s happening/over/I have a baby/OMGOSH I have a BABY!”.

If you have anything to add, by all means comment below. In the meantime I will be seeing if I can make a spicy pineapple soup with raspberry leaf… or not.

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3 Comments Add yours

  1. Murgy says:

    Hi Elle

    The theory with the pineapple is that is contains a chemical similar to prostaglandins and some how that has changed to the old wives tale that eating it will bring on labour. If pineapple does help however it would need to come into contact with the cervix, which eating them would not achieve.

    1. EKMCronin says:

      In that case I’ll just enjoy some healthy fruit 🙂

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