Natural Methods To Start Or Speed Up Labor


A survey done by The Childbirth Connection has found that more than one in five women (22%) have tried to artificially start or hasten their own labors, which seems to indicate a casual attitude toward labor augmentation. But practitioners in the birth community often talk about something called the ‘cascade of interventions,’ which is the tendency of each intervention in birth to necessitate another. Labor augmentation, (starting or speeding up a labor), has a well-studied and undisputed tendency to create further complications that require intervention. The truth is, there is no such thing as ‘natural labor augmentation.’ Practices like nipple or sexual stimulation are very effective and should not be used carelessly because they seem more natural.

Henci Goer insists, “Most women can give birth safely without treatments to hasten labor. Modern maternity care offers several approaches to expedite the birth of the baby, but each imposes risks and can intensify pain and suffering. Optimal care, therefore, entails reserving medical intervention for women who would face greater difficulty without it.” There are also conditions in which you should never attempt to start or speed up a labor. 

The following techniques induce stronger and more frequent contractions:

Walking. Brisk walking will speed true labor. Use common sense and avoid walking great distances away from the intended birthing location.

Physical Conection. Romantic touch and kissing—not just a peck on the lip—but a real, mood-altering kiss can boost oxytocin production levels which is the hormone that drives labor progress.

Nipple Stimulation. Perhaps the most effective labor stimulant—even hospitals recommended it. This method can cause such strong contractions that one side is recommended to start; take care to not to produce contractions stronger than what is tolerable for the baby. Fetal heart monitoring should accompany this stimulation.

Acupressure On Spleen 6. The pressure point is bilateral (on both legs) on the inside of the leg about four finger widths above the anklebone. Pressing gently in that area often triggers menstruating in non-pregnant women, can help with fertility, and promotes good health in the reproductive system in general.  Maintaining gentle pressure of the spleen six pressure point can boost slowed contractions.

Herbs: In our American culture of patents and marketing, it is common for people not to be aware of the potency and effectiveness of herbs. Today, the common American mindset is: natural means weak, ineffective, and impossible to over-dose on. This is far from the reality. Even master herbalists warn of their potency and the need for skilled application. Two great resources for herb use during pregnancy, childbirth and post partum are The Natural Pregnancy Book by Aviva Jill Romm and Wise Woman Herbal for the Childbearing Year by author Susun S. Weed.

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