They usually say that the longest time during pregnancy is the third trimester. The mother has prepared all the baby stuff at home and is so ready to pop, but the baby seems to be taking his/her sweet time. Some babies decide to go out before the term (pre-term), full-term, or beyond term (post-term).
Labor induction due to medical conditions
In some cases though, the better option than to wait for the baby to naturally come out is to induce the labor. Labor induction is usually done during the following instances:
- Post-term pregnancy
- Premature rupture of membrane (water has broken but labor has not started)
- Health issues like an infection in the uterus, gestational diabetes, high blood pressure, and other medical conditions
- Placental abruption
- Fetal growth restriction
The natural course of pregnancy prepares the cervix for delivery. However, in medical situations such as those mentioned above, your attending physician might recommend labor induction. Inducing labor is a serious decision and comes with risks for both the mother and the baby. It is always best that a thorough discussion will occur between you and your attending physician before deciding on labor induction.
Natural labor induction
If there are no medical conditions involved and you are almost near your due date, your attending physician might encourage you to induce labor naturally. Here are some ways to naturally encourage labor:
- Exercise – Long leisure to brisk walk is a good cardio activity for the mom to prepare your body for the task ahead. Also, it is very important during the last weeks of pregnancy to help the baby engage in the pelvis.
- Sex – During sex, your body releases oxytocin. This hormone can help initiate uterine contractions.
- Nipple stimulation – Stimulation of nipples also causes the uterus to contract. You or your partner can manually stimulate your nipples. A breast pump would also be helpful.
- Acupuncture – This also stimulates the release of the hormone oxytocin.
These are some natural ways to induce labor. However, please do not engage in these activities until you have discussed it with your attending physician. Remember that every pregnancy is unique. It is important to have your physician’s consent before doing any activity that might induce labor.