Recently I visited my bestie, Aleeta Kenny, at her new home where she is actively nesting and preparing for her little bean to arrive. Aleeta is 38-weeks pregnant and like most new mamas, cannot wait for this s*&^ to get going! She looks fantastic, feels great (well, if you ignore the shooting sciatic pain she’s had for the last few weeks) and is more ready for the baby than ever! Aleeta took The Pregnancy Prep, loved it and now has an arsenal of tools, tactics and tricks up her sleeve once labor kicks in.
“It’s perfect for introverts and a great course!” – Aleeta Kenny
While visiting her, she asked me, “So, really, how do I get this show on the road?” Besides telling her that baby needs to cook 2 more weeks to be the juiciest, chubbiest, healthiest, best-breastfeeding-baby-in-the-world, I was able to share a few more secrets as well. Make sure to speak to your medical provider first before attempting anything on your own.
Red Raspberry Leaf Tea
Try drinking 2 cups of red raspberry leaf tea nightly starting at 28 weeks. Studies are unclear if this really works, but no harm was found to have been caused by humans. It may relax you to have nightly tea, which is good too. Midwives have touted the beneficial effects of red raspberry leaf tea for years, as it is supposed to tone your uterus and make it able to do its job better when the time comes.¹ Cheers!
Start eating 5-7 dates a day after 36-weeks. Dates, also known as, Phoenixdactylifera, are high in fiber, fat, and sugar. Numerous, albeit, small-sized studies have shown an increase in women who experience more cervical dilation, and less need for oxytocin stimulation (medication given to induce contractions).² According to Iranian folklore, dates are magical for pregnancy women during childbirth. Why mess with magical folklore? Unless you have gestational diabetes, this amount of dates should not drastically spike your sugar level, but you may have more regular bowel movements! Try hiding them in a smoothie like these!
Evening Primrose Oil
Consider evening primrose oil capsules orally and vaginally starting at 38 weeks. Primrose oil supposedly contains prostaglandins, which can cause the cervix to soften. Take these at your own risk, as this may cause less desired effects like a longer labor or contractions not starting after your water breaks.³ Research is limited, however, many women claim this is “what did it”!
Now to turn it up a notch! Nipple stimulation at 40 weeks. This has long been known to show positive effects on the uterus and to cause contractions. Be aware, this should only be done if you are full term and if you’ve consulted your medical provider. Slow, steady rolling of the entire nipple and breast tissue or using a breast pump for an extended duration of time may cause uterine cramping. It is best if you are the presence of your medical provider who could monitor you since this is highly effective.
SEX! Yes, SEX and lots of it! Male ejaculate contains prostaglandins and is also very effective at softening the cervix. Three acts of sexual intercourse every day near or after 40 weeks were the most effective at getting the job done (pun intended). If he is able to ejaculate three times a day, the number of prostaglandins was shown to be similar to cervical ripening medications.
Open Body Mechanics
This goes without saying, but walking, squatting and sitting wide on a birthing ball often when pregnant is good for you and your body. Try to stay physically active throughout pregnancy to stay limber and to keep your level of endurance high. Stay positive, deep breathe and write down a few positive birth affirmations around the house, the mirror and the fridge. You got this! Have more ideas? Pineapple? Tell me your labor inducing strategies below!
LASTLY… secret Midwives Brew! Very popular in Germany, this concoction has an 85% chance at throwing you into labor. This can be rough on the GI system and give you some intense diarrhea or vomiting. You might become dehydrated and because of this please contact your medical provider before trying this! This is only recommended if you are full term and due to have your baby But it works for 85% of women within 24 hours!
Mix together in a blender after you steep your tea in hot water for 10 minutes:
- 10 oz of Apricot Juice
- 8 oz pure Lemon Verbena Tea
- 2 Tbsp Castor Oil
- 2 Tbsp Almond Butter
- Drink on an empty stomach
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¹Dante, G., Pedrielli, G., Annessi, E., & Facchinetti, F. (2013). Herb remedies during pregnancy: A systematic review of controlled clinical trials. J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med, 26(3), 306-312.
²Razali, N., et al. (2017). “Date fruit consumption at term: Effect on length of gestation, labour and delivery.” J Obstet Gynaecol: 1-6.
³Ty-Torredes, K. A. (2006). “The effect of oral evening primrose oil on bishop score and cervical length among term gravidas.” American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 195(6), S30.
The contents of this website are for informational purposes only and are not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you have regarding a medical condition, and before undertaking any diet, dietary supplement, exercise, or another health program. We may receive compensation through the issuer’s affiliate programs when you click on links to products.