Top tips to induce labour
So the wait for the royal baby number two continues as the Duchess of Cambridge is now believed to be six days overdue. We spoke to our director and fertility expert here at HSFC, Dr Geetha Venkat, about some of the things Kate could do to ‘help things along’:
Eating healthy with lots of fresh fruits can be useful for inducing labour as they produce oxytocin, which is a natural hormone to bring on contractions. Fresh pineapples and dates are said to be two of the best but eating a rounded and nutritional diet will always help.
The ‘fun’ way
There is medical proof that having sexual intercourse with your partner can help to induce labour. There are hormones in male semen called prostaglandins, which can be transferred to the woman’s cervix. These prostaglandins can help to dilate and soften the cervix. This is a fun way to try and induce labour but it isn’t fool proof, and some women may find it too uncomfortable in the later stages of their pregnancy.
Staying fit and active
Going for walks and doing light exercise is not just good for your health but can also help to induce labour. Exercise and activity can stimulate the uterus to contract and help prepare it for giving birth. Anything that can lightly increase abdominal pressure and increase muscle contraction, possibly even blowing up balloons, could help.
‘Curry on contracting’
Eating a hot curry has been an age-old method that many women have sworn by when trying to induce labour. The spice can stimulate the bowel muscles and, in turn, make the uterus muscles contract. Although, please don’t force yourself to eat really spicy curries such as vindaloo, as this could upset your bowels and you feel more discomfort.
Herbal and fruit tea
Raspberry leaf tea is another great way to improve the chances of inducing labour. It is rich in vitamins, minerals and tannins – all which can help open up the cervix and speed up labour. This can also enrich breast milk and some women are given it to reduce inflammation after birth.
The usual period for gestation is 40/41 weeks, after which the baby becomes overdue. Doctors will normally wait until a baby is one week overdue before stepping in to help with inducing labour. After one week of the due date, placenta functions can start to go down, which can have implications for the unborn child and the mother.
We would love to hear your stories about inducing labour, so feel free to get in touch. In the meantime, everyone here is wishing Kate and William all the best and our money is on it being a boy!