What is Natural labor induction ?
Induced labor is a procedure or method where pregnancy labor is stimulated. The method can either be with the assistance of medical procedure or natural labor induction process so that the baby is delivered safely. Although induced labor is one of the fears by many moms before, today, labor induction is somehow approved by experts only when doing it naturally and with proper supervision.
Elective labor induction is on the rise today so that it gives mothers and even the health care professionals the option to help accommodate in their busy schedules. However, it is still important to have induction of labor when the baby is at risk if he/she stays longer in the mother’s womb. This is the number one criterion given by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
What are the basic indications of labor induction?
- Postterm. This is when the mother’s pregnancy is more than 42 weeks and the baby is not yet delivered. Although postterm does not pose harmful effects on the mother, it poses great threat to the child. There are a lot of risks and complications along with it which includes meconium aspiration or the baby will eat his or her own feces or waste, reduction of the placental perfusion. The placenta then has limited blood flow which will limit the nourishment for the baby.
- Pre-eclampsia. This is a maternal risk for the pregnant mother. Pre-eclampsia means that the mother has hypertension during pregnancy. If this happens, the mother and the baby are greatly affected and this can warrant pre-mature delivery. This condition is common in women who have gestational diabetes, hypertension even before pregnancy and others.
- PROM or premature rupture of membranes. In this condition, wherein the amniotic sac ruptures before the onset of labor. If this happens and the baby is not delivered after 18 hours, it can lead to infection, defects on the amniotic sac as well as the uterus, and the cervix and other organs.
- Fetal death. It is important to expel the baby or induce labor when the fetus is dead inside the mother’s womb.
- Pregnancy with twins and the AOG or age of gestation is more than 38 weeks.
When is the right time to induce labor?
Experts say that it is best to induce labor at the end of 42 weeks and not less than 39 weeks. Between these weeks, the mother is considered full term. Between these weeks, the baby is viable to live outside the mother’s womb and there are fewer complications because the essential organs are fully developed. When induction of labor is done below 39 weeks, the baby is at risk and this can cause fatality. This is due to the fact that the lungs are not yet fully developed along with the baby’s immune system. The infant may also come out jaundice or yellowish colored skin because the liver is under developed and so is the brain.
It is important to have scans or ultrasound during the 12th week of pregnancy because it determines the estimated due date for delivery. Once the labor is induced, the delivery of the baby is then determined through “Bishop Score”. The scoring is done to help assess the progress of the dilation of cervix. The point system in the Bishop score helps determine if the mother is at risk for cesarean section. This means that amongst the 5 factors, each one is scored from 0-3 and when all the scores are added and the result is 5 or higher, the mother is at greater risk for CS or cesarean section.
What are the essential things you should remember in natural labor induction?
Labor induction done naturally is not always suggested because of the risks. But it can be of help so that you will deliver the baby during its full term. It is very important to talk to your OB-GYNE about the methods and the risks of natural labor induction. More so, you also need to research and understand how to induce labor naturally and decrease the risks of complications.
Methods in Inducing Labor Naturally
A study was done where 70% of the 56 women who were pregnant between 39 to 41 weeks who had acupuncture had labor without a need for medical intervention. This is a surprising number. Acupressure has pressure points which will help induce labor naturally and these are the areas in the shoulder, between the thumb and the forefinger, and even in the heels.
Sexual intercourse can help induce labor naturally. This is because the cervix opens up or “ripens”. This means that the cervix softens and then opens to make way for delivery. According to beliefs, the prostaglandin in semen may have an effect on the “ripening” of the cervix. Additionally, organism can produce oxytocin. This will contract the uterus which can be an aid for labor.
This can be taken by mouth ideally between 35 to 38 weeks. The castor oil helps release prostaglandins which helps the cervix prepare for labor. Ideally you can use this at night and even at day, you should wear panty liners when you go out.
Walking and swimming
You can do either long or short walks. Walking is a very good exercise for pregnant women. It helps expand their hips and paces them during labor. Additionally it can also help them gain endurance and not tire out easily during labor. Swimming on the other hand helps you relax and at the same time you are exercising while in the water.
There is yoga poses intended for pregnant women. Like walking around, yoga also increases your stamina and will help you avoid pregnancy problems and diseases. Yoga’s main aim is to find balance in your body and help absorb all the positive energies as well as meditate well.
Pineapple and herb
There are studies that say certain chemicals which are good in the body can help in induce labor. Adding herbs like basil, and oregano in their dish can help also contract the cervix and lead to labor.