February 27, 2009

Tips for Getting Labor Started

No niece-sighting as yet. Anna's due date was the 24th, and here we are on the 27th. I am TOTALLY AWARE (I had an OB who was BIG on this concept) that the baby is "on time" up to TWO FULL WEEKS after the due date. But in that case, they shouldn't call it the "due date." Library books are not "on time up to two full weeks after the due date." Bill payments are not "on time up to two full weeks after the due date."

So anyway. Let's make a list of all the ideas we know for getting Baby to make her long-awaited appearance. Remembering, of course, that my PARENTS (Anna's IN-LAWS) read this blog, and so perhaps we want to ixnay the exysay ones. And besides, I seem to remember people making those suggestions to ME when I was 9 months pregnant, and I seem to remember thinking they were Not Funny.

Okay, so here's my only tip. I had a friend who, when 9 months pregnant with her first child, went out and ate a huge steak dinner. She said she ate so much steak she felt like barfing. She went into labor that night. So when she was 9 months pregnant with her second child and getting impatient, she deliberately went out and ate a huge steak---and she went into labor the next day.

65 comments:

Beth Fish said...

Spicy Indian food worked for me. Well, that and hours on the treadmill.

Hillary said...

The internal exams at the OB seemed to help things along for The Boy's arrival.

Kim said...

We were discussing this with my inlaws the other day and my husband (voracious non-fiction reader that he is) chimed in and told everyone Indians used to grind the rattle of a rattlesnake into a fine powder, mix it with water and have the pregnant woman drink it to induce labor.

Since I'm guessing your sister-in-law probably won't be too tempted by THAT remedy, I have one more. My best friend was four days past her due date, bloated and miserable in the hot Florida summer. She asked around and heard eating macaroni and cheese with bbq sauce had helped someone so she tried that. My goddaugther was born the next day. I'm not saying it works; I'm just report the facts.

Sally said...

I had a beer to celebrate my birthday and went into labor a few hours later.

Chez Bacon said...

Only thing that ever worked for me was an IV of pitocin. But my midwife suggested evening primrose oil, and I think it helped.

Jill said...

Oooh I will be reading these intently, as I'm due a week from tomorrow.
I think walking is the obvious one, although maybe not to my husband. I mentioned to him that I was going to the gym to walk on the treadmill and he got kind of thoughtful and said "I think I read that walking can bring on labor, so maybe you shouldn't go today." I just stared at him like "uh, why do you think I've been walking lately??" To which he got a panicked look and screeched "I thought you just wanted some exercise!" So there's always that. Heh.

Smiling Mama said...

Oh this is great--I have a friend in the exact same position as your Sister in Law and will pass along all these tips!!

Kristin H said...

I spent an entire day mulching the yard and went into labor the next morning. So with my second when I was close to my due date, I spent a day doing all the physical exercise I could: mowing, playing basketball, walking around the neighborhood. Baby #2 came the next day!

Bitts said...

My DD was 10 days late so with DS (5 months old) I was determined to avoid induction, so on his due date I walked the neighborhood for 2 hours and slapped on the breast pump for a hour. I nursed my dd so it didn't hurt too much, but it was uncomfortable. It also WORKED. I was in active labor 2 hours later. I told the nurses what I did when I got to the hospital and they were horrified! They said, "We don't reccomend that!" I said, "Why not?!?" "Because it WORKS!" they replied!!

heather said...

Okay, you said ixnay on the exsay, but I just have to say it definitely worked for us.
I went out and bought castor oil, but chickened out on drinking it. So that night instead, I took a loooong hot bath, after the bath had my husband give me a nice belly massage with some good smelling massage oil, and then we *ahem*ed (and I layed there still for a long time after... that's the key- the "stuff" has to stay there and soften the cervix or whatever it does). I woke up two hours later and my water broke.

Second time around I did get desperate and tried the castor oil. DON'T DO IT! That resulted in the most miserable day of my life.
Ended up trying the exsay again (a double dose) and I went into labor the next night.

Ms. Flusterate said...

The steak dinner -- how ironic! I was TEN days overdue with my first (my doctor had the same 2 week belief), had a huge steak dinner and went into labor that night! Wow! Maybe there is something to that. I hadn't thought about it (being 18 years ago and all that) but that is an interesting coincidence. And I couldn't try the exsay stuff...my husband was gone for Desert Storm....!

Nowheymama said...

My massage therapist friend recommends a massage with castor oil--NOT drinking it. Apparently it helps stimulate blood flow when rubbed into the belly and lower back, thus helping to loosen the muscles holding the baby in. At the very least, the massage feels good.

Kristi said...

My Grandma SWORE by the castor oil method (she had to get my aunt out while Grandpa was still on leave from WWII) so I sucked it up & tried it with my third kid. Mixed a little in with OJ... was in labor within ummm, 12-14 hours? She was the only child who was not medically forced from my womb.

Am totally starting two weeks BEFORE my due date with #4! :)

You can get castor oil from Walmart! Or wherever!

Kristine said...

I tried walking and exsay with mine and nothing worked (, so I'm hoping to learn a few things for #2.

d e v a n said...

I had been having false labor with #3 for DAYS and finally gave in to the castor oil suggestion. I mixed it with juice and drank it down about noon. It didn't do much and I took some more around 4-ish. I went into labor around 7-8? and had the baby by 2AM. It worked, but it wasn't all that pleasant. I had a time situation or I probably would have just waited.

Eva said...

As a twin mom, my big issues was keeping them IN. But from friends... one ate really spicy food and then was in labor in a couple of hours. My sister was late and so went to the mall and walked and walked, and in labor within a couple of hours. Of course, they were both due around then, so it could have been coincidence!

Marie Green said...

(Inlaws look away!)

Nipple stimulation (not necessarily s-e-x) will cause uterine contractions. Just like breastfeeding AFTER the birth causes the uterus to contract and return to pre-pregnant size, nipple stimulation BEFORE labor causes the uterus to contract... and if the body/baby is otherwise ready.... *could* lead to labor.

Also, sometimes wearing those nipple shields in your bra will provide enough stimulation....

LoriD said...

With my second I had terrible hayfever - sneezing and blowing my nose all the time. After one particular sneeze, my water broke and he was born about an hour later. I'm not suggesting your SIL get sick, but perhaps a whiff of pepper might not be a bad thing.

Marie Green said...

I have also heard good things about evening primrose oil.

Jules said...

With both of my kids, it was pizza at the Costco food court that did the trick. Yay Costco!

T with Honey said...

Princess emerged less than 24 hrs after I downed a handful of dark chocolate melt-away truffles.

DCMomma said...

Walking and chinese food helped me. Wishing her all the best. I think the steak dinner sounds great!

desperate housewife said...

If she has a big exercise/birth ball, bounce away! Both my friend and I put in a movie, bounced and rocked back and forth on the ball the entire time, and we were both in labor within hours. If your body is pretty much ready anyways, it will really get your hips loose, move the baby down, and help you start to dilate. Supposedly. But I think it DOES work.

Anonymous said...

I second the nipple stimulation and walking tactic. Let the handheld shower (or hubby, if he's interested) work some magic until you get feeling crampy, and then walk walk walk. And drink lots of water. Good luck!

ikate said...

I tried everything mentioned (except for the rattlesnake dust) and not one damn thing happened. 10 days late, I finally got my membranes stripped...still nothing. 3 more days,membranes stripped AGAIN because it's so much fun and nothing. 15 days late and I relented and have my water broken by my midwife. Boom - healthy baby born 4 hours later...no other intervention needed (no pitocen, etc).

Lauren said...

I walked about 20 miles over the two weeks before my daughter was born (1-2 per day, not all at once).

With my son I had a terrible cold and I coughed so hard my water broke 9 days before my due date. I don't recommend this method since labor is hard enough even when you CAN breathe.

Jess said...

I don't know. I'm very sorry about that. But I did want to point out that our rent due date is "on time up to four days after the due date." That's true of this apartment and our old apartment in DC.

Rachael S. said...

I only have one child, but after his birth four years ago, I am of the opinion that NOTHING can make a baby come out before it wants to. My water broke with a sploosh two days before my due date, but did not really go into labor for another six days. I was planning a home delivery, and was under strict monitoring for the slightest sign for infection or fetal distress, of which there was absolutely none. For the six days between water breaking and real productive labor starting, I tried every trick you have ever heard of, including:

Blue cohosh
Black cohosh
Cottonroot bark
Walking up big hills for hours
Spicy food
Nipple stim/breast pumping
The Big O (so very unsexy at that point)
Belly dancing
Three acupuncture treatments
Continuous acupressure
Bouncing on exercise ball
Hanging laundry out on a line
Scrubbing the floor on hands and knees
FREEZING cold showers (as in, no hot water at all, in Feb.)
Castor oil (6 oz. in 3 hours)

Finally after six days of this craziness, I went into labor after an evening of basically combining all these things into a 4-hour period (that's a lot of drinking nasty stuff, puking, sitting on the toilet, being really cold, etc.). I don't recommend this method, but was fed up at that point. I'm also not sure anything I did actually helped, or if it was just time (I was five days overdue by the time the baby was born). BUT, the baby eventually came out, healthy as can be, and I recuperated just fine.

So, um, maybe just stick to the FUN labor inducers (massage, weird/fun foods/gentle walking). Because PUKING your way into labor is no fun.

Miss Grace said...

Four days after my due date I woke up in the morning and thought, "Today I'm having this damn baby."

I went on a 3 1/2 mile walk.

I had Gabriel in my arms that evening.

Maggie said...

I will probably be the least popular commenter, because as a Labor & Delivery nurse I can tell you what will and will not cause one to be in labor. Sex will (sorry parents and in-laws!). Walking WILL NOT. If you walk, you will contract, and you will HURT. However, if you are not in labor before you start walking, then once you get to the hospital you will lay down in bed, your contractions will space out, and you will go home. Unfortunately, you can't really fake labor - you're in it or you aren't. Castor Oil is also a no. Nipple stimulation is a yes.

I'll keep my fingers crossed that your niece decides that she is ready to come out and play soon -- good luck to your sister in law!

-R- said...

Getting a pedicure! I got one on my due date, and the massage person said she wouldn't go all out on me since I was pregnant. I told her not to worry about it because it was my due date. The next morning, my water broke. Could be a coincidence, but if you don't go into labor, you still have the pedicure!

Jen said...

Raspberry Tea!

js said...

My friend and SIL ate chili and went into labor shortly after (worked for SIL twice)!

StephLove said...

The last thing I ate before I went into labor with my son was coconut sorbet. The last thing I ate before I went into labor with my daughter was yogurt with some dried coconut mixed in. I don't eat coconut much so it seemed like a strange coincidence.

I've never heard this worked for anyone before and I wasn't actually trying to induce labor as both of mine came early, but I just thought I'd throw in my 2 cents.

samantha jo campen said...

Well I went into labor weeks early and I have no idea why so my PERSONAL experience doesn't count. HOWEVER. My week overdue friend was complaining about peeing all the time and then not feeling 'done' so I suggested leaning forward while going to the bathroom and lifting up her belly at the same time. Her water broke at that EXACT moment she did that.

Voila!

SIL Anna said...

I laughed out loud at the whiff of pepper and the rattlesnake rattle powder. Hee hee. Thanks for the tips!

Saly said...

With Bud- I ate a buffalo chicken salad, extra hot the night before. Of course, I was in back abor the next day and didn't even know it until my regualr OB visit--and I still needed pitocin to move it along. With Lucy, I had my midwife strip my membranes, and almost delivered her on the way to the hospital that very night. I was induced with #3 because we were nervous about her size.

So I guess I have no conclusive advice to give.

Linda said...

I would suggest NOT BEING READY. If you've forgotten some major purchase or have some family drama or anything at all that would make giving birth inconvenient, THAT is the time the baby will come.

annenahm said...

This might be a little gross for the in-laws, but I have to mention the nipple stimulation. I think the trick is that you have to have a pretty good idea of what a baby nursing on nipples is like - just poking at them or trying to give them pink belly or whatnot didn't seem to work.

However, if you've got a good idea of what it looks like when a farmer milks a cow, I think you have a better chance of getting labor started that way.

Not confessing anything erm... personal, but I have heard of people who could start and stop labor in its early phases doing this.

Good luck!

Kate said...

I have to echo all the advice for walking. It was cold the week my son was due so I spent a LOT of time doing laps of Target. I don't even know if it helped but at least it kept my mind off my impatience. Sort of.

CAQuincy said...

I shampooed my rugs while due with #2--and went into labor that night. With #3 I TRIED that--TWICE! It didn't work. *sigh*

LauraLouann said...

My boys were 2 weeks and 4 weeks early. I would suggest having some procedure scheduled. My boys didn't want anybody messing around with them! With my 2 week early son, I was scheduled for induction. I went into labor that day and almost didn't make it to the hospital in time! The 4 week early one was breech so we scheduled an inversion for the next week. I went into labor with him and had a C-section! Both my boys came out healthy and kicking and screaming!

Congratulations and best wishes!

Joanne said...

Does anything work, really, except a baby that is ready to be born? My kids have never been late, and I really believe I would lose my mind if they were. I agree with you COMPLETELY about the DUE date. But I will say that I do walk a lot and my kids always come a little bit early so there's that. I hope it's soon, how exciting!

SalGal said...

I got nothin'. My OB got nervous and induced #1 two days before my due date (I had an irregular heartbeat). I started leaking amniotic fluid with #2 close to his due date. *I* was ready (even though he wasn't b/c I never went into labor on my own) and went to the hospital to be induced again. Best wishes, SIL Anna!

Well Read Hostess said...

Indian food
leg massage
start a huge painting project - preferably one that involves a ladder and some precarious balancing of paint cans.

qwanty said...

My babies don't come out until they're damn good and ready. Even when faced with labor induction, they will hunker down behind a pelvic bone and not budge. With the first two I tried an assortment of food/pressure points/walking/"walking" in a more horizontal fashion/etc. in an effort to get my "late" babies out. Finally with number three I did this: when I went to bed the night before my due date, I put my hands on my stomach and said to my uterus, in my sternest voice, "Do not disappoint me, Uterus. We are going to wake up in labor." I guess baby and Ute agreed that the pod period was over, because 17 hours later I had my baby in my arms.

Kate @ Life As I Live It said...

A pedicure and foot massage.

Anonymous said...

Both times -- don't shower, and clean like mad so you're a mess and go to bed exhausted. Without fail, I wake up in labor and feel the need to take a shower...which for some reason speeds my labor up (the hot water perhaps?? I don't know). Also, spicy food. Tabasco cheeze its (lol) worked..

I don't suggest eating pineapple. I bought a whole one and ate so much in the days before my "due date" with my first I still can't bear the sight of the stuff.

Jen in MI said...

Of course, the risk with any of the exysay ideas is that SOME PEOPLE might, if it doesn't work, say things to their hubby like "what a waste of time that was"....ahem....just saying...

caleyadams said...

Climbing stairs over and over and OVER again, combined with bouncing on a big exercise ball worked for me with my second.

I tried lots and lots of walking around the mall, but all that did was cause me to eat a lot of Auntie Anne's pretzels.

The Heaviland Family said...

I had heard that eating pineapple can start labor so on the evening of my due date, I ate 1/2 a container of Costco-sized pineapple. I was in labor 8 hours later. I'll try it again with baby #2 for sure!

Rebecca said...

Spicy food, a long walk and ex-say, all on the same day, worked for me.

ccr in MA said...

No personal experience, but a friend was due near the end of March. At her doctor's appointment one morning, the Dr told her that if she didn't go into labor before, he'd induce her on April first. She is superstitious, and was so upset at the idea of an April Fool's baby that she went into labor before lunch was over.

Anonymous said...

I have had a few friends that have had success with acupuncture. I myself went into labor 10 days early after spending hours the night before at my computer trying to finish a paper while sitting (bouncing, swaying, etc.)on my birth ball. Also, some midwives swear by being mentally ready to let go. If there is an item that you have been meaning to purchase for the baby, but haven't gotten around to it, get it, etc. Anything that may have you subconsciously "keeping the baby in". That paper I was finishing the night before my labor started I had been meaning to finish my entire last trimester. I finished it that night and woke up in labor the next morning. Could be definitely be a coincidence, but also a little more painless than say castor oil:)!

Jenni said...

two ounces of castor oil. if the baby is really ready to come, if she gets her bowels moving, she should start having contractions.

Bethtastic said...

I went on a car trip. After about an hour of riding I got home and promptly realized I was in labor. Baby was born shortly.

Maybe a car ride will help...

Holly said...

In the mortgage service business, we call the ten days after the due date the "grace period" - Little One is just using up her grace period!

Also walking, walking, walking around the county fair in freezing temperatures worked for me.

Good luck!

Hotch Potchery said...

4 days after my due date with the baby boy we went out to the car and we had a FLAT tire. He was born that day. So get a flat tire?

Lippy said...

Ummm, the both mine were 2 weeks early (yay) and the exysay worked with the first, and I think would have with the second ( alot of strong irregular contractions) but I had a non-stress test that day and they induced. But she was born 5 hours after they gave me pitocin, so I think I would have started on my own soon. Good luck! ( My new niece was born Thursday Yippee)

Felicia said...

Sorry, I don't have time to see if anyone else has posted this yet...

http://www.gentlebirth.org/archives/natinduc.html

melanie said...

maybe some people are against this but my dr. stripped my membranes and less than 48hours later, i had my babies. even the second time, he said he couldn't do it very well, it still worked. and that was 2 weeks before my due date (which must have been wrong because the baby was 9'5"). i highly recommend the stripping.

C C Donna said...

I was induced with baby #1 when I was 10 days late. When I was 10 days late for baby #2, my grandmother told me that she used castor oil to induce my mother to arrive (in 1929) and it worked. I took a double dose, sat on the pot off and on for several hours and went into labor a few hours after that. She was born 8 hours after I took the castor oil!

Rocket Scientist Jenn said...

I got a massage two days before short stuff made her arrival. She dropped mid-massage and nothing was ever the same again.

I ended up being induced, primarily because the doc wanted to deliver me while she was on call. But the massage definately got things going in the right direction!

Anonymous said...

OMG--First let me introduce myself as a friend of Stimey. NOW get this, I was due on Feb 24 (1979) and born March first in the eleven o'clock hour. So fun to read about your niece.

L

Anonymous said...

I have a history of going into labor early. with my last child, I was miserable... Doctors swore I had a while to go but the baby did not want to wait. I had irregular contractions from 30 to 34 weeks, with the assurance that she was not going to come we took a trip to the shopping mall. on the way home going over a rail road track my water broke she was born 4 hours later. With this baby I will be listening to my body not the doctor to prepare myself. Walking helped but they come when they are ready.