The number one best thing you can do for a faster, easier and more natural birth is to prepare yourself in pregnancy by building trust within yourself and your body. These are the tools taught in HypnoBirthing, the program developed and trademarked by Marie Mongan in 1989.
Along with those tools, learning to trust your intuition and feel how your body speaks to you will results in your most comfortable – and productive – birth. Your body is always communicating with you. It’s just that most of us never learned to listen to the signals.
Here are a few more of our favorite ways to prep for labor:
Red Raspberry Tea: helps to tone and strengthen uterus; it is high in vitamins C, E, A, B, Mg, K, Calcium and supports contraction and relaxation of the uterine muscles. It is generally recommended to begin after the first trimester and has been associated with lower rates of preterm and post-term birth and lower rates of Cesarean birth.
Evening Primrose Oil: EPO has a prostaglandin-like effect on the cervix and has been shown to help soften and ripen the cervix for birth, especially when used vaginally. It can be taken orally or inserted vaginally to help prepare your cervix for labor. Recommended doses are generally 1000 mg vaginally or 1500 mg orally in divided doses. Talk to your provider to see how much they suggest for you.
Semen: Good ole sex is nature’s no-risk source of prostaglandin, and can be helpful for getting your body ready for birth (but only if your bag of water is intact.). If you are up for it, go for it. When you’re feeling oxytocin during sex, that magnifies the benefits and the likelihood of naturally inducing labor.
Red Dates: The delicious red date is known to stimulate Oxytocin, help soften the cervix, support cervical dilation, and decrease the need for Pitocin in labor. The suggested amount is 6 dates per day beginning 4 weeks before your guess date. One study showed a 50% reduction in the length of the first stage of labor eating 6 dates per day!
Unnecessary inductions are common in today’s medical culture. All of the above suggestions are healthy, comfortable and effective.