Being pregnant is beautiful. But pregnancy makes people tired and they want to get over with it. Sometimes Mother Nature refuses to deliver the baby and the body shows no indications of prompting labour, it is then that decisions are made to start the process in a natural way. Self-induced labour is common amongst many women. Some traditional midwives expect labour to begin when the woman’s feet and ankles become cold, indicating that the body heat is moving towards the womb. For centuries the Chinese used foot massages to induce labour, others used the galloping of horses to stimulate birth pains. Castor bean oil was used by the Egyptians to stimulate labour. Castor oil causes cramping in the intestines which cause uterine cramps. Even today many people today use castor oil to induce labour.
It was a known fact that traditional midwives knew the value of herbs and their benefits to pregnant women. We used herbs during pregnancy to tone the uterus and prepare for birth. I hope to share some of the idea that works for me and other traditionally midwives. Many midwives used herbal teas to stimulate contractions such as cotton root, motherwort, cumin, cinnamon bark, raspberry leaf, goldenseal, dried ginger and jaggery and black cohosh. Many midwives don’t want to use black cohosh because they notice meconium stained liquor often in their practice.
Whatever the situation, there are many ways to induce labour naturally from the use of herbs, oils, and physical activity such as walking, squatting, drinking herbal tinctures, foods and sex and much more. I am not a homeopath so everybody should research herbs but these herbs had been very helpful in causing labour when women were overdue.
Though sex is the last thing on a pregnant woman’s mind but intercourse had helped many women to induce labour. Why? Because it all about the chemicals that are released during the act. Sperm contains a hormone, prostaglandins. Once the prostaglandins are deposited on the cervix it helps to soften it up and prepare it for labour. Also, when a woman reaches an organism, her body released oxytocin which in return stimulates the uterus to begin contractions.
Some women found that eating certain foods can induce labour, spicy food, Italian food and Pineapple or other fruits. Basically there are three types of food than induce labour. Eating spicy food can stimulate the release of prostaglandin which we know ripens the cervix. Well it is well-known that eating spicy foods that contain capsasins (which is found in many peppers) may help to bring on labour, and it might to the contractions of the bowels that spicy food stimulates which be able to bring on labour pains.
Certain pizza such as the Prego pizza contains breaded eggplant topped with cheese and is served with marinara sauce and Italian herbs. Basil and oregano are known to induce labour. The reason is that these herbs cause the release of prostaglandin which again ripens the cervix and helps to contract the uterine muscle. There is no scientific evidence to proof that the Prego pizza herbs really induce labour, but many women did that and went into labour in 48 hours. I personally don’t know this but friends of mine trust this very much.
Fruits such as mango, kiwi, papaya and pineapples are known to cause labour. These fruits contain the enzyme bromelian, which breaks down proteins and aids in digestion and causes a bowel movement. The same muscles that cause the bowel movement is are the ones which are used to contract the uterus. Bromelian is primarily found in the stem of the pineapple but traces can also be found in the fruit and leaves. Don’t bother to buy canned pineapple because the bromelian is destroyed in the production process. So, it is better to use fresh pineapples. Please take note that too much pineapple causes diarrhoea in some people. It is best to take pineapples on an empty stomach then it works well.
Papapya is rich in Vitamin A and C, it helps with indigestion. Studies done by the British Journal of Nutrition shows that an unripe papaya contains high concentrations of latex. The concentration of latex keeps on reducing as the papaya gets riper. Once the papaya is totally ripe there is no trace of latex left. The papaya contains two major enzymes, papain and chymopapain. Papain acts like prostaglandin and increase uterine contractions. On my recommendation a patient of mine drank papaya juice and 12 hours later her son was born.
Kiwifruit are good for us. It is a jumpstart to labour. Also a Kiwi fruit contains high dietary fibre. Kiwi fruits are high in Vitamin C and potassium. They have more vitamin C that a similar size orange, more potassium than a banana and more fibre than a cup of bran flakes.