At a glance
- To avoid an induction, there are some natural ways to try and kick start your contractions
- Semen contains the same chemicals hospitals use for inductions so give sex a go if you're feeling up for it!
- Eating curry or pineapple are yummy ways to try and get your contractions going
OK, if you are 40 weeks plus, are feeling huge, tired and uncomfortable, nooky might be the last thing on your mind – but it COULD help! Perhaps TMI, but semen is rich in prostaglandins, which are the chemicals that are used in hospital inductions to kick-start labour, so sex could ripen and soften your cervix and get things going. Could be worth a go if you're up for it!
When your nipples are stimulated, your body produces Oxytocin – the same hormone that causes contractions in labour. You'd probably have to do a whole lot of twiddling for it to be effective, but perhaps if done in conjunction with other methods, it could work!
Some mums swear by having a hot curry to start off labour – the belief being that having spicy food in your tum could stimulate your uterus. If you enjoy a curry generally, it could be a nice way of attempting to get things going – probably best avoided if you hate anything hot and spicy though.
Pineapple is not only yummy and healthy, but it also contains an enzyme called Bromelain that could bring on labour (in fact, other tropical fruits like kiwi, mango and papaya do, too). Pineapple is very rich in Bromelain though, so eating it could have a softening and ripening effect on the cervix. Bear in mind it could also give you a dose of the trots if you scoff too much though!
Massage, reflexology and acupuncture
Chat with your midwife if you want to go the complementary therapy route to bring on labour – some practitioners will offer treatments specifically for overdue mums, but it is obviously very important that you go to a fully qualified therapist, and that your treatment is 100 per cent suitable for a mum-to-be.