The most asked question by any pregnant women over 37 weeks? ‘What can I do to make myself go in to labour’?
Well, I’m afraid that only your baby knows when they are going to be born, and whilst there are lots of old wives tales, anecdotal tips and even a few with some evidence behind them (eating dates and induction methods such as a sweep), the ONE thing you can do is make sure your body is ready for labour as soon as your baby is!
The last part of your baby’s body to finish developing is it’s lungs. When this happens, your baby releases a protein that acts as a signal to your body that they’re read to be born. Sort of like a timer going DING IVE FINISHED!
Now, if your body is in an optimal state hormonally to go into labour, away you go! If you’re stressing about induction dates, making yourself go into labour, working, moving house, doing renovations (whatever!).. then your body will be full of Adrenalin and it send a message back saying ‘ok baby, I know you’re ready to be born.. BUT.. DANGER! There’s dinosaurs and fire and lions and scary clowns, now it NOT a safe time be born’. And you DONT go into labour as early as you may otherwise have done!
Which is why, my number one tip whenever someone asks me this question, is STOP TRYING TO MAKE IT HAPPEN! If all you’re thinking whilst you make your way through the reflexology and enforced sex and spicy curries and long walks, is ‘will THIS put me into labour? IVE GOT TO GO INTO LABOUR!’ then actually, you’re stressing yourself out. So my tip to you is from 37 weeks of pregnancy, imagine your building up to Christmas! (A Christmas where you’re not gift buying OR hosting lunch!).
Spend time with people you love that make you feel safe and happy.
Do fun things like go to the cinema, a walk round the park, out for Lunch!
Turn down the lights, take day time naps, watch 80s movies!
Be looked after, treat yourself, do ANYTHING that makes you happy!
get the oxytocin flowing, so the minute your baby is ready, HELLO LABOUR!
Ps. If you’re due any day now and there’s an inadvertent race going on.. what will come first? Baby or Christmas? Keep going! Your baby will be born as soon as they are ready (probably on Christmas night when you stop stressing about the race!)