Are you looking for advice for how to induce labour naturally?
We’ve asked our wonderful resident Midwife Kath for her advice of what expectant Mums can do to bring on labour naturally.
Some natural methods to induce labour include:
- Herbal Teas – for example raspberry leaf tea. Please consult your medical professional before consuming any herbs.
- Try having the hottest, spiciest curry, followed by a brisk walk & some bedroom loving to help release all those hormones. The curry will help to clean your bowels with frequent motion which can stimulate the uterus to contract.
- Nipple stimulation. Circular rubbing or rolling of the nipples and areola for 1 hour, 3 – 4 times a day.
The following procedures are performed by a Doctor or a Midwife and this is the usual order that these procedures are done. You can have one or all these procedures during an induction of labour. It all depends on how your body responds.
Sweeping the Membranes
This is performed during a vaginal examination. The midwife or the Doctor inserts their finger into your cervix and uses a sweeping motion to separate the membrane from the cervix. The ‘sweep’ will stimulate the release of a hormone called prostaglandins. These hormones will help soften and open the cervix for delivery. This is normally done as an outpatient & can be enough to put some women into active labour. It can be uncomfortable during the vaginal examination and there may be a small amount of bloody discharge following.
This is a synthetic version of the hormone prostaglandin. It is inserted into your vagina into the posterior fornix of the cervix. The prostaglandin will soften the cervix and prepare the body for labour. It can be used in gel form and may require a second dose 6-8 hrs apart. It also comes in a pessary and tape (similar to a tampon) which slowly releases the hormone over 12-24 hours. You will need to be admitted to hospital for this procedure as you will need to lie down for a short period of time post insertion. The hospital will monitor your baby’s heart trace during this time.
Artificial Rupture of Membranes
Artificial rupture of Membranes is performed when your waters don’t break naturally. Your Doctor or Midwife inserts a small hook like plastic instrument through your vagina to make a hole in the membranes sac. The fluid in front of the babies head is drained & this allows the baby head to apply pressure on the cervix. This may be enough to start labour but many women also require the Syntocinon infusion.
This is a synthetic form of the hormone Oxytocinon. It is given via an intravenous infusion into your arm. The infusion dose is controlled by a pump. The aim is to increase the infusion rate until you are having regular contractions every two minutes until the baby is born.
A mother of two with a Bachelor of Nursing and certificates in both nursing and midwifery, Kath has been a Registered Nurse and Midwife for over 30 years in both public and private hospitals throughout NSW and Queensland. Experienced in antenatal classes, antenatal assessment, labour ward and postnatal care for families, Kath most recently spent 13 years at the Wesley Hospital in Brisbane as a nurse and clinical nurse. Kath describes her job as the most rewarding in the world as she meets and cares for precious and unique little humans. She feels privileged to be with families as they welcome new life and to assist them with caring for their new baby.