5 Ways to Speed Up Labour

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Is your labour taking longer than expected? Try these five ways to speed it up and get you that much closer to holding your baby in your arms.

 

WORDS RACHEL LIM

 

Is your bun in the oven still baking at 41 or even 42 weeks? Are you experiencing some contractions but they are just not developing into a regular pattern? Or have you lost some of your mucus plug but all other signs of labour are on standstill? These pre-labour symptoms can go on for days before labour actually occurs.

If you are in the early stages of pre-labour, you may be looking for ideas on how to strengthen or speed up labour. Also, if you have had a history of lengthy labour(s), you may want to read on for some ideas to make labour a little speedier this time round!

 

1.       Go for Walks

Walks are extremely safe and easy for anyone to try to bring on labour. Walking helps to move your baby into your pelvis and gravity puts pressure on your cervix which may help to soften and open it up.

If you are already having the infrequent contractions, walking is definitely a sure way to encourage them to continue.

 

2.       Yoga

Prenatal Yoga has these five poses to induce labour. Why not give them a try?

  • Malasana (Garland Pose)
  • Utkata Konasana (Goddess Pose)
  • Prasarita Padottanasana (Wide-legged forward bend)
  • Baddha Konasana (Cobblers Pose). Simultaneously press the pressure point between your ankle bone and heel.
  • Parivrtta Surya Yantrasana (Compass Pose). Try a milder modified version to open up your hips.

 

3.       Sex and Nipple Stimulation

Sex and nipple stimulation can speed up labour in a few ways:

  • Sex can help an expectant mum to relax and to have an orgasm, which can help to strengthen contractions.
  • Semen contains prostaglandins which can help to ripen the cervix.
  • Nipple stimulation triggers releasing of the labour hormone Oxytocin.

 

4.       Red Raspberry Leaf Tea

According to a study by Parsons, M. et al. published in the Australian College of Midwives Incorporated Journal, ingesting raspberry leaf may decrease the likelihood of going beyond your due date. In another clinical study by Simpson, M. et al. published in the Journal of Midwifery and Women’s Health, findings revealed that taking raspberry leaf from 32 weeks gestation until labour slightly shortened the second stage of labour and resulted in lower rate of forceps use.

 

5.       Use of Medication

According to Dr Shakina Rauff, consultant, National University Hospital Women’s Centre, National University Hospital, the use of medication like low-dose prostaglandins (vaginal pessaries) is generally safe. Dr Rauff adds, “Breaking the water or amniotomy (“surgical” induction) is another method which is effective but with this method, the labour should not be too prolonged as there is a risk of infection when the membranes have been broken for an extended period of time (>24 hours).”

Labour is often a snapshot reflection of what motherhood will be like. For lengthy labours, it might just be nature’s way of teaching you patience, which you’ll need when baby arrives!

Thanks for sharing!