Labor occurs naturally, although there are some occasions where you may decide to help induce labor without the use of drugs.
There are exercises that help induce labor, such as walking, although you should never try to induce labor without your doctor’s permission or suggestion.
Pregnancy is traditionally a natural event and labor is the end result of that pregnancy.
Once you have reached full term you will go into labor and the actual birthing process will take place.
Unfortunately, there are some instances when labor needs to be induced.
If you are past your due date your baby will continue to grow, making natural child birth more difficult.
There are times when medical conditions require your doctor to induce labor with medical assistance, but you may also be able to use exercise to help induce labor.
What kinds of exercises help induce labor?
Since labor is natural to the body, think of labor inducing exercises that are natural. Bench pressing a barbell is NOT a natural movement of your body and should never be done by a pregnant woman about to go into labor.
However, there are several exercises that are very natural to the body and can benefit every phase of pregnancy.
Walking is one of the most natural forms of exercise you can do. It is a great way to stay fit during your pregnancy and can also help induce labor when the time is right. Stair climbing can also help encourage your baby to get in the right position to emerge into the world.
Squatting also helps get a baby into position, and is traditionally the natural way to give child birth. Squatting is especially helpful if the baby is not dropping, however it is critical only to use squatting if the baby is already head down to reduce the possibility of a breech birth (feet out first).
If exercises don’t help induce labor, what can?
If you are trying to induce labor naturally with exercise but not getting any results, your doctor may suggest inducing labor medically. There are a couple of different techniques that may be used.
Some techniques are used in conjunction with each other. You may be given a hormone such as Pitocin to start your contractions and then later your doctor may break your water bag. These methods may also be used independently of each other.
If your cervix is not dilating you may be given a suppository of Prostaglandin, which may also be used in conjunction with Pitocin. Another method that can be used to induce labor if the cervix if not dilating is a pill called Misprostal. This, too, may be used along with the Pitocin.
Another method that is used by some doctors is called the stripping of the membranes. This is done hands on, with the doctor performing an intense internal exam and rubbing his finger along the membrane, causing the amniotic sac to separate from the uterus.
What if you don’t do exercises to help induce labor?
Exercising during pregnancy is very beneficial, especially when it is done following your doctor’s guidelines. However, you do not have to do exercise to help induce labor. In most circumstances labor will occur naturally.
The biggest disadvantages to reaching the end of your pregnancy term and still not going into labor are the discomfort and the anxiety. Unless your doctor expresses concern for medical reasons, then you do not need to induce labor if you can bide your baby’s time.
However, in certain cases you may need to have labor induced. If your doctor suggests you increase your walking or stair climbing, then by all means perform these exercises to help induce labor.
In cases where you have a uterine infection, diabetes, or high blood pressure, your doctor may suggest inducing labor medically. Your doctor may also want to induce labor if the amniotic fluid level is low, the placenta is weak or endangered, or the baby shows signs of being in danger.
Some women choose to induce labor for convenience sake, such as wanting to be sure their doctor is the one that delivers the baby. However, there are possible complications with every type of medical induction so inducing labor should be a very serious conversation and given thorough consideration before agreeing to it.
Throughout your pregnancy try to do as many natural exercises as possible, including washing your floors on your hands and knees. Forget modern day convenience and think about how natural childbirth used to be. By maintaining proper exercise and nutrition throughout your pregnancy your labor may come quite naturally and on time.