You're Almost There
You've entered the third trimester, and are anxiously awaiting the arrival of your precious little one. You often find yourself going in the baby's room and dreaming about what it will be like when your baby arrives. However, something has to happen first. Your baby has to be born, and the preferred method is a natural (or semi-natural) vaginal delivery. The thought of labor and delivery can be scary, but there are steps that can be taken to make labor go more smoothly, and sometimes more quickly. One of those things that can help ease labor is having a nice soft or ripened cervix, and fortunately there are a few ways to help facilitate that naturally.
You Probably Already Know This First One
SEX! That's right, the very thing that caused your pregnancy, can help you get ready for the end of your pregnancy! Semen contains something called prostaglandins that help to ripen your cervix. This aids in dilation and effacement. So pregnancy is not the time to be shy or embarrassed. Embrace your temporarily more voluptuous body, and make some love.
Evening Primrose Oil
Evening Primrose Oil or EPO has been used by midwives for a long time as a means to help soften the cervix. It can either be taken orally in Pill form, or the capsules can be opened up, and the oil applied directly to the cervix. A typical dose of EPO taken orally is 2,500mg a day starting around 38 weeks. Taken orally the EPO helps soften other tissues and can also prevent tearing.
Walking may not get your labor started, but it can aid in dilation and effacement by moving the baby lower into the birth canal and putting pressure on the cervix. Plus the exercise can help you feel a little more energized towards the seemly slow tiring end days of pregnancy.
Fresh pineapple only! Not canned, and not pineapple juice. Fresh pineapple can aid in the softening of your cervix in a way similar to sex. Fresh pineapple contains a compound similar to prostaglandins that can help ripen the cervix. It is a tasty way to help prepare your body for labor! So go ahead! Treat yourself and eat as much as you want!
One Last Thing
I can't guarantee that any of these things are going to help speed up your labor, prevent your from being induced, or stop an unwanted C-section from happening, and you shouldn't take any herbs or supplements while pregnant without first consulting your midwife or physician. That being said, I did all of these things with both of my pregnancies, and had a 5 hour labor and a 3 hour labor respectively. Was I just lucky? Maybe, but these things can't hurt to try!
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jusbeth16 on August 14, 2012:
Very interesting hub