What to do when you’re overdue? – 5 tips to get your baby out fast(er)!
When my due date came and went without any baby in sight, I started getting a little (read: a lot) impatient. I was sick and tired of sleeping upright because of the ridiculous 24/7 heartburn. I was done throwing up and fed up with looking like I swallowed a skippy ball. So, I went on a google search spree for any tips I could find to evict my baby from it’s all too comfortable home. I tried nearly every trick in the book but hardly anything worked. I’ve summed up some of the things that worked for me and some tricks I learned about after my babe was already born:
1. Have some dates. Apparently, if you eat 6 dates daily throughout your pregnancy your labor will be approximately 7 hours shorter!! The Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology says so. I know right, dates for breakfast, lunch and dinner! Hooray! I would have eaten paper bags if someone would have promised me that would lead me to a shorter or easier labor. But no need: dates will do the trick. They contain a compound that mimics the hormone oxytocin which causes contractions. To get a little more specific, here are some interesting conclusions that were drawn from the above-mentioned study: “The women who consumed dates had significantly higher cervical dilatation upon admission in the hospital compared to the non-date consumers (3.52 cm vs 2.02 cm, p < 0.0005). Spontaneous labour occurred in 96% of those who consumed dates, compared to 79% of the non-date consumers.”
2. Practice making babies. Yes really. You probably won’t be in the mood for it, but having sex has been scientifically proven to induce labor naturally: sperm contains “prostaglandins”, a hormone-like substance that is similar to the medication used to induce labor! This will stimulate the cervix possibly leading to contractions.
3. (Try to) sleep more. Whoever came up with this tip probably thought that prego’s were up all night running back and forth to the loo for the fun of it. But in any case, this is another scientifically proven effective labor-shortener so just in case, I thought I’d pop this one in here for you guys! Woman who sleep 7 hours a night or more during the last month of pregnancy labored for 11 hours shorter on average and had c-sections 4 times less frequently than women who slept less than 7 hours a night. *Stay tuned for another post about ways to optimize your sleeping comfort as a prego!*
4. Strengthen Your Legs. Doing squats to strengthen your legs might help you stay in upright positions and allow gravity to help move the baby along. According to this Australian study, being in an upright position during labor can shorten your labor by 1 hour! In order to stay vertical, you’re gonna need a strong pair of legs.
5. Take a load off. On my due date I was doing homework for my postgrad education with a colleague. Seemed like a great idea when I agreed to planning it, but in retrospect, probably not the best timing. At 5 days overdue, I was editing one of my sisters essays, and was still running around like crazy to organize and re-organize every shelf and drawer in our entire house. The day I decided to just chill is the day my contractions started. Coincidence? Maybe…
Hope these tips help you get that baby out fast! Curious to hear if anyone tried any of the above! Let me know at: email@example.com so I can make a note for my next pregnancy! Happy labor everyone!