So this post is continued from last week, though I never made it to post about it last week, I still want to express what was going on in my life and also to share that i'm glad this part is over. There's still part 3 to follow.
I am one who tries to avoid medical intervention whenever possible. Unfortunately and for whatever reason, my babies don't like to come on their own. I tend to need help which comes in the form of inductions. Matter of fact, 3 out of 5 pregnancies ended up needing to be induced for me.
I was hoping this time would be one of those times where labor would start on its own. I imagined myself laboring successfully at home until the pain was no longer bearable, or at least until the contractions were coming around 5 minutes apart and besides I hate the time spent hooked up to the monitors and the IV line. Didn't happen.
Another thing that adds to the stress of not spontaneously laboring is the pressure from family to go see a doctor because the baby's not coming on his own. I know that my family loves me and they are truly concerned about the well being of myself and my unborn baby, but something in me says, well what if you wait one or two more days and labor starts up on its own. Well i've proven to myself that i'm only psyching my own self out, but I want to give my body the benefit of a doubt.
So, there we have part two of why I was stressed out. I'd passed the 40 week mark on the 9th of March and my body was not cooperating. Doctors really don't want you to go past 42 weeks. Period. This puts your unborn child at a higher risk of complications due to a lack of amniotic fluid, stress on the baby which could cause the baby to have that first bowel movement in utero which can end up in the lungs causing pneumonia and an extended hospital stay among other possible problems.
What I should have done from the beginning, and what you can do:
Drink Raspberry Leaf Tea. I've not followed through with this at all like I should have, even knowing how things have been for me, but i've heard that the benefits are ideal for pregnant women. It helps to strengthen your uterus during pregnancy, thereby decreasing the chances of preterm labor, and also manages to help you go into labor so that you don't go over and may even help cut the time down that you would be in labor.
Another tip I found was Eating Pineapples. Pineapples contain bromelain which is said to help ripen and soften your cervix. One catch, though, is that you must eat it fresh, so that means no canned pineapples because the bromelain dissipates over time. This one was actually new to me. It may have possibly helped some. I don't know, but whether it did or not, I enjoyed those fresh, juicy, sweet pineapples my hubby started bringing home for me.
Another tip I recently learned, but didn't try was to Eat Dates Starting 4 Weeks Before Your Due Date. I'd actually read this one well before time for me to worry about it, and ended up not remember just which fruit it was. I ended up with dried figs, which to me were gross tasting, and I suppose those are still sitting in the fridge. In study results that I found, dates help to dilate the cervix and bring about spontaneous labor. The need for pitocin/oxytocin (artificial labor inducing hormones) was significantly reduced, AND the first stage of labor progressed faster.
Lastly there's Evening Primrose Oil. I believe this is the same supplement I read about not long ago that all women should be supplementing with anyway, but upon doing research, it looks like this is a good one to use to help induce labor. You can take it orally and there were even recommendations to insert it up near the cervix. It looks like this one should only be started as you near your due date, but the women who say that they used it seem quite persuaded that it works.
If you have other tips, please don't hesitate to share. Maybe someone like me will stumble up on this post and avoid an induction. Also, this information is not meant to replace the advice of your physician, so please be sure to consult your doctor to find out if these are options for you.