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Week Forty Two: probably induce labor

  
You are actually not technically considered overdue until you are two weeks late. In the meantime, your baby is settling further into the pelvis and getting in position for when labor finally begins. Continue doing all that you need to do to stay comfortable. Continue exercising, sleeping, and drinking lots of water. Try to relax until your contractions start.

If you have not yet given birth, your doctor may advise some tests to check on your baby's well being. He or she may also discuss inducing labour. In all likelihood if you have not delivered by now, your doctor will probably induce labor this week.

If your labour is induced, there are a number of ways this can be done:

  • Breaking your waters by puncturing the amniotic sac, which means your waters leak out.
    This can often stimulate contractions. This procedure is sometimes known as ARM, for Artificial Rupture of the Membranes, or amniotomy.

  • By giving you a pessary of hormone gel in your vagina, which delivers labour inducing hormones to the cervix.

  • By giving you a drip of oxytocin which puts the hormone directly into your bloodstream to stimulate labour.
Induced labour can sometimes mean your contractions come on quickly and intensively, and this may make it harder to cope with. So when deciding whether this option is for you, you may want to take this into account. You may end up needing more pain relief as a result. Before deciding on an induction you might want to try bring on labour yourself.

Natural ways to stimulate labour.
Speak to your midwife before trying these natural techniques for bringing on labour:

  • If your water has not broken, you may find that making love does the trick.
    Stimulation to orgasm can be one of the more pleasant means of 'induction'.

  • Nipple stimulation can intensify weak contractions and can avoid the need for I.V. oxytocin.
    Stimulating the nipples causes the release of additional oxytocin. Stimulation can be manually, by electric breast pump, or via a TENS (transcutaneous electronic nerve stimulation) unit, a physical therapy device that painlessly delivers a low electric current through pads applied to the skin. Nipple stimulation, has been known to bring on contractions in 30 minutes or less.

  • Try curb walking to help bring on labor.
    It may sounds funny, but some really believe it helps. Walk along a curb, one leg up on the curb and one in the gutter, then turn around and go the other way.

  • This is another really fun way to try and start labor.
    Go to a local park or playground and swing on those nice big swings. It may or may not work, but, it is good fun!
Remember
Speak to your doctor or midwife before trying these natural techniques for bringing on labour.

This is one that every pregnant woman can do.
A version of Murphy's Law - if you are not prepared it will happen.
  • Unpack your hospital bag.
  • Do not shave.
  • Let your partner go off with his friends, far away.
  • Go walk the mall because surely your water will break in a public place.
Keep in mind that it won't be much longer now.
Your baby will be born when it is ready.
Take this time to rest and prepare.

If at any time you are concerned about your baby's welfare, or feel that something may be wrong, no matter how vague the feeling is, call and talk to your care provider.

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