Holistic Tips for an Easier Labor & Delivery
If the end of your pregnancy is quickly approaching, you are probably wondering what you can do to get your body ready for labor. There are many questions that can arise as you get closer to your estimated due date. A common question is if there are natural ways to prepare for an easy labor and delivery. Here are some things you can add to your routine to help encourage a better labor experience. Remember you should always consult with your healthcare provider before making any lifestyle changes.
Get Acupuncture or Massage
Acupuncture stimulates the release of oxytocin in the body. Oxytocin is very important for labor because the body naturally produces this hormone in order to stimulate contractions. Prenatal massage is a great way to prepare for labor as well as it has many benefits, including a sense of wellness, improved relaxation, and better sleep. It is important to work with a massage therapist that you feel comfortable with, trust, and someone who is well-trained in giving a prenatal massage. We suggest our amazing Massage Therapist, Meredith Fisher!
Drink Raspberry Leaf Tea
Raspberry leaf tea is an excellent uterine tonic. It helps to tone uterine muscles in preparation for labor, as well as repairing uterine tissue after labor. A study done to examine the safety and efficacy of raspberry leaf products found that the raspberry leaf herb was safe for pregnant women to consume, and it even shortened labor with no identified side effects for them or their babies. The taste of the herb is pretty neutral, so mixing it with your other herbals teas is a great option as well!
Eat Nutrient Dense and Blood Nourishing Foods
It is incredibly important to load up on all of the nutrients you can before birth. This can include foods such as dark leafy greens, beets, berries, eggs, whole grains, and a lot of water! Research has shown that women who consume dates before their due date are more likely to go into spontaneous labor, have a shorter first stage of labor, and have a higher cervical dilation when arriving to their birthplace location.
Meditate or Practice Other De-Stressing Techniques
Meditating or other relaxing practices are a great way for you to get in the right mindset for labor. Some women can experience fear or anxiety surrounding their upcoming birth. Meditation can help calm your mind and ease you into a more relaxed birth. Another option is aromatherapy. Commonly used essential oils for comfort and relaxation in pregnancy are: lavender, rose, jasmine, and frankincense. Clary Sage is often mentioned in discussions about oils for labor but we advise caution with that one as it can cause adverse reactions in some moms.
Walk it out
Walking is a great way to prepare for labor, because it is a low-impact workout that increases circulation, keeps you flexible, and naturally helps your baby to descend into the pelvis. If you are near or approaching your due date, walking might be the answer to helping move labor along naturally. Make sure you are clear to walk by your care physician first, as there may be certain times that this isn’t safe for you or your baby.
We hope these natural actions will help you prepare your body for the big day. Everyone’s births and bodies are different. What works for some won’t always work for others, and in the end your body will be ready for labor when it’s the right time. In the meantime, let your body do the work it is intended to do, get plenty of rest, and enjoy the process!