Preparing for a Natural Birth & Avoiding Induction

In my weekly pregnancy updates you will have seen due to the fact that my pregnancy is high risk the hospital would like to induce me at term. I am very keen to avoid this! With Monkey I went 16 days over and in the end they could have broken my waters rather than hooking me up to a drip. Thankfully a well-aimed sweep and a four mile hike got things moving. This time round I’ve decided to be a little more prepared and have been trying other methods to try and ensure a natural birth.

Preparing for a Natural Birth

Before Birth:

  • Chiropractor Visits – I have kept up regular appointments with my local Chiropractor. Being four years older at 36 I was worried I would suffer with additional pregnancy related aches and pains but now at almost 36 weeks I am happy to say I have avoided anything to date and I am sure this is down to having regular check ups and adjustments. Especially with the amount of driving I have to do for work. You can find out more here.
  • Acupuncture – There are two forms, techniques for labour preparation and then techniques for natural labour induction. I have yet to start mine but I will begin with the first technique in weeks 37 and 38 and then depending on how its going move onto the natural labour induction at 39 and 40 weeks. The practitioner I am using has come recommend by my NCT coach and has a very good track record so fingers crossed.
  • Raspberry Leaf  – I did try the actual tea version of this last time round but didn’t really like it and often forgot! So it wasn’t very effective. However it is now possible to take it in capsule form with food. Advice varies on when you should start, however at my antennal classes it was suggested at 36 weeks. Raspberry leaf doesn’t actually bring on labour instead it is meant to help tone the muscles used during birth. Not necessarily speeding it up but ensuring that it progresses at a good pace. Last time round I had an adrenaline rush when gas and air made me throw up which meant I completely stopped contracting at 7cm. Which was a little disappointing to say the least and resulted in my transfer to hospital. Although I can’t have a home birth this time round, I would like to keep things progressing relatively quickly so figured this was worth ago.

 

  • Birthing Ball – Kipper is in the right position according to my last scan and I want to keep him there so I have been trying to sit on the birthing ball in the evenings, with a little bit of bouncing thrown in for good measure. Although it does make using a laptop interesting! My chiropractor suggested using an ironing board as a desk when I was doing this so that it’s the right height which was pure genius!
  • Perineal Massage – Its recommend to start this at 34 weeks but to be honest doing any is better than nothing. I am a big believer in perineal massage as until Monkey got stuck I had managed a ventouse with no tearing. I am sure this was because of the massage. It can be a bit of a taboo and I do know pregnant women that have refused to do it. I must admit when I first did my research 4 years ago I did think getting your partner to help was probably a step too far…after all that’s why I was pregnant in the first place! But its simple and takes around 5 minutes and the benefits of reducing the risk of an episiotomy and tearing far out weigh having to fit it into your schedule. I think one of the things that can put people off is finding the right product to use, when I went to the baby show this was on my buy list having failed to find anything I was comfortable using. It’s here I came across the Natural Birthing Company, which has been formed by midwives to help mothers before and during the birthing process offering antenatal classes and aromatherapy products. They sell an oil called Down Below which I have been using:

As midwives we recognise the benefits of perineal massage and have therefore developed this unique fragrane free blend of natural oils designed espically for this delicate area. Rosehip oil ad Evening Primrose oils have been carefully chosen to help support the skins natural elasticity, both are rich in Omega oils & fatty acids.

I have been very impressed with it to date and would highly recommend considering it.

IMG_0508

  • Walking – I am sure this is what got Monkey moving in the end, we went on a four mile hike and that evening I went into labour. I have tried to remain as active as possible during this pregnancy and to be honest having a pre-schooler who doesnt like to be in doors has definately helped. Although I now stryggle with a whole day looking around a National Trust property etc I can manage a good 4 or 5 hours. Doing this a couple of times a week has made a big difference. Once I am on maternity leave I intend to go for  short walk every day. Not only will it help Kipper stay in that optimum position it builds my strength for the delivery

The one I have missed out above is yoga this is simply because I can’t fit it into my schedule although I do have some pregnancy yoga DVDs which may well make an appearance once I am on maternity leave next week. The benefits of reduced stress, increased relaxation and muscle strengthening will all help you prepare for the birth of your baby.

During Birth :

  • Water – I spent the fist half my labour up to 7cm in a birthing pool and I am hoping to do this with Kipper as well. My orginal plan was to have this as my only form of pain releif, which would have happened if I hadn’t ended up being transferred into hospital. I was so relaxed I was falling asleep between contractions. However if you can’t manage a birthing pool even just a well aimed hot shower on the base of the lower back can help when labour first starts. I also know of women who have spent as much time as possible in the shower through out their labour.
  • Clary Sage – I didnt use this last time round but the lady in this hynobirthing video below did and it obviousy helped her. If you are looking for inspiration on what a natural birth looks like then check out the video below:

  • Hypnobirthing – Although Monkey’s birth was not like the one above in the end (although up to 7cm it was and this was what I was aiming for) we had a number of Hypnobirthing sessions first time round and a refresher this time. I am sure that it helped us make the difficult deicisons we needed to last time. Its a great aid for relaxation, fear release and empowerment during the birthing process. Even if you are having a planned c-section I would still recommend using the relaxation techniques to help you prepare.
  • Active Labour – Based on my last experience as soon as I became bed bound everything went to pot. With Kipper I have had long discussions with the consultant about remaining active on the ball and in the water or just walking around the delivery suite if I feel like it which means not being constantly hooked up to a machine unless its essential.
  • Arnica – Because of the drugs I am on this time round I need to check with my midwife around taking Arnica however the British Homeopathic Association suggests various medicines which can be used before and during labour. Last time round I took arnica as I went into labour and for 3 days afterwards,  if its safe for me to do so I will be doing the same this time round.

There are lots of other old wives tales that are also suppose to help, believe we we tried everything last time round…. and I mean everything! Pineapple, hot curry, sex, running up and down the stairs none of it actually worked for Monkey. He was always going to come when he was ready and not before. I am sure Kipper will be the same but there is nothing wrong with being prepared.

And just while we are on the subject of natural labour, stock up on lavender and tea tree oils for post birth. They were amazing in the bath and made all the difference.

Did you go over term with your baby? I would love to hear of ways you tried to get your baby moving in the comments below.

Linking up with #AnythingGoes and #Momsterslink

If you have enjoyed this post then this is a bit of a shameless plug, I have been nominated for the MADs under the pregnancy, craft and pre-school categories and would really appreciate it if you could spare a few minutes to also vote for me, by clicking on the badge below which takes you to nomination page. I honestly would be so grateful the awards close on 8th April. Thank you xx

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59 Comments

  1. anywaytostayathome
    April 4, 2016 / 8:24 am

    I would swear it was walking that kick started my labor too! We’d only paid for an hour on the car park, normally fine, not so much when you’re heavily pregnant oops! We went back after the birth so his last day trip in me was his first day trip out of me and paid longer for the car park that time!

  2. April 4, 2016 / 12:59 pm

    I wasn’t allowed to have acupuncture as I was high risk! I would do anything to avoid induction though, so close now epee!!!x

  3. April 6, 2016 / 5:39 am

    You really are pulling out all the stops and I hope his gets you the birth you want. Good luck and thanks for hosting #bloggerclubuk

  4. mackenzieglanville
    April 6, 2016 / 6:04 am

    I used many of these thing with my last 2 pregnancies, my daughter was born so easily and safely, it was what I describe as an almost out of body experience. Although with my last pregnancy my son was born by c-section at 35 almost 36 weeks due to both him and I being in terrible danger. But I still believe the hypo birthing helped me with this experience too. #bloggerclubUK

  5. April 6, 2016 / 6:32 am

    Hope Kipper arrives without needing any extra medical encouragement to do so – sounds like you’ve got a good plan in place. I used self-hypnosis with both my labours and found it helpful – the birth pool was amazing second time around (would have loved to use it both times but Jessica needed to be continuously monitored so it wasn’t an option). I saw a chiropractor regularly both times too – it’s something I would also recommend. I had SPD both times and I’m sure the only reason it stayed manageable was because of my chiropractor. Hope all goes well with Kipper’s arrival. #BloggerClubUK

  6. April 6, 2016 / 6:57 am

    So lovely reading this as I’m planning on a natural birth and we’ve started hypnobirthing classes for that reason, though I keep thinking what if I have a casaerian or induction. Fingers crossed it’ll come on naturally! #bloggerclubuk

  7. youthedaddy
    April 6, 2016 / 6:58 am

    What a well researched and thoroughly thought out post – have shared it with the pregnant wife! We’ll certainly be following your advice! #BloggerClubUK

  8. April 6, 2016 / 7:13 am

    Again, I’m really impressed with the amount of things you have researched, and are doing, in order to achieve your goals!! I really hope that you get the birth you would like!! I think I was far too laid back when I was pregnant, and my ‘anything goes’ approach was probably not doing me any favours! I walked as much as I could, and did some bouncing on the birth ball, but that was about it! I had wanted to go to a main hospital for the birth, but ended up in a very small 4 bedded birthing unit-gas and air and the pool were fine, and I surprised myself, as I’d been expecting to want to be transferred for something stronger! The midwives at the birthing centre were amazing, and had me swinging around in a rope through my contractions, gave me aromatherapy massage-all things I wouldn’t have considered, and I’m sure made things run a lot smoother!! Good luck, I really hope it goes to plan for you!!
    #bloggerclubuk

  9. April 6, 2016 / 7:43 am

    You are so prepared. I really hope you get to have the natural birth you want. I went 8 days over with my boy, I think it was bouncing on the birthing ball and scrubbing all the floors in the house on my hands and knees that finally got him moving. I had a water birth and I was amazed at how well the water works as pain relief. This post is full of great information for pregnant Mummas xx #BloggerClubUK

  10. Hot Pink Wellingtons
    April 6, 2016 / 7:51 am

    It sounds like you’re covering all the bases – that’s a pretty extensive list! I really hope it works for you and you get the birth you’re hoping for. I remember spending most of the day and evening on the birthing ball in the run up to my labour, it was about the only place I felt comfortable. I was really keen to use the birthing pool too, as I’d found a bath so effective at home, but sadly although the pool was available, I had a fast heart rate which meant a drip and then when they broke my waters there was meconium, so it wasn’t meant to be! It’s amazing what a great pain relief water is though. #bloggerclubuk

  11. April 6, 2016 / 8:09 am

    Unfortunately I can’t offer any words of wisdom as both of my boys were induced labours. I can understand why you would want o avoid them as it can take ages to get moving however both of my births were very quick too which isn’t really a good thing! Good luck. it seems like you are very well planned!!!

  12. min1980
    April 6, 2016 / 8:30 am

    Hmm. I tried everything. Raspberry leaf tea, hypnobirthing, extra-long hikes (you should have seen me at 9 months pregnant walking up some very steep hills in flip flops as all my sensible shoes were too small for my swollen feet!) Nothing worked. In the end, I think what will be, will be. #BloggerClubUK

  13. Kat
    April 6, 2016 / 8:30 am

    My labour was terrible, two scretch and sweeps took me to 3cm over two weeks so I was induced, had an epidural and then ended up with an emergency c-section. I don’t know what my next labour will be like as I’m in two minds about pushing for a Vbac or elective section. I just don’t like the idea of being bed bound as I think the section will happen anyway if I am…need to research when we decide to start trying but for now it can remain in the back of my mind! #bloggerclubUK

  14. April 6, 2016 / 8:50 am

    I planned all those things and then dd arrived 10 weeks early, but at least it was natural :). I hope this works for you #bloggerclubuk

  15. April 6, 2016 / 9:44 am

    Like you I was told that I wasn’t allowed to go further than a week over my due date and they had booked me in for a c-section a week after my date so I was determined to get things going. They insisted that I started having sweeps a week before my due date, every three days I think it was. I was not a fan! What really seemed to work for me was the clary sage! I added a few drops to my bath (follow the instructions) and very soon after went into labour. I ended up having an emergency c-sction (for other reasons in the end) but it did get the labour started without a doubt 🙂 x

  16. April 6, 2016 / 9:58 am

    I’m not having a baby yet but this made me feel empowered and excited! Great list, thank you for sharing! #BloggerClubUK

  17. April 6, 2016 / 10:15 am

    I found this really interesting. I would definitely like to try perineal massage next time (hopefully there is a next time). I was bed bound once I got to the hospital which was the absolute opposite of what I had hoped for and I definitely think it makes it harder. I actually had my little boy two days early and I had drunk raspberry leaf tea and we had sex so my husband likes to take the credit haha!

    You sound so well prepared, I am sure everything will go smoothly for you. #BloggerClubUK

  18. April 6, 2016 / 11:08 am

    I was induced with both of my births so I can’t offer any advice but it sounds like you’re as prepared as possible. Good luck! #BloggerClubUK

  19. April 6, 2016 / 12:02 pm

    It looks like you have got everything completely covered! What a great list. I ended up with a c-section, but if there was ever another button, I would be coming straight back to your post #BloggerClubUK x

  20. April 6, 2016 / 12:04 pm

    Ahh.. my comment disappeared, I hope you don’t get it twice. I think you have a brilliant list and you are obviously very well prepared. I ended up having a c-section, but if there was ever another button, I would be back to your list with bells on for all your tips. #BloggerClubUK

  21. April 6, 2016 / 1:12 pm

    This is really interesting and I hope that these things all help you! My first arrived three days early of his own accord. I had been drinking raspberry leaf tea and taking the capsules and had an 11 minute active labour which was amazing. My next four children were all inductions and although it was not the natural births I had hoped for, with all four I went from four centimetres to birth in less than five minutes!! I hope that you have a wonderful, speedy, and prompt labour! #BloggerClubUK

  22. April 6, 2016 / 1:29 pm

    Wow! You are very prepared and have tried lots already. Here’s one that my Hypnobirthing Practitioner told me about that you may like to try. A yummy recipe and you can read all about the story behind it on this link http://www.scalinis.com/main-babies.html I couldn’t try it myself due to allergies but one of my friends did and she swears it got her going. Into labour within 24 hours of eating it!

  23. April 6, 2016 / 2:12 pm

    I love how reassured you sound, I wish I had read blogs instead of horrifying myself watching one born every minute..I love the water suggestion, I stayed in the pool as long as I could..although I would not advise attempting to snorkel with the gas and air like I did..I also loved my Tens machine. Similarly as soon as I was put on the bed everything slowed down and went a little wrong. Thats such a relaxing video that was not me in labour all calm and chilled. I was trying to climb out the window..It’s written so well 🙂 #Parentbloggeruk

  24. April 6, 2016 / 2:55 pm

    Walking is a good one for bringing on labour deffo. Be careful though, I didn’t heed people’s warnings that second time is quicker, I didn’t and nearly had my second in my trousers at home! Best of luck x
    #bloggerclubuk

  25. The Pramshed
    April 6, 2016 / 3:06 pm

    Such a good list to try to avoid induction, you have literally covered everything. I went 2 weeks over with my little one, they wanted to induce earlier, but I managed to buy a few days, but still ended up being induced. It wasn’t the nicest of experiences and ended up having a c-section, as I never progressed beyond 4cms (I do think that being bed bound had something to do with it). I tried everything to get baby moving – pineapple, hot baths, walking loads, bouncing on a ball but nothing worked. It’s so frustrating, but luckily we have a great set of people in the NHS, god knows what would have happened before inductions and c-sections. Thanks for sharing a great post and hosting a fab Linky. Claire x #BloggerClubUK

  26. April 6, 2016 / 4:12 pm

    I was lucky that I didn’t go over with my son as he was 11 days early. I would definitely try everything to not being induced as I’ve heard its a long, tiring process #BloggerClubUK

  27. April 6, 2016 / 4:32 pm

    When I had my oldest son, I barely felt the contractions. I wanted a natural birth as well and made to 7cm before accepting the epidural (because the doctor really hurt me, not because of the contractions). After 22 hours of labor at the age of 24, the doctor finally said to me, “your pelvic bone is too small and he is too big. We keep losing his heart rate every time we induce you so we have to go for an emergency c-section.” Yeah, that really put me in a depressive state. I felt less of a woman because of that. He was a 9lb baby and 22 inches long. My second child was significantly smaller but I was so afraid of going through the same trauma as my first that I opted for a scheduled c-section but if I knew all of this stuff that you are writing about here, I certainly would have tried another option. These other things were never even mentioned to me in 2006 when I was last pregnant. Maybe I should have googled it, LOL! Thanks so much for hosting #bloggerclubuk

  28. Double the Monkey Business
    April 6, 2016 / 5:04 pm

    I didn’t know you could get raspberry leaf tea in capsule form. I drank the tea when I was pregnant and also didn’t think much of it. Keeping everything crossed you get your wish and don’t get induced. xx #bloggerclubuk

  29. April 6, 2016 / 5:43 pm

    Great list! I was over due on both my pregnancies. I did have a spicy takeaway the night before both my labours started so perhaps that worked?! Agree best to keep moving / walking / exercising if you can. I also used a birthing ball too. My friend drove down a very bumpy road several times which started her labour! Ultimately baby will only come when they’re ready. You may find second time round to be quick, I almost had baby 2 in the car! Good luck. #BloggerClubUk. Xx

  30. April 6, 2016 / 6:10 pm

    Ive tried most of those except accupuncture. I was very lucky that two of my 4 babies’ labour started on their due date. what are the odds! I hope all goes well for you when the time comes and that you get the labour experience you hope for.

  31. Helen
    April 6, 2016 / 7:26 pm

    I ended up giving birth the day before my due date because my waters broke 4 days before that, so I had to be induced. I really wanted a water birth but wasn’t allowed in the end – loving all these tips! #BloggerClubUK

    Helen x

  32. Wander Mum
    April 6, 2016 / 8:03 pm

    Amazing research and preparation… you really are pulling out all the stops..wishing you all the best and i’m sure you will get the natural birth you want. But, if it doesn’t happen…don’t worry!! I had complications in the final weeks with my daughter so was induced early and had every induction method going then a C-section after four days BUT she was here safely and how she came into the world doesn’t feel like it matters at all. No idea how things will go with this next one but will be taking on some of your ideas. Love the ironing board tip by the way. Thanks for hosting #bloggerclubuk

  33. April 6, 2016 / 9:55 pm

    You’ve got it all covered here! With Tyler he was 2 days over, and I kept walking and ate HOT HOT Chilli Con Carne to get him moving! xx
    #bloggerclubuk

  34. April 7, 2016 / 8:39 am

    I must say I have never heard of perineal massage before reading your blogs, it’s too late for me as I don’t see a third baba in our plans but had I known I would of done anything to avoid the need for stitches! Good luck with everything, I do hope all your planning pays off and you do not go over again. All the best xx #bloggerclubuk

  35. April 7, 2016 / 1:53 pm

    Gosh, you seem really well prepared. Because I wanted a home birth I also wanted babies to arrive on time and without needing any induction. I pretty much tried everything you have listed. Both babies arrived without induction and I had them both at home. Hope it works out well for you and best of luck. #bloggerclubuk

  36. April 7, 2016 / 5:48 pm

    Definitely bookmarking this for later down the line, hopefully my wife won’t have too many problems with Snappy though 🙂 #bloggerclubuk

  37. April 7, 2016 / 7:57 pm

    Sounds like you’ve got it organised. My number two baby arrived in half the time without induction. I remember spending lots of time focusing on whether my toddler would be ok and what he was doing! Considering I’m a bit of a cynic and like to see the wry in everything I thought very positively about both my births which may have helped?? Good luck with everything 🙂 #bloggerclubuk

  38. Fionnuala
    April 7, 2016 / 8:50 pm

    I really hope that you have the kind of birht you are hoping for. I was induced with my thrid child and it was the quickest and easiest labour of all three.

  39. April 8, 2016 / 8:48 am

    Seems like you’ve covered all bases to get the birth you want, I really hope you get it! I was induced and it’s not an experience I’d personally like to repeat, however I know people who have been induced and have had a birth similar to when they went into labour naturally. But fingers crossed you can avoid it #bloggerclubuk

  40. April 8, 2016 / 11:34 am

    #bloggerclubuk I did the perineal massage, have to say i think it worked!

  41. cherryorchard
    April 8, 2016 / 12:58 pm

    One thing I would add here, is the food you eat can also kickstart things along! I had tropical fruit, and it definitely got my contractions going. You can read about it here (if you feel so inclined!) #BloggerClubUK

    http://www.theblogsmith.co.uk/?p=225

  42. April 8, 2016 / 5:03 pm

    Sounds like you are really organised. My baby no2 came in half the time of baby no2 and I spent most of my time hoping my toddler was ok without me!! A positive outlook worked for me too, good luck 🙂

  43. April 8, 2016 / 5:04 pm

    Good luck!! I really hope you avoid induction. I was 14 days over with my first and only 3 with my second so I really hope it’s the same for you and your second gets moving much quicker! #bloggerclubuk

  44. April 8, 2016 / 10:44 pm

    Never heard of using arnica in relation to labour & birth before – interesting! Hope your preparations work. I was a few days before due date with first & a few days after with second. There was talk of needing an early induction with second for a while due to the small size she & I were measuring. I really didn’t want induction, either. But the consultant eventually concluded that she was clearly growing steadily, & was just small, so he said it was fine. Good luck with it all! #BloggerClubUK

  45. Becky, Cuddle Fairy
    April 11, 2016 / 11:36 am

    This is all really great advice – I hope things go smoothly for you this time around. I found the bouncy ball really good although I over bounced & had sore muscles the next day lol I hope all of your remedies work & baby comes along smoothly for you. #bloggerclubuk

  46. April 11, 2016 / 3:04 pm

    Wow it sounds like you know everything there is to know about this! Such a great informative piece for mums to be. I wish you all the luck in the world! Tor xx

  47. April 11, 2016 / 4:04 pm

    I really hope you get the birth you want – I had an induction the first time, so I am well acquainted with all the methods you have listed! I did manage to avoid it the second time around, my little girl was born the day before my planned induction. Good luck!
    x Alice
    #anythinggoes

  48. April 11, 2016 / 11:21 pm

    Wow, you are super organised With your birthing plan and the birth itself..
    I hope you get some much needed relaxing time now that you are on maternity leave! Fingers crossed you get to do everything you planned! Sending lots of love 🙂 xxx

  49. April 12, 2016 / 5:29 pm

    Wow, you really are extremely organized! I am so happy, and really hope you get the birth that you want <3 I successfully had a natural birth with no tearing, and I feel like I owe a huge majority of that to perineal massage. It's such a wonderful thing, and I hate that more moms-to-be aren't informed of this!
    Sending tons of love and hugs <3 #anythinggoes

  50. catherine@pushingthemoon
    April 12, 2016 / 7:27 pm

    You are brilliantly prepared! I hope everything goes smoothly (and swift!).

    With both of mine I drank raspberry leaf tea (and really liked it!), did perineal massage and became very good friends with my bottle of clary sage!

    I wish I had gone to see a chiropractor towards the end of my pregnancy with my daughter as I had SPD and could barely walk. I know I was one of the lucky ones though as it went almost completely the moment she was born. Xxx #BloggerClubUK

  51. April 15, 2016 / 11:29 am

    This is a really interesting post, I’ve bookmarked it to refer to at a later date. I’m not sure I can offer any more advice, it sounds like you have really done your research and I really do wish you all the very best. Oh wait, reflexology perhaps?
    #momsterslink

  52. April 19, 2016 / 4:51 am

    I had all 3 of mine via c-section which my doctor scheduled at 39 weeks and my second one he was on vacation so she went to 40 weeks and they all stayed in there. I had all big babies weighing in at almost 10 pounds each and all 21 inches long. I was miserable by the last month of my pregnancies. And I tried a few of those old wives tales and they never worked. Thanks so much for linking with #momsterslink. And may the rest of your pregnancy go smoothly as planned.

  53. Tanya
    May 4, 2016 / 11:25 pm

    I was really lucky to have had 4 natural births, all were overdue. I used massage, reflexology, and aromatherapy.
    #bloggerclubuk

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