How Not To Bring On Labour

Posted by robynbartlett

Now that we have welcomed our beautiful Madeleine into the World (a proper welcome post from her is to come later) I feel more comfortable talking about my pregnancy and birthing experience, as to say it was a challenge would be a slight understatement!

Madeleine Emilia Jones joined us in James Paget University Hospital on 14th December 2018. Her original due date was however on the 9th. During my third trimester I had read that I would technically be at term when I hit the 37 week mark, so my fingers were crossed that our little lady would put me out of my discomfort and join us on time, if not a little early! In my head everything was planned; Madeleine would arrive a few weeks early leaving plenty of time to prepare for Christmas and for Daniel and I to pack up our rented cottage so that we were ready to move to our first house bought together (Yes we had a baby, entered the property ladder and had Christmas all at once – and yes we wonder if we were mad ourselves). Well things obviously did not turn out that way or I would not have a post to write, though, I did gather some knowledge that I would love to share with any desperate, heavily pregnant women out there so that you do not replicate my mistakes. Here are the things I learned NOT to do to induce labour: (Please remember what worked for me may not for someone else and vice versa as we are all different!)

Grab your running shoes if you want to get that baby out! Daniel is a lucky man.

Or any spicy food for that matter. I did not realise until I had eaten about 3 curries and poured Sriracha on everything I ate for a week that the intention of eating spicy food when trying to encourage labor is that it does so by upsetting your tummy in the hope that this brings on contractions. So yes if you wish to eat a curry so spicy it has you on the toilet for hours then please go ahead and try this one, but if you are not a sadist then I would steer well clear.

Pineapple contains bromelain which is a meat tenderiser. Essentially the idea is that the enzyme breaks down your cervix, which if that doesn’t gross you out enough, how you actually have to consume it should point you firmly in the opposite direction. I recall reading that in order for you to consume enough bromelain to induce labor you would have to consume roughly 30 fresh pineapple cores as that is where it’s concentration is highest. This was after I had already eaten and projectile vomited a whole bag of pineapple chunks from the bakery aisle in Morrisons.

And yes I mean plural. At the end of my pregnancy I tried the following types of tea all of which ended in an upset stomach and a ton of regret:
Raspberry Leaf
The last one was fine and apparently it tones your uterus enabling you to give birth easier should your baby choose to arrive, it won’t however help you to get there. The rest left me screaming profanities from my mother’s downstairs toilet.

Straight up just eating herb plants

Maternity Ball
Nothing, nada, I didn’t even feel toned. I slut dropped on that ball for two weeks and aside from making me feel like a graceful manatee it didn’t really do anything. It did make a good footrest for most of my pregnancy though.

Nipple tweaking
I’m sorry to any relative that is reading this and then running from the room screaming, but I’m not going to omit anything as I’m evil and I want you to suffer with me. Apparently nipple stimulation promotes the release of Oxytocin which in turn makes your uterus contract. I am here to tell you don’t do it, unless of course you want to be left with sore nipples and an early milk flow. So many ruined T Shirts.

There were however a few tips and tricks that seemed to get the ball rolling a little. Madeleine was very comfortable in my tummy and it took 5 sweeps to finally get her out but I moved things along a little with the following two things:

Sorry mum, dad, nan, grandad. It turns out that I wasn’t found in the coal shed in the back garden, abandoned by the coal man (why they couldn’t have used the regular stork story I don’t know).

I actually found this to be the most effective way of getting Maddie to start moving. Imagine if you will a 41 week pregnant woman running in between lampposts in an old persons suburbia with her mother shouting marching orders behind her. That happened.

To be perfectly honest, whatever I suggest is really null and void as each woman is different. Some women I know have been able to bounce on their ball for a few hours and the baby arrives, others like me have a horrendous time and either go very overdue or have to be induced. I do hope though that none of you try to mix your herb cabinet with boiling water; trust me it’s not worth it.

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