So here is the thing about being pregnant, everyone has some advice for you. For example, I was at the movies the other day when a woman said to me, "You look like you're about to pop!" Well, I'm due in less than a week, so really it could happen at any time! Now mind you, I am huge! Liam is definitely a healthy baby and at 39 weeks I am ready to meet the little man. But do you really think I need a reminder of how ginormous I am? And since I know you're all curious, here I am at 39 weeks!
The other thing that makes me laugh is that everyone and their mother has some advice on how I can get Liam out now! Everyone, even those who have never given birth, have advice. (Now mind you, I was one of those people...well, I still am until the little man decides to join us!) As we aim for our natural birth experience I have been given lots of advice on "natural inducers" and tried quite a few of them out! So here are the top ten things I have been advised to do:
1. Walk - Now, I have been walking my whole pregnancy so I sometimes wonder how much good this will really do, but I don't think it will hurt. According to our Bradley class it opens the inlet of the pelvis, which helps the baby drop down into position for birth. Let me tell you, in fear when Liam was breech, I didn't walk for a week and a half because I didn't want him to get lodged butt down. Once I knew he flipped I picked my walking back up so he would get lodged head down! Every day when I show up at the gym at our housing office, the ladies rush out to see how I'm doing. Sadly, I inform them each day that I'm still trying to walk my baby out!
2. Sex - Yes, any of my family members may be blushing, but we all know this is how I got into this "situation" in the first place! ;) Semen and orgasms are said to stimulate labor and soften the cervix. This seems to be everyone's favorite recommendation to me for inducing labor! It's quite funny to see the ways people try to covertly mention it on Facebook or how blatantly they do. Let's just say, I've heard it works, I've recommended it to others, no stone will go unturned!
3. Pineapple - Yes, eating pineapple. It is said to soften the cervix and other places it says it induces labor. I have eaten pineapple daily for about two weeks. Still no baby. But hey, pineapple is yummy so I'm not complaining!
4. Spicy food - Throughout pregnancy people tell you not to eat this due to heartburn etc, but once you get close to your due date, all bets are off. The thing is, Liam seems to like spicy food! When I eat it he dances around in my belly. He enjoys every minute of it. Last week we tried to think of spicy foods to eat to evict him. I ate spicy chicken sandwiches, hot wings, tacos and yet here I am, still pregnant!
5. Bumpy car ride - Why have I not had Den take me for a ride in the Jeep recently? It is said to promote movement and relaxation to help the baby get into position for birth. Just make sure you have something to sit on and protect the car seat in case your water breaks!
6. Licorice - Eating black licorice is supposed to help stimulate the production of prostaglandins. Hence, contractions. Mind you, that could just be the diarrhea it causes! Eat at your own risk!
7. Relax - Let nature take it's course. If you're stressed, you won't dilate or go into labor. So, take a warm bath, have a glass of wine and let your body do it's thing. Midwives and doctors have actually recommended this. (And friends too!) However, I have a hard time coming to terms with having a glass of wine while pregnant. And this says a lot, since if you know me, you know I love a good glass of wine!
8. Accupressure - There are three spots you can push on to help induce labor or strengthen contractions. Between the thumb and forefinger, the roof of your mouth and the inner ankle. Hence, get a pedicure and tell them to rub those feet until your water breaks! (Didn't work for me, but my toes will hopefully look pretty for labor! ;) )
9. Swinging - Yep, like you're back in elementary school! So when you see me out at the park behind my house, you'll know why I'm acting like a kid again. I'm trying to get this kid out!
10. Last, but not least...Nipple Stimulation - Yep, you heard me right! The funniest story is that we were on a ghost tour last week with my in-laws and I received this advice from a random lady on the tour. She asked me if I was having a boy. (Yes!) Asked when I was due. (About a week.) Then she told me, you know the best way to get him out, right? I said, which way is that? Then she proceeded to give me a visual, yes, a visual, of nipple stimulation. Thanks! She even recommended getting my husband to help! Seriously, I don't even know you! Good thing I'm not easily embarrassed! I still find it hilarious that she recommended this to me, in this way. But everyone needs a good laugh! It helps you relax after all. And isn't that on my list somewhere?
So, will any of these things do anything if you body and baby aren't ready? Probably not, but I figure there's no harm in trying! I've had a feeling all along that Liam will be a punctual baby so I'm hoping that holds true. With my due date rapidly approaching I have to hold on to that hope! And in the meantime, I love the swings so that may be next on my list of things to do!
P.S. I am not a doctor so none of these are officially medically sanctioned. You should, of course, consult your doctor before making any medical decisions, especially when pregnant!