Your doctors can only give you an estimation of the date when your baby will come out; the exact date of delivery is difficult to tell. Normally, your doctor will induce childbirth on your EDD or estimated due date.
However, different mothers and doctors have different perceptions on what to do during the due date. If you are already nearing your 40th week of pregnancy and you still have not gone into labor, there are a few things you can do to induce labor or your doctor can induce childbirth. The decision is up to you.
Did you know that only 5% of babies get to be delivered in time with the EDD? An EDD is done based on computations. By giving your doctor the last day of your menstrual period, he or she can compute for your baby’s EDD. Your doctor will try to come up with the EDD based on the day of your presumed ovulation.
Keep in mind, however, that you can’t exactly tell when an egg was released during a woman’s menstrual cycle. So chances are you will not be experiencing labor on the estimated delivery date. Around your EDD, you can try walking for a few hours to encourage labor. Vigorous walking will encourage the baby’s head to descend until it reaches your cervix, thus starting labor.
Another thing you can do is drink red raspberry leaf tea. Red raspberry leaf tea is proven to help a pregnant woman experience contractions of the uterus, which leads to labor.
Taking 3 to 4 cups of the tea daily around your EDD will help you experience a few minor contractions. But do not take red raspberry leaf tea weeks before your given EDD; you don’t really want to experience premature labors, do you ?
You can also try contacting a certified massage therapist whose area of expertise includes pregnancy massage. A massage therapist will stimulate the pressure points around your body, which will lead to uterine contractions or labor.
Some pregnant women go to a pregnancy massage therapist a couple of weeks prior to their EDD. These pressure points around your body may also be stimulated through acupuncture.
Sex is also known to help safely induce uterine contractions or labor. The thinning or ripening of the cervix as your due date nears reacts to the chemicals found in semen, resulting to labor.
It may be difficult to have sex during the last few weeks of your pregnancy, but finding a comfortable position will let you and your partner enjoy sex, and you will also get to experience labor. Try experimenting adjusting your position with pillows prior to having sex.
If none of the things mentioned above works to naturally induce labor, you have no other choice but to have your membranes stripped artificially. How is this procedure done? This is done in a way just as when you got your pelvic exam.
Your doctor will insert his or her fingers into your vagina, twist them inside, breaking the membranes around the cervical area. This maneuver weakens the amniotic sac and disturbs the cervical area.
Within 24 hours after the procedure, you will start to experience labor. However, you really don’t have to stay in the hospital after the stripping of the membranes. You are allowed to go home afterwards. While at home, you can try all of the natural methods of inducing labor mentioned above, such as walking, drinking red raspberry leaf tea and having sex with your partner.
The last resort for most women, if they are still not experiencing any contractions of the uterine or labor around their EDD, is the pitocin drip. However, you might want to discuss with your doctor about seaweed or Prostin gel used on your cervix to hasten the ripening of the cervix, leading to uterine contractions and labor. If either seaweed or Prostin gel works, you can do without the pitocin drip.
Always keep your EDD in mind, and never attempt to do any of the methods above to induce labor until it is near your EDD. Inducing labor 2 or 3 weeks prior to the EDD may put your baby at risk to getting a few serious medical problems, including respiratory difficulties, jaundice and low birth weight. The suggested methods are only done when you do not go into labor on your EDD.