Before You Try to Shorten Your Labor
Although the end of pregnancy is usually eagerly awaited, especially when even the lithest woman feels like a whale, there is also often a hint of fear about the oncoming pain of childbirth. One of the biggest fears is related to the length of the labor – too long and the mother may end up exhausted and need medical intervention. Here are some ways to decrease your labor time, however please remember the following:
- Try these at your own risk. If you have a high risk or complicated pregnancy, it’s always best to seek medical advice before trying any type of natural or homeopathic remedy.
- These are not guaranteed to work. Although many women have found these to be successful, unforeseen complications such as pelvic position, medical problems or baby’s position (for instance a posterior baby can take longer to birth) can result in a longer labor.
Evening Primrose Oil
Evening primrose oil can be used from from 35 weeks. The oil contains prostaglandin, a natural form of the gel that is often inserted during a medical induction of labor. Its main function is to soften the cervix, meaning that your body will have to do less work to dilate you to the full 10cm required for birth. HOWEVER studies indicate almost no benefits and it has a range of side effects including increasing the risk of hemorrhaging Read more.
Raspberry Leaf Tea or Pills
Raspberry leaf has long been used to treat a variety of women’s problems including menstrual problems; it also has the added benefit of strengthening the uterus and decreasing the risk of bleeding and haemorrage during and after birth. Stronger uterus muscles achieve more with each contraction, which generally shortens labor times.
The best option is to take raspberry leaf in the tablet form, as it is far stronger than the tea and therefore more likely to have the desired effect. You can start taking the tea or pills as early as 32 weeks – starting too late will decrease the chance they will help when labor begins. Read more on raspberry leaf.
Fresh Raw Dates
Studies have indicated that eating fresh (not preserved and processed sugar rich) dates can reduce the length of early labour by up to half! In the study, women ate 6 dates per day for the 4 weeks leading up to labor. You can read more here.1 | 2 | 3