Did you know that visualisation can start labour?   Induction - a word that may fill you with fear or apprehension, perhaps because you've heard stories from friends, read articles or perhaps just because you feel as though you're losing control after expecting a natural, straightforward birth experience. After all, it's always a bit nerve racking experiencing something new, especially if it involves medical intervention. Sometimes labour needs to be induced (started artificially) and this can happen if your baby is overdue or there is any sort of risk to you or your baby's health. If you pass your due date there is still plenty of time for your baby to arrive naturally. Should you be heading towards the 42 weeks of pregnancy when induction is normally suggested, you still have time to discuss the advantages and disadvantages with your doctor and midwife, and find out why they think your labour should be induced. It's your choice whether to have your labour induced or not. Most women go into labour spontaneously by the time they are around 42 weeks pregnant. If your pregnancy lasts longer than 42 weeks and you decide not to have your labour induced, you should be offered increased monitoring to check your baby's wellbeing. Your baby may arrive later because your due date has been miscalculated, you may not have an 'average length' pregnancy or maybe external factors are encouraging your baby to stay inside for a few more days. Induction is offered at around 42 weeks because there is a higher risk of stillbirth or risk to the baby's health (foetal compromise) after this date. Some women do go over this time but each individual case needs to be carefully assessed by medical professionals. Before formal induction of labour, you will be offered a vaginal examination with membrane sweeping to encourage labour to start. This will usually be done twice after approximately 41 weeks. If this doesn't start labour you'll be offered an induction. Induction is always carried out in a hospital maternity unit. You will still be looked after by midwives, but doctors will be available if you need their help. Contractions will be stronger if you're induced as the body has less time for labour to start and build into full swing. However, if you are relaxed and calm you'll be less aware of the contractions coming in. Use birth breathing techniques to embrace the contractions, work with them to get into the rhythm of birth. Imagine being in a beautiful place to remove yourself from your immediate surroundings. Take the time to discuss a possible induction with your doctor or midwife - you have a choice about being induced and also how to be induced. They'll suggest what is best for you, based on the Bishops Score which determines how ripe (or soft) your cervix is. If your score is more than 8/10 then your cervix is ready for labour. From 37 weeks onwards it is important to visualise or imagine your cervix softening and preparing for birth, ready to release your baby when the time is right. If you can't imagine your cervix then find an image that makes you think of something blossoming and opening, a flower bud for example. Use the mp3 downloads Fear Release and Pain Relief in the Induce your Labour package to reduce pain and release any fear and tensions. How labour is induced Membrane sweep - this is offered at 41 weeks and encourages the cervix to dilate naturally by stimulating the hormones in the cervix. It is similar to an internal examination and the more relaxed you are, the easier and more comfortable it will be. Labour often starts soon after a sweep. Contractions can be started by inserting a pessary or gel into the vagina, and sometimes both are used. It may take a while for labour to start, particularly if the cervix (the neck of the uterus) needs to be softened with pessaries or gels. Sometimes a Pitocin hormone drip  is needed to speed up the labour. Once labour starts, it should proceed normally, but it can sometimes take 24-48 for labour to get going. If induction does not work, your doctor and midwife will assess your condition and your baby's wellbeing. You may be offered another induction, or a caesarean section - your midwife and doctor will discuss all the options with you. Don't panic at the thought of induction, it may not be what you have wanted but you can still remain calm, feeling in control and positive. Take each day as it comes as your labour may of course start naturally before your induction appointment. Use the guided visualisation mp3s Fear Release or Stress Release to stay calm and in control. The positive suggestions in Induce your Labour will encourage labour to start - listen daily from your due date onwards. What can you do to encourage labour to start naturally? There are various techniques you can use to encourage your baby to come before any talk of induction. It's so important to stay relaxed and calm as your body won't feel that it's a good time to release your baby if you're feeling stressed.  Fear will make your body tense and tighten rather than relax and release. Top Tips to start your labour naturally Tip 1: Visualisation This is incredibly powerful so make time every day to relax and imagine your labour starting. We have put together a powerful package for you to start your labour naturally. The Induce your Labour mp3 (part of the Induce your Labour package) gives you powerful suggestions to encourage labour to start. You can also use your own visualisations such as imagining your baby being ready, your labour starting, you holding your baby after a positive birth, your uterus being strong and starting your contractions or having a ‘chat’ with your baby and explaining your thoughts and desires to him/her. We recommend that you find a relaxing time and space to practise your visualisations. Throughout your pregnancy expect your baby to arrive earlier than your due date and make sure that everything is ready for your baby in good time. If projects need finishing then give yourself 'permission' to leave them until after your baby arrives. Remember that your baby doesn't need much and really won't notice whether or not your house is finished or everything has been bought, so also throw away your ‘To Do List’! Tip 2: Acupuncture / acupressure Acupuncture involves the insertion of needles into specific points of your body. This is thought to stimulate the energy within your body to act on a specific organ function or system. The same points can be stimulated by applying pressure - ask your acupuncturist to show you the points to use by yourself. Tip 3: Reflexology / shiatsu Working on the soles of the feet or massaging specific areas, especially the legs, can trigger the start of labour. Book an appointment with someone specialised in maternity care. Be careful about receiving a massage before your due date, even from your partner, as it is not advisable to massage the trigger points for labour. Tip 4: Curry Eating spicy food may stimulate your tummy and bowel movements and therefore stimulate your uterus into action. Be careful though not to overdo it, especially if you don't usually eat spicy food. Tip 5: Pineapple Pineapple contains the enzyme bromelain which is thought to help soften your cervix and bring on labour. Eating large amounts will probably stimulate your tummy, which could also stimulate your uterus. Tip 6: Homeopathy Homeopathic remedies such as pulsatilla are often used to stimulate labour. There is lots of anecdotal evidence from mums-to- be who have found them helpful. However, talk to a fully qualified homeopath before trying them and inform your doctor/midwife that you are taking them. Tip 7: Nipple stimulation Nipple stimulation is when you gently rub or roll your nipples to encourage the start of contractions. The idea is to stimulate the suckling of your baby. This releases oxytocin, a hormone which causes contractions to start. Tip 8: Raspberry leaf Raspberry leaf can be taken as a tea or in tablet form. It is thought it may stimulate your uterus and encourage labour. Tip 9: Sex Having sex can be tricky when you have a big bump. But it could trigger the release of oxytocin, a hormone which causes contractions. Having an orgasm could also stimulate your uterus to get labour going. Tip 10: Walking The pressure of your baby's head pressing down on your cervix from the inside could stimulate the release of oxytocin, a hormone which causes contractions. Being upright also encourages your baby to move down onto your cervix.
article: Help! I don’t want to be induced
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