by Neve Spicer, the creator and editor of WeTheParents
The final weeks of pregnancy are filled a range of emotions, but if a mother goes beyond her due date then anxiety can often set in. Even if she feels that baby is best where he is, still, for many moms there is a desire to avoid the complications that can sometimes occur during medical inductions.
A lot of misinformation is circulated about natural labor induction methods, and knowing what works, what doesn't and what's just plain unsafe can save parents' health, time and grief. We The Parents compiled the infographic below featuring the nine most commonly discussed methods of natural labor induction, a rating on their safety and effectiveness, and the research that backs up those claims. Please feel free to share the infographic and help spread evidence based info on natural labor induction methods.
We know that records of the use of natural methods to induce labor date back as far as ancient Egypt. The list of methods and treatments suggested by various cultures is diverse, and the nature, effectiveness and safety of the methods can vary significantly. Natural labor induction methods are not a commonly addressed topic in medical literature, although studies do exist on the efficacy and safety of some common strategies.
Exploring the existing studies on natural labor induction reveals some interesting discoveries. Though we often consider things that are natural to be safer than their medical counterparts, it's notable that some plant-based methods that are suggested by traditional wisdom can actually lead to serious labor and birth complications. That doesn't mean every natural method of inducing labor is dangerous, however - quite a few are relatively benign, and some have actually demonstrated the potential to be effective without causing fetal or maternal harm.
Before you consider inducing labor on your own, it's essential that you talk to your physician. They will be able to decide if it's safe for you to try inducing labor naturally, and they'll also be able to give you a thumbs up or thumbs down on your method of choice. Attempting to induce labor without a go-ahead from your doctor can be dangerous to you and your child, so please seek a recommendation before you proceed.
Natural Induction Methods: An Unbiased Look at the Evidence is by Neve Spicer, the creator and editor of WeTheParents, the evidence-based pregnancy and parenting guide for mindful moms. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook.