Your hospital bag has been packed and ready to go for weeks, you’ve read all the books, been to all the checkups, bought all the baby paraphernalia and decorated the baby’s room. After nine months of frantic preparations you finally feel ready, and cannot wait to hold your new baby in your arms. There’s just one problem: your due date has come and gone and there is no sign of baby.
According to the latest research, this is absolutely nothing to worry about, as the length of your pregnancy can vary naturally from woman to woman by as much as 5 weeks! Of course we always knew that a due date was only as good as a best guess, but we think it’s fascinating to know that we can all vary so much.
This having been said, new research is all well and good, but it won’t stop you feeling frustrated, uncomfortable and emotional when all you want is to meet your new baby, but the little one just won’t budge. At this stage, when you are more than a week overdue, you will start to hear all sorts of odd recommendations from the unlikeliest of places of ways to induce labour naturally. Now we are not saying that any of these methods necessarily work, but here are some of our favourite old wives tales…
1) Spicy food
Most people will have heard of this classic suggestion before, supposedly a spicy curry will stimulate your digestive system which in turn could stimulate your uterus into action. We can tell you now, there is absolutely no evidence that this works, but hey, who needs an excuse for a nice hot curry?
This is a bit of a strange one. Apparently fresh pineapples contain an enzyme called bromelain which is thought to soften your cervix and help to bring on labour. However, each pineapple only contains a small amount of this labour inducing enzyme, so you would have to eat as many as 7 whole pineapples for it to have any affect. We definitely do not recommend that you eat 7 pineapples, but if you fancied it we’re sure it couldn’t hurt to nibble on some nice fresh pineapple as a healthy snack and if it happens to kick start your labour then that’s a bonus!
3) Raspberry leaf tea
Many women swear by raspberry leaf tea, however experts agree that if taken regularly from 32 weeks onward (and not before) it may help to ease your labour once it is in full swing, but unfortunately it will not induce labour, which is a shame as it sounds delicious.
4) Shut the bedroom door
Of course we’ve all heard that having sex can induce labour, and surprisingly this one isn’t just a story invented by men looking for a good time. It works in several different ways, and is safe for the baby as long as your waters haven’t broken yet.
This one is our favourite. Supposedly the movement of your hips can help the baby to descend and get into the right position ready for labour. And even if it doesn’t motivate baby into action, a good boogie is guaranteed to cheer you up and make you feel more positive about the whole situation.