Bringing on labour

‘She’ll come when she is ready’.

I heard this SO MANY TIMES towards the very end of pregnancy. I was SO fat and swollen and uncomfortable and SO ready for her to come, but people just kept telling me to be patient.

I really, REALLY didn’t want to be patient. I’d heard of all those people who go to 42 weeks and have to get induced so I spent hours on pinterest looking at ‘natural induction techniques’ and ‘ways to induce labour naturally’.

There are millions of theories about what helps push baby along and I’m pretty sure I tried them all. I even found this random blog online where the woman pretty-much assured me that if I ate a plate of spicy wings and had a pint of Guinness the baby would come.

I tried it. She didn’t.

Heres what else I tried. Be warned, the list is long.

  • Sex
    My midwifes told me this one would help, as apparently semen contains prostaglandins, which help to ‘ripen the cervix’. It didn’t seem to work however there is no harm it trying! (And I figured we wouldn’t be able to do it for a while so why not.)
  • Hand expressing
    I was told to start doing this from 36 weeks. Whether or not it helped, it meant I could save the colostrum to give to baby if she needed it when she arrived; and (apparently) it’s a good way to get to ‘know’ your boobs before baby arrives.
  • Bouncing on a fitball
    My midwife said it definitely helps baby get into position… however I bounced on that bloody ball for SO MANY HOURS and she never properly engaged until I was in labour!
  • Walking
    I figure this one is good for you either way. Plus, it gets you out of the house and might just help by taking your mind off baby and when she will come.
  • Walking sideways up/down stairs
    Another one my midwife swore would help (especially after my waters broke and baby didn’t want to come). I personally just found it dangerous (Have you tried walking sideways down stairs at 40 weeks pregnant?!). Apparently you can walk around the street with one foot up on the footpath for the same effect, but with the added benefit of your neighbourhood thinking you’re a crazy pregnant lady.
  • Pineapple
    I upped my intake of pineapple towards the end of pregnancy, however one day (when I got really desperate) I decided I would sit there and eat a WHOLE pineapple. It burnt the inside of my mouth so bad I couldn’t eat anything else the rest of the day and it hurt like hell!
  • Spicy food
    I am sure this does not work, and if you’re suffering from heartburn it’ll only make things worse, don’t bother.
  • Eggplant Parmesan
    There’s this restaurant in America that swears they have brought on over 300 women’s labours through this eggplant parmesan dish (something to do with the basil and oregano?). Didn’t work for me, but it was yum!
  • Castor oil
    I would highly recommend NOT doing  this one. I literally had to move the TV into the bathroom and just ‘hang out’ there ALL day. I was so sick… and I was so dehydrated and felt like bloody CRAP! (PLUS: IT DIDN’t WORK))
  • Giving the baby a firm talking to
    Ha, I tried!
  • Plan something important
    Seriously, I flew from the bottom of Australia to the top of Australia at 38.5 weeks pregnant for my best friend’s wedding. If that’s not planning something important, I don’t know what is!
  • Evening Primrose Oil & Raspberry Leaf Tea
    Apparently these both help to ‘ripen your cervix’. Jury is still out.
  • Acupuncture and Acupressure:
    Tried both. And I actually got so upset at one of the appointments (“she’s not going to come, ever”) that I cried. The poor male therapist.
  • Gardening
    I left this one to last as my waters actually broke after a day full of gardening. However, I was 40+ weeks pregnant so who knows?

Good luck and remember: The baby WILL come… when she is ready 😉



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A no-nonsense guide to making it through the third (and final!) trimester of pregnancy

3 months to go! hoorah!

You might be starting to get over it at this stage, but hang in there, you’ll have your sweet little cherub in your arms before you know it! (easy for me to say, right?)

You’ll probably start going into ‘nesting mode’ now (if you hadn’t already) and have millions of lists floating around and a million projects on the go (I successfully put in a new kitchen and new floors during this time!). Remember to take some time to rest, the tupperware cupboard doesn’t need to be re-organised for the 15th time.

If you are racing around trying to get everything done, here are some of the things I suggest having on your list:

  1. Get your car seat fitted: We used a professional service (Kidsafe) and they were fantastic! They fitted both the seats, showed us how to use them and change them, and gave us useful suggestions for things we wouldn’t have even though about. Once bub was born we even went back to check we were doing everything right as well.
  2. Test everything out: You do not want to be the new mum sitting on the ground in the carpark of your local shopping centre crying because you can’t work out how to collapse your fancy new pram. TEST EVERYTHING OUT. Make sure you know how to use the carseats/capsule, how to tighten them and get them in and out of the car, make sure you can collapse the pram and put it back up again, and work out the best way to put it in the car. Test out the baby carrier, learn how to tighten the straps and how you’ll put baby in. Youtube is your friend!
  3. Preparation(food etc): I spent a day cooking up my favourite meals and freezing them. People told me these would be really useful for dinners in those first few weeks but when I really found them useful was for lunches when daddy went back to work! Bub was on the boob almost 24×7 and i found it difficult to even go to the loo let alone cook, so being able to quickly heat these up and eat something healthy and hearty was a blessing.
  4. Pack your bags: I packed my bags SUPER early, which seemed a little silly, but it was one less thing playing on my mind! (I’ll do a post about what I packed if your are interested). I found that packing a few different bags helped so that i didn’t arrive in the maternity suite with a million bags in tow (one for me for labour, one for bub once she arrived, and one for the hospital stay)
  5. Prepare for labour: I don’t necessarily mean having a birth plan (I didn’t), but at least have some strategies you’d like to use/try for the labour and discuss them with your partner / support person (eg. Shower or bath, music, noise, meditation, activity, etc). Also make sure they know what your view is on drugs and interventions (although that may all change once you are in the delivery room!)

I also urge you, if possible, to finish work with enough time to allow you to spend some time enjoying maternity leave before bub arrives. Working out WHEN to finish up can be a difficult one; Do you finish a bit earlier and run the risk of going ‘overdue’ or do you finish a little later and run the risk of going early? Personally, I finished up at 37 weeks, and my waters broke at 40+2 (bub was born at 40+4).
Once you are on mat leave, I urge you to PLEASE try and enjoy it. Sleep late, stay in bed all day watching Gilmore Girls or Sex and the City. Take a bath. Get a massage everyday if you feel like it! Get your nails done, your hair done, enjoyyyyyyyyy this time!

Once you are all prepared and relaxed (hopefully) you’ll probably be thinking, now how on earth do I get this baby to come? There are millions of theories about what helps and what doesn’t and I’m pretty sure I tried them all, even this random one about eating a plate of spicy wings and having a pint of Guinness (hmmm). I’ve made a list of all the other (crazy) things I tried over here Bringing on labour.

Good luck!

Other posts that might interest you?


Top 10 essentials for a new mum

Top essentials for a new baby

What to pack in your baby bag (the early days)

Postpartum recovery

Best places to shop for WELL PRICED baby wear



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