What happens when you’re all hyped up, packed up, excited and ready to go to hospital at the first twinge of labour pain, but your little one just stubbornly refuses to greet the world? If you’ve reached the point where you’d rather push the baby out yourself than spend one more night in sleepless discomfort, you might want to consider a few natural labour induction methods.
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Predicting your baby’s due date is not an exact science and some babies have a habit of holding on well into the 41st week. However, if you are reaching the end of your third trimester and you could give your baby a gentle nudge – would you?
There are a few natural labour induction options available to you, but how effective are they, and most importantly, are they safe to use? You might have heard about the effectiveness of raspberry leaf as a gentle way to kick-start labour.
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Raspberry leaf for natural labour induction
It is well known amongst mummies that raspberry leaf is beneficial to breast milk production, but what about when it comes to the actual labour itself? Raspberry leaf acts as a uterine tonic, and has been proven to strengthen contractions. It is also said to make the actual birth less painful, but there is no real evidence to support this claim. It can be taken as a tea drink or, if you don’t like the taste, it can also be taken it in tablet form.
Does it really work?
The general consensus about raspberry leaf as a means for natural labour induction is that in itself, it cannot cause the onset of labour. Raspberry leaf will only be beneficial if you’ve been ingesting it throughout your pregnancy, in which case it is said to shorten the second stage of labour, and help with your contractions.
Expecting mummies will normally start to take raspberry leaf during the second trimester, but if you haven’t taken it throughout, you can start by taking one raspberry tablet daily from the 36th week, three per day during the 37th week, and four daily thereafter until you deliver. Because raspberry contains fragine, it will help to strengthen your uterine muscles, which will serve you well during your contractions. If nothing else, you will benefit from it if you plan on breastfeeding, since it also helps with milk letdown.
Please remember to always check in with your doctor or midwife first before you try any natural labour induction methods. Herbal remedies are much stronger than homeopathic ones, so do proceed with caution before you gulp down liters of raspberry leaf tea.
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