Once you have reached the 35th week of pregnancy you are officially ready to start preparing your body for labour. These natural strategies do not induce early term labour, but rather prepare your body for an efficient and successful birth. If you are anxious about the birth process, and I’m not sure who isn’t, it’s also helpful to have someone to talk with and provide education on what to expect to ease your anxiety. If you have not been seeing a naturopathic doctor throughout your pregnancy, I highly recommend seeing one to prepare for birth. It is never too late.
In the final weeks of your pregnancy the focus is on:
- Preparing home for the new baby and mom
- Healthy nutrition – avoiding sugar and increasing protein
- Preparing some crockpot recipes to make meals easy after birth
- Light physical activity – walks, yoga, stretching, sex, birth ball etc.
- Deep breathing and relaxation – listen to music, go for a massage, meditate, practice your breathing techniques etc.
Now let’s talk about acupuncture:
Weekly acupuncture beginning at 35 weeks is the most simple and effective strategy for preparing your body for the labour process. All you have to do is have a 20-minute nap, and let the acupuncture do the work.
Acupuncture is extremely safe in pregnancy and has been proven to:
- Reduce the length of labour by 2 hours
- Improve efficiency of contractions (makes them more purposeful)
- Reduces the need for interventions like medical induction and epidural
- Ripens the cervix and prepares the pelvic floor and muscles for labour
- Helps manage end of pregnancy symptoms (carpal tunnel, hemorrhoids, insomnia etc.)
- Provides relaxation and mental calmness
- Turn a breech baby in combination with moxa (more on that another day)
- Induce late labour – different acupuncture points are used after you have passed the 40 week mark and need to get things going
I also swear by this pre-birth snack with a tea and a fruit!
Dates – eating 6 dates a day starting at 36 weeks has shown to increase cervical dilation, promote spontaneous labour, shorten the first stage of labour, and decrease the need for Pitocin!
Red raspberry tea – 3 cups a day, hot or cold, to tonify the uterus and promote pelvic blood flow. Other optional add ins: chamomile, lemon balm, rose, oat straw, nettle
And there you have it, the naturopathic way to prepare for labour. If you have more questions, book a complimentary consultation.