Proponents of reflexology believe that pressing on special reflex points help to induce labor. You should never try to induce your labor without consulting your doctor first. Generally, a doctor will recommend inducing labor when you’re up to two weeks past your due date and labor has failed to start naturally. If there’s a health reason to induce, such as infection or deterioration of your placenta, your doctor will usually recommend medically inducing at a hospital.
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Heel and Foot Arches
Firmly press inside the heel of each side of the foot, recommends the Reflexology Guide website. When you press this point, it should feel tender. Continue pressing the point until the tenderness decreases. You can also press on the arch of your foot. Like the heel, the foot arches should be tender as well. Continue to press the inside of your arches until the tenderness decreases. You can also have a partner or spouse press on these points during labor. It might help relieve pain.
Pressing between your big toe and second toe might help to induce labor, reports the Maternity Acupressure website. Focus on firmly pressing the space between the toes. Once you find the right spot, it will feel slightly tender. Continue to press firmly on the spot until tenderness gets better. Like the heel and foot arch reflexology points, pressing between your big toe and second toe can also relieve pain after labor has already started.
Proponents of acupuncture believe pressing on your thumb affects your pituitary gland, according to the Reflexology Guide website. The pituitary gland releases hormones that start the labor process and make the uterus contract. Find the center of your thumb and press it firmly. Continue to apply pressure for a few minutes. Like the other points, the right point on your thumb will feel tender. Apply pressure for a few minutes, and then repeat this on your other thumb.
If reflexology for inducing labor isn’t working, you have other options. Stimulating your nipples with an electric breastfeeding pump appears to induce labor, reports the American Pregnancy Association. This motion releases oxytocin, a hormone responsible for labor contractions. Another option is medical induction, which is done at the hospital. Medications, such as prostaglandin, are used to induce labor. Always consult your doctor about inducing labor to ensure it’s safe for you and your baby.