40+ weeks and all the old wives’ tales

Hi friends! We’re still here, haha. 

A whole pineapple

Since I wasn’t sure how far the midwives would let me go before induction – the doctor who analyzed my ultrasounds for the VSD and baby’s size put in a recommendation for 39 weeks, which I declined- I’ve been trying out the old wives’ tales to encourage labor, including some of the things I did last time to get the ball rolling with Liv.

Some things on the list: (Please keep in mind that these are just the things I did, and to check with your doc or midwife before trying anything out on your own)

-Membrane stripping. They did this at my appointment last week, and again yesterday. While it sounds way scarier than it is, it’s certainly not a party. The healthcare provider puts gloved fingers all up in there, and separates the amniotic sac from the side of the uterus. This can release prostaglandins, which could start labor if you’re ready. Last week, I was 2cm dialated when the midwife did this, felt some cramping while it was happening, and was sore, achy and crampy for 24 hours afterwards, with (obviously) no signs of real labor. This is what really got things started with Liv. For yesterday’s appointment, I was 3cm, and while I was still super crampy, it wasn’t quite as horrible as last week. I’m still convinced I went through the pain with round 2 for nothing, because here I am 24 hours later feeling completely normal.

-Eating a whole pineapple. Apparently it contains an enzyme (bromelain) that works like a prostaglandin to ripen the cervix. I’ve heard black licorice can do the same thing.. but black licorice. (ew.) Sexy time is supposed to have the same effect. 

-Spicy Thai food. At least out of this one, I got an incredible dinner. We need to go back to Suppannee House ASAP. 

-Eggplant parmesan. I guess it’s the combo of eggplant and tomato that can kickstart labor? I love Italian food, so had no problem requesting a Little Italy adventure for eggplant parm. In fact, I think I need to *try* this one again. 😉

-Raspberry Leaf Tea. This is supposed to tone the uterus and can help encourage labor if you’re ready, so I’ve been drinking it every morning and afternoon. So far, it’s just stained my teeth. Cool, bro. (And thank goodness for a lil baking soda to polish that away.)

-Chiropractic care. I’ve been seeing my wonderful chiropractor for the duration of this pregnancy, and feel so much relief from sore hips and back after each visit. While I don’t think this can *induce* labor -she uses labor acupressure points while she’s adjusting me- it can potentially help with alignment for birth. 

-Acupuncture + acupressure. Last week at my appointment, the acupuncturist did all of the labor points. Today, he made it extra fun by hooking me up to some electrical pulses for the points. It wasn’t so bad, but definitely kind of freaky with needles in my body and small jumper cable looking cords attached to them. He said that during pregnancy you have a lot of extra blood and qi moving around, which can make the points more intense. He did one in my foot last week that made me yelp! I asked him to be nice to me today. 

-Abuelita’s! I’ve only read about this one on a couple of sites, and it made me laugh because when I had low milk supply, my nana recommended Abuelita’s hot cocoa. It’s a cure-all haha. I’m totally drinking it.. because it’s delicious. It’s one of those things you just drink and don’t question or read the ingredients.

Abuelita s

While it’s been fun to drive myself crazy by Googling and trying out various things, I realized that baby could just be telling me she needs more time. I was concerned that I wouldn’t have long before I’m induced, but thankfully, the midwife told me at yesterday’s appointment that they’ll give me until 42 weeks. I’m so thankful to have such an awesome team at my side and have heard that there are gentler methods of induction, so maybe I can do it without needing an epidural (the needle scares the *@hudhaks832&%@^9u34hhndk out of me) if we cross that road. Healthy baby and mama are the #1 priority, so however and whenever she decides she’s ready, that’s the overall goal.

Last night during my meditation, I spent the time sending love to the baby, telling her we’re ready for her, and picturing the kind of birth I’d like to have, where she arrives safely… and not while we’re driving on the freeway. In the meantime, you can find me doing random things to distract myself (oh hi, Sephora) and enjoying the shocked looks when I tell people my due date was last Friday. 😉

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  1. Johanna on October 21, 2015 at 1:41 pm

    Good luck Gina! I have to say that I never even saw the epidural needle. Honestly once I asked for one the doctor came in with a cart and stood behnd me and the nurse had me lean into her. I did not feel much of anything because compared to a contraction, the needle felt like nothing lol. I was most scared about having a contraction during it since you can’t move much and I did but I breathed deep and was able to not move. I am thankful for my epidural because I needed the rest after two days of induction( I had zero progress when I was induced ). It sounds like you have a great care team in place 🙂

  2. Jenn K on October 21, 2015 at 1:41 pm

    Sending good pregnancy, labor, and delivery vibes your way! I was GBS positive and had 24hrs to deliver after my water broke. After 7hrs without any contractions, we were worried about the midwives suggesting pitocin. My doula told me to request that I induce contractions using a breast pump. When I got to the hospital, I pumped each side for 10min & then walked for 20min. Repeated twice (& did lots of visualization of my uterus contracting and cervix opening). This worked for me & I was blessed with the unmedicated birth I hoped for. To reiterate, I was in the hospital while pumping and under the supervision of the midwives. (They didn’t want me to pump at home to start labor but I’ve heard of practices who are ok with that). I know every woman and baby are different, but thought I’d share just in case. I was grateful for my doula’s recommendation. (She was right and the midwives said if it didn’t work we would have to consider pitocin…but it worked!) Best wishes for a safe delivery and a healthy little girl!

  3. Katie O on October 21, 2015 at 2:15 pm

    You look gorgeous! Enjoy the lady days of having that sweet bundle to yourself! I’m on ‘fitnessista watch’ and completely excited to hear about your newest family member! Sending happy vibes!

    • Fitnessista on October 22, 2015 at 5:32 pm

      thank you so much!!

  4. katelyn on October 21, 2015 at 7:56 pm

    That’s so funny about Abuelita’s

  5. Zoe on October 22, 2015 at 9:01 am

    I tried nipple stimulation for 10 mins a day 2 days before my daughter was born. I could feel minor cramps after doing it, which I think helped my water to break.

    • Fitnessista on October 22, 2015 at 5:30 pm

      did you use a pump, or no?

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