After nine long months, it’s finally here. Our due date has officially arrived! It’s a glorious occasion with only one minor hiccup – the baby has yet to make her big debut.
To be honest, I was fully expecting it. Not that we weren’t hoping for a quick four hour labor and delivery a week ahead of schedule, but many have been kind enough to point out that first time moms usually slip past their due dates and textbook deliveries have a tendency of going much, much longer. Considering only five percent of moms deliver on the exact due date, it looks like our little diva is well on her way to being ‘fashionably late’ – although you can bet we are keeping our fingers crossed. After all, this is a family of over-achievers, right?
So, how to best encourage our little girl to fly the coup? From the experts the best advice is light to moderate exercise. Walking and swaying your hips can help ease the baby into the pelvis with the help of gravity. Once the baby settles in and starts putting pressure on the cervix, the force can sometimes help to jump-start labor. Worst case, if nothing should happen, at least you’ve burned off that last slice of chocolate cake.
Sex has also been known to kick-start the process, although some researchers argue the exact opposite. While some say that the prostaglandins in semen can stimulate contractions, other research concluded that women who continued to have sex late into their pregnancies often carried their babies longer than those who abstained. Since it’s a toss up, and since small hippos tend to have a hard time bouncing in bed, we’d better leave that one to chance.
Other natural methods in question: herbal teas and castor oil. While no studies have been done on the effectiveness of herbal teas, some suggest that raspberry leaf or black cohosh teas can help do the trick. A much less appealing option is castor oil. This very icky solution is said to stimulate bowel movements which in turn can encourage cramping in the uterus. Patience may start to wear thin a week or two past the due date, but I’m not sure diarrhea and vomiting make for the best labor experience. Might be best to pass on that one.
For now, I think it’s time to speed over bumpy roads, eat lots of spicy food and samba in the shower. Those should serve as good distractions since in truth, I’m pretty sure she will only make her way when she is good and ready.