In my years as both a doula and a mom, I've noticed that there's a cycle to the things what we google during pregnancy.
Towards the end, you might be walking your fingers over the keys in search of natural induction techniques to help jumpstart your labor.
Pineapple. Never mind the heartburn, just eat the whole thing, it's for a good cause.
Eggplant parm. ...or that labor salad that you have to go across the country to get.
Walking. Walk that baby out! Never mind that your ankles are huge and you want to sit down!
Sex, but don't forget to keep those hips up!
Tea. Whatever the recipe, just drink gallons of it.
Oil. Well, it worked for your friend, right?
Bouncing. It's never too late to embrace your inner child and bounce your baby out!
Distraction. Stop thinking about how pregnant you are and how much you want to meet your baby. Find a distraction!
Feeling overwhelmed yet?
Put the pineapple down. Take a deep breath with me.
I KNOW you want to meet your baby soon, and I empathize with you in the most visceral way...but can we talk about energy for a minute?
No matter how it happens, having a baby is hard work and one of the most important things you can do to help cope with labor and birth is to manage your energy.
None of these "induction" techniques to "jumpstart" your labor are inherently bad (although if you're considering herbal remedies please run them by your doctor!), but I've seen over and over the unnecessary pressure it can create to DO SOMETHING. To MAKE IT HAPPEN. To try all these things, and what if it still doesn't work? Where does that leave you?
Exhausted. Discouraged. Frustrated.
Birth is often an exercise in releasing control and making the conscious choice to embrace what's happening to our bodies now, to move with our bodies and through the process.
The light at the end of the tunnel is your beautiful baby, who will come out relentlessly needing you.
To do this, our bodies need rest.
It's okay to want to move, and it's okay to want to stop and melt into the couch or bed. There's not a wrong answer.
You can't control birth, but you can control how you manage your energy.
The marathon/birth analogy exists for a reason. Instead of sprinting at the start line, focus on balancing activity and rest. Stop and listen to your body. Take a nap. Eat a delicious meal. Eat the pineapple or eggplant parm or salad or curry...if you want it. Go on a walk. Watch a movie. Sit on the ball and move your hips. Snuggle up with your partner, get that oxytocin flowing, and cherish the quiet and the stillness before there's another gear turning in your family. It will happen, I promise.
...but what if I do need an induction?
There's a lot of fear and misinformation around induction, and the best remedy I know is an honest conversation with your doctor. It's okay to ask questions and get the information you need to feel comfortable with your choices. Doulas support families through inductions as well, and can be a valuable tool to help manage energy when your plan changes.
Doulas bring a calming presence, reassurance, and an extra set of hands to support you through the entire birth process.
Doulas facilitate self-care for moms and dads alike. It is our goal to help you maximize rest and encourage purposeful movement through birth. We help partners manage their energy not by replacing you, but by working alongside you. We create space to take care of your basic needs, too, so that you can be the present and steadfast support she needs. We share in the work of holding up moms through birth and beyond.
Hang in there, and remember to stay away from Dr. Google, unless of course he's prescribing a nice, long nap. ;)