Contractions are perfectly normal when pregnant and it means labor is coming. During contractions, the abdomen will become hard. In between contractions, the uterus becomes relaxed and then the abdomen becomes soft. As a result, it will hurt mildly. Contractions differ for every woman, and women who have been pregnant before will experience less pain.
Pain from contractions usually is centered from the lower-abdomen area and the pelvis area. Usually, women describe it the same as a menstrual cramp, with it moving in a wave-like motion. Unlike false contractions and menstrual cramps however, contractions do not stop/lessen when changing sitting positions. Women sometimes don’t feel contractions even when they want to. How to start contractions is a bit tricky and needs some tricks.
How to Start Getting Contractions
Stimulate Your Nipple
Stimulating your nipple provides a great way to start contractions. It can help “ripen” the cervix as doing so releases oxytocin, a hormone released when aroused and also responsible for contractions.
Women may stimulate their nipples via their partners through sensual engagement on their nipples or by using a breast pump. The best method for nipple stimulation would be borrowing a preferably 3-week-old baby and breastfeeding them 10 minutes per breast. All options are safe. But one must be prepared if they do get contractions, most specifically, when their amniotic sac rip (water breaking).
Give It a Sweep and Stretch
A sweep and stretch basically means to open the smooth wall of the cervix literally by hand, as a medical provider must insert a finger through the vagina and try to massage and stretch the outer layer of the cervical opening to increase prostaglandin production. Prostaglandin is a hormone responsible for the contraction of the smooth part of the uterus. It is also responsible for the biophysical changes of the cervical opening.
A mother who has undergone this method should have contractions after 2 days. Problems that may be associated with this method are that women may feel uncomfortable after the procedure and reportedly have irregular contractions but it’s a great, medical way on how to start contractions.
Having sexual interaction is a great way to start contractions. Semen contains prostaglandin which, as aforementioned, helps “ripen” the cervix. Also, having sex would also mean the release of oxytocin which helps in getting contraction.
The thought of having sex as a healthy pregnant woman is completely safe, as long as the amniotic sac has not ruptured yet. The amniotic sac is the “water bag” that breaks when a woman starts to labor. Multiple infections may arise to the both the mother and the baby when the amniotic sac breaks, so the vagina must be cleared of anything when it does.
Get Some Herb
There are a lot of natural herbs and remedies to help a woman get into labor. However, one must consult their doctors first before trying any natural way of inducing labor. Flax seed oil, primrose oil, borage oil, etc. may be ingested by mothers as supplements, and at times, even be inserted to the vagina to soften the cervix.
Castor oil and blue/black cohosh may also be great alternatives, but one must always observe caution and consult their doctors before trying any of the given methods, or at least see a known herbalist.
Anxiety will not do a pregnant woman any good. It only hinders the chances of getting into labor and makes you more confused about how to start contractions. It will make the uterus less likely to contract, so relaxing in this period is vital.
Massages are very much encouraged as it relaxes the mother and stimulate the release of needed hormones for contractions. At home, ask your husband to give you a thigh massage, which may arouse a woman into releasing oxytocin. Therapeutic massages are also popular and available among pregnant women.
Know What to Eat
Eating right and consuming the right foods may be the key to inducing labor. Pineapple has become a myth among many wives, but it’s actually not a labor inducing fruit. Bromelain, which is considered to help induce labor, may be found in pineapples, but its quantity is miniscule.
However, drinks such as cumin tea and spiced tea have been proven to get women to start contractions. Spicy foods are also in the mix, but eating and drinking too much may also give women heartburn and diarrhea, which are not things they need.
Exercise a Little Bit
Exercise for pregnant women, whether they are looking to induce labor or not, must be advocated. Exercising regularly will get pregnant women ready for actual labor. Labor may cost women a lot of iron as it costs blood as well. Regular exercise will boost iron levels and will leave pregnant women better prepared for labor. Over-exercising is strictly forbidden for pregnant women and it is advisable that they consult a doctor before engaging in any strenuous workout.
Get Professional Help from the Hospital
Despite all these tried-and-tested methods, contractions may still not be present for some mothers. “High-risk” mothers who have been pregnant for 38 weeks and still have not gotten their contractions may be advised to be admitted to a hospital and get contractions there. Women who are “low-risk” may still wait for their cut-off point – which is at 42 weeks.
Basically, pregnant women are to take prostaglandins supplements or put them inside their vaginas to induce labor. If all else fails, a man-made pill of the hormone oxytocin, may be done in the same way. All methods on how to start contractions are to be done with a doctor’s supervision and care.
When to Call the Doctors
Mothers need to call the doctors when they are really in pain, like if the contraction is interval and regular. If the mother’s water broke, then it’s definitely the perfect time to call the doctors. Mothers needn’t worry if they think it is a false alarm. It’s better safe than sorry and it’s pretty common for all pregnant women. Even if it’s the middle of the night, a mother must let their doctors know or at least be driven to the nearest hospital immediately.