Disclaimer: This regimen worked for me. However, you should consult with your doctor before trying any tips on how to dilate faster.
Before becoming pregnant, I suffered from horrible menstrual cramps. So once I found out that I was expecting, I was determined to find any natural remedy that would reduce the pain that comes with labor. Well, sorry to say that I didn’t come across anything as it relates to pain. However, in my quest, I discovered tips on how to dilate faster:
Jordan University of Science and Technology conducted a study that followed 114 women and investigated the effect of date fruit consumption on labor parameters and delivery outcomes. The study had 69 women consume six dates per day for four weeks prior to their estimated date of delivery. The remaining 45 women did not consume any dates. The study concluded the following:
- The women that consumed dates had significantly higher mean cervical dilatation upon admission compared with the non-date fruit consumers (3.52 cm vs 2.02 cm), and a significantly higher proportion of intact membranes (83% vs 60%);
- Spontaneous labour occurred in 96% of those who consumed dates, compared with 79% women in the non-date fruit consumers;
- Use of prostin/oxytocin was significantly lower in women who consumed dates (28%), compared with the non-date fruit consumers (47%); and
- The mean latent phase of the first stage of labour was shorter in women who consumed date fruit compared with the non-date fruit consumers (510 minutes vs 906 minutes).
I figured that I wouldn’t lose anything in trying. So starting at 37 weeks, I consumed six Deglet Noor dates per day. I made sure to space them out as follows: two after breakfast, two after lunch, and two after dinner.
Red Raspberry Leaf Tea
Westmead Hospital conducted a study that sampled 108 mothers; 57 (52.8%) consumed raspberry leaf products while 51 (47.2%) did not. The findings suggested that:
- Raspberry leaf products may shorten labor with no identified side effects for the women or their babies;
- Women who ingest raspberry leaf might be less likely to receive an artificial rupture of their membranes, or require a caesarean section, forceps or vacuum birth than the women in the control group.
Starting at 37 weeks I drank 3-4 cups of red raspberry leaf tea per day and followed this regimen through week 38. At week 39, I upped my intake of the tea to 6-7 cups per day. I also incorporated these exercises into my daily regimen.
After taking the glucose exam, I tested positive for gestational diabetes. As a result, my doctors did not want my pregnancy to exceed 39 weeks. As much as I wanted my pregnancy to progress naturally, I understood that it was in my baby’s best interest to follow these orders (considering the circumstances).
Labor: Early + Active Phase
As I presumed, week 39 rolled around and still – no baby. Therefore, I checked into the hospital. They gave me a pill to ripen my cervix; at that point, my cervix was high and closed. This continued throughout Friday. Finally, on Saturday morning (8:59 am), my water broke! We were frantic and I told my husband to immediately notify our family to come to the hospital, so they wouldn’t miss the opportunity of seeing our son wheeled to the nursery.
The labor nurse told us not to worry just yet. After all, this was my first baby and I was only 1/2 cm dilated and that IF I was lucky, the baby would be delivered late Saturday afternoon or Saturday night. She also mentioned that they would likely have to administer Pitocin.
When the nurse came to check on me at 9:35 am, I was already 1 1/2 cm dilated. My doctor arrived at 10:49 am and checked my cervix, and I was a WHOLE 4 cm dilated. She basically ruled out the Pitocin and said that things were progressing much quicker than she anticipated, so she would see how I naturally progressed.
Labor: Transition Phase
At 12:00 pm I called for the nurse and with confidence told her, “I’m ready to have this baby”. I knew I was ready because I felt immense pressure, as if I had to take a giant poop. She giggled and said, “lets see”. They checked my cervix and I was 9 cm dilated. After the doctor arrived, she informed me that I was 10 cm dilated and ready for action.
After roughly 30 minutes of pushing, my baby boy was born. My doctor was taken back as to how quickly I progressed and delivered him. I informed her of the tips I followed on how to dilate faster. Maybe it was the dates. Perhaps it was the red raspberry leaf tea. Possibly it was luck. All I know, is that I am now a believer in dates and red raspberry leaf tea.
I hope my tips on how to dilate faster are of use to you. What are some tips you’ve come across?
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