Pineapple Ice Cream
The end of pregnancy can be a trying time. You are more than likely sore, tired and uncomfortable. But also excited to meet your baby!
At the end of my pregnancy, I was all of the above. I was willing to try some natural, non-invasive “old-wives tale” methods that claim to help your body prepare or go into labor a little faster. Things such as eating pineapple, taking evening primrose oil, getting acupuncture, having sex and walking may come to mind.
When I was pregnant and “over my guess date”, and I say this in quotations because it is indeed a guess, I was all for non-invasive methods.
To me there was nothing wrong with blending some frozen pineapple into “ice cream”. And a long walk on the beach with my husband and an aching back seemed harmless too.
Along with the more well-known “get labor going” ideas above, I also tried out two other methods. One of which I read about in Birthing From Within by Pam England and Rob Horowitz, and the other I don’t recall if I learned about it somewhere or just decided to do it. If I find the source I will mention it here.
The Birthing From Within method is called birth art. It doesn’t have to be done at the end of pregnancy, in fact, its great for any stage of pregnancy. Pam explains that it’s helpful to work through fears of birth or to express how you would like your birth to go.
So that is what I did. I was a few days over my “guess date” and I did not want to go to the fetal assessment the midwives had booked for me. So I got out my pastels.
There were a few elements I wanted to incorporate into my art. I wanted to represent the people who were going to be at the birth supporting me – my husband, my doula, my mom and the midwives. I wanted to give some encouragement to my perineum to stay intact. I incorporated water, because I had a hunch it was going to be a water birth. Solitude and safety, which I saw in my mind as a cave-like atmosphere, was also an element I wanted to include.
The hearts in the image above represent the people at the birth. The large green and brown one at the center represents my husband. I pictured him as my main support, along with my doula. My mom’s heart is the yellow one, the blue is for my doula and the two purple ones represent my midwife and her assistant.
Below the hearts is the water and within it is an image of a baby crowning. The black area around the baby’s head represents space. I wanted to visualize lots of space for the baby’s head to emerge, without tearing.
Going back to the top, the brown, grey and yellow “rainbow”, represents the “cave” of warmth, safety and solitude. This ties in with hormones, because our hormones work best when we have these three things present.
My labor didn’t start for a few more days after doing the birth art, but it helped me visualize how I wanted the labor to go. I think any positive visualization during pregnancy is a good practice. I also ended up only having a super tiny tear!
The next thing I did, a few days later, was to write out my feelings. I felt mentally “stuffy”. I felt like I had so many things floating around in my head that needed to get cleared out. Birth is a mental event in itself. Much of labor is dealing with pain, which is very much a mental game.
As I was going to bed that night, after a long day of very strong braxton hicks, I wrote. You could call it free writing I suppose. I typed out whatever came to mind. The feelings that were muddling up my brain came out onto the computer screen, a much better place for them.
I explained to the baby that I know she does a lot of the work too, maneuvering through my pelvis. I told her I knew she would signal to my body when it was time to come out. I admitted to her (and the universe) that I thought maybe my emotions were getting in the way or I had some sort of mental block.
I have a very strong belief in woman’s bodies and the process of natural labor and birth. If we are patient and give the body enough time and proper support, our babies will come. I felt like I had to admit that I was terrified of the possibility of my body not working and needing some sort of medical intervention.
I was booked for a non-stress test four days from the time I was writing. The fact that they could find something wrong and push an induction or other medical processes, was causing a lot of stress. I admitted that I was maybe falling into society’s belief that birth is a scary, risky event and not trusting the natural process.
I felt a lot better after getting it all out into a word document on my computer. I finished it off by affirming to myself and the baby:
“I can do this, by body can do this, you can do this, your body can do this. Daddy’s gonna be a super help and already has been today. We will take this moment by moment. We are safe, and we will get this done beautifully.”
I closed my laptop and went to bed. I had the best uninterrupted sleep that night. I woke up at 5 AM the next morning, to the start of my labor, and my daughters birthday!
If you are nearing the end of pregnancy, and are uncomfortable physically, or mentally, give these methods a try. They may help in the way of clearing any mental blocks and having a calm mind to focus on the labor ahead!
Did you do something like this at the end of your pregnancy? Tell me in the comments!