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41 weeks pregnant

Advice & support

Okay, you're five days overdue now -- pregnancy is probably getting pretty old. If your body (and baby) is ready, what can you do to help move the process of labor along?

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In this article, Family Physician Jane Forester has some labor induction information about some options you might want to discuss with your caregiver, such as nipple stimulation and walking. (Also be sure to check in tomorrow -- if this baby hasn't arrived! -- to learn about some of the medical options your caregiver may be considering.)

"There are many ways to help induce labor. I find there is a fine line between natural and synthetic ways for induction of labor, so I will do an overview which will cover both ways. First of all, any of the ways I describe to induce labor should never be attempted without the full knowledge of your healthcare provider, and these are only to be done when you are full-term. More natural, at-home methods to stimulate labor include nipple stimulation, which helps aid the body in releasing its own natural oxytocin. This can be done by applying a warm towel to both breasts for five minutes or massaging one breast for 10 minutes. Gently roll the nipple (twist back and forth) and stop when you feel a contraction."

If this is going to work, uterine contractions will usually be felt within 20 minutes.

Wonder if maybe this could really be labor? Visit our message boards -- share on the due this month board or the labor and birth board!

From Cindy's waterbirth story: Mom and babyI started having mild contractions at about 7 pm on Tuesday, June 13. They felt similar to the contractions I'd been having every evening for the past couple of weeks, only a little more crampy. By midnight, contractions hadn't stopped, and I told my husband, Eddie, that I had a strong suspicion that labor would start that night. "60% chance," I said.

I got him to help me set up the stock tank that I wanted to use for hydrotherapy during labor. I didn't want to have a waterbirth, but I knew that being submerged in water would help with labor pain. We finished that, and I started to cry. "I'm scared," I said. Eddie is a long-distance runner, so he said, "Don't worry, your second marathon is always easier than your first. I just ran my second marathon last weekend, and it didn't hurt nearly as much as my first one." That made me laugh. I laid down in the guest room to try to sleep. Check out the rest of her story here!

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