Can yoga help induce labor? Hopefully we can answer all your questions here…
So, you’ve reached full-term and are ready to meet your baby- congrats! But what are you supposed to do if your baby doesn’t quite agree with your labor timescale?
As you probably know, babies can come earlier or later than expected. We must admit though, when babies overstay their welcome in the womb, it’s tempting to try just about ANYTHING to get them out!
Certain herbs and exercises might induce labor if you’re getting desperate, but what about yoga? Well, as it happens, there’s plenty of research to suggest that yoga can in fact induce labor. Whether or not you’ve been practicing prenatal yoga prior the arrival of your little one, there’s no time like the present to get into some poses that might just get your baby moving in the right direction (so to speak)!
Though yoga is in fact scientifically proven to get the induction process going for certain women, you may be wondering how exactly labor helps to induce labor.
Well, that’s where we come in. We’ve researched how to induce labor with yoga and how exactly certain poses help to get your baby ready for delivery when the time comes.
Ready to learn more? Let’s dive in.
How can yoga help induce labor?
In the first instance, you may be wondering HOW exactly yoga can help to induce labor in pregnant women.
Well, there are multiple different answers to this question, and they’re all super interesting to boot!
Yoga produces oxytocin
If you’re a well-practiced yogi, then you may be familiar with that fuzzy feeling that you get at the end of a killer class. Well, that’s called oxytocin and it’s what helps induce labor in heavily pregnant women.
Though it might sound bizarre, creating a stress-free environment for your baby is critical for inducing labor when things aren’t quite moving on their own.
Though yoga isn’t the only way to get that oxytocin flowing, it’s certainly an excellent (and free!) way to go about it. Obviously, we don’t recommend a full-blown session of Vinyasa when you’re at full term, some gentle poses and stretches can do wonders for inducing labor in women that are really looking to get their babies out post-haste.
It will help to relax everything
Birth is stressful. Though we can read as many books on the subject as we want, that big lead-up to the birth of your baby can be filled with stressful moments!
However, all that pent-up stress can really stop things in their tracks and prevent labor from coming on naturally. So, if you feel yourself stressing out, why not try some gentle yoga and meditation to induce labor? Usually, when you take stock of what’s going on around you and let your body de-stress, it ends up naturally getting to where it needs to be. In the case of a heavily pregnant woman, that’s usually labor – hooray!
It helps to position the baby correctly
If nothing else, practicing labor late in your pregnancy can keep everything ticking along smoothly. The last thing you’ll want to deal with is a breach birth, so performing yoga to induce labor can help your baby get into an optimal position for delivery.
Yoga is all about creating space and calming the body down. So, if you’re stressed about delivery, performing some simple poses is an excellent idea.
What yoga poses can help induce labor?
Now that you know exactly how yoga can help induce labor, you might be after some information on what poses to perform to get your baby moving and grooving.
The Garland Pose
This is the single most popular pose for readying those muscles for labor. Said to strength the thighs and open the pelvis in preparation for labor, this pose is perfect for those looking to get those muscles prepped. This pose is said to be particularly helpful if the baby is already in the head down position, so get squatting!
Though this one may seem counterintuitive, it’s one of the best yoga poses for getting that baby out. Rest is still crucial, even when you’re trying to induce labor. So, be sure to try out savasana throughout your pregnancy to keep your muscles in an optimal state for delivery. Hey, we’re certainly not going to argue with additional rest! Just trust that your body will do its thing, and delivery will come.
Though this one may be challenging when you’re ready to pop, it’s perfect for opening the pelvis. As you may already know, creating space for your baby is crucial when it comes to delivery, so you’ll want to create as much space as possible in those final days!
The butterfly pose
Your belly may be bourgeoning, but we still recommend finding a few minutes to perform the butterfly pose if you’re looking to induce labor through yoga. Great for stretching the inner thighs and relieving pelvic tension, this is perfect for tense moms-to-be who are looking to relax during that final week. What’s more, it may just be relaxing enough to induce – hooray!
King pigeon pose
Though this stretch is challenging for heavily pregnant women, it’s perfect for stretching the psoas, thighs, and hips. When these muscles are in their optimal state, it will make delivery a whole lot easier – trust us.
Supported forward bend
For this pose, you’ll just need to find a supportive surface to lean against such as a wall or a bannister. As this pose creates plenty of space in the body, it’s ideal for lengthening the spine and expanding the back of the pelvis. Certain to get your baby moving during those final days, it’s perfect for activating labor.
Though we totally get wanting your baby to come stat, we always recommend checking in with your doctor prior to getting your DIY induction process going. You obviously won’t want to go into preterm labor, so do be careful when you’re practicing yoga without supervision during those final weeks of pregnancy.