As we ease into this Friday morning, I'm taking a bit of time to answer a question I hear in birth prep classes often: Can Sex Really Induce Labor? The short answer here is: "Not Really!"
Obviously, if it were that straight forward there wouldn't be a need for a blog post, right? So let's break down this old wives tale (or do you think men came up with this one? No one knows...but it is possible! lol)
Let me first say, safe sex during pregnancy is perfectly ok. The baby has ample protection in the uterus and no form of clitoral or vaginal stimulation or penetration can harm it. (Please understand that this is under normal circumstances. If your doctor restricts sex for any reasons, please adhere to their requests.)
So about that sneaky freaky you were wondering about, while it is perfectly healthy, it is unlikely to send you to labor & delivery with actual active labor contractions. But it could help if you are in early labor already. Orgasms, as awesome as they are all on their own, can help trigger contractions. You may have already felt these stomach tightening sensations by now in your pregnancy (go you!) These contractions are unlikely to continue if you haven't already experienced a sustained pattern prior to the sexual activity.
And of course, finishes are good for all (seriously)! In this case, male ejaculation can actually help soften the cervix with it's high content of prostaglandins. This can aid in the ripening, effacement, and thus dilation of the cervix. I mean, it is pretty cool that the semen that was needed to get you pregnant can help in the end game too. That stuff is quite crafty!
All in all, sex during pregnancy can be just as awesome as it was before. And being all entangled in someone you love can be a temporary escape from the changes that are soon coming. But even this can trigger oxytocin which is a powerful aid in the progression of labor.
So the next time you are staring at the circled "Due Date" on your calendar with the echos of that "you are maybe dilated 1 cm" that your doctor said earlier, and someone advises you to "get busy" to speed things up, go for it! (If you feel up to it, of course) Enjoy your time with your spouse. It is imperative that you all remain connected. Just know, babies truly do come when they are ready.
A person's voice is not something they can choose. Its steady tone and pitch...all things that come naturally. And whether the vast majority likes your voice on some whole James Earl Jones love or not, your voice is yours and most times we are stuck with it. The great thing is, there is someone who will LOVE your voice...They fall in love with it as they take in every single aspect while you love and nurture them.
My mother's voice is a smooth even toned Alto. It has very few rises and falls during normal conversation. It exudes power and strength, goofiness and sarcasm in every word she speaks. It is the first thing I remember being in love with.
My Mother's voice was the voice in my head that told me to get up when I laid there dramatically after falling off my bike. It was the voice in my head that whispered "You Can Do This" whenever I approached something challenging. It was the voice that actually hummed or sang as I lay my head on her tummy on the couch when I was feeling down. And until I gained my own voice, my mother's was the guiding presence I needed.
My Mother's voice is a constant journey back to a life that was simple. It is the ultimate comfort. It is all I have on most days to get me through. Choosing to live away from my mother meant giving up her direct touch, but I knew as long as telephones were a thing, I could still feel her though her voice. And I do, daily...most days, multiple times per day. I call my mom constantly and no matter what she is saying (because she may be fussing), I can feel her love with every word she speaks.
My Mother's Voice is definitely one of my children's top 5 sounds of all time! My girls flock to me with joy when they hear it because when Grandma is on the phone they can feel the love she has for them. And while I know she wishes she can see them more often so they can learn her touch, they already know her and her silly personality by her voice.
Being an adult means creating your own voice and learning to follow it. Being a daughter means taking your mom's voice and merging it with yours and trusting it to help you make decisions. Being a Mother means speaking to your children with poise and grace, strength and intelligence, Power and Love knowing that it will leave a huge imprint on their lives.
Lady, I know today is difficult for you, as it reminds you that you can no longer hear your mother's voice. But we both know you can. A Mother's voice never leaves. It is and always will be there. Whenever we are quiet, and we push ourselves aside, that voice speaking in those still moments...That's Love. That's Comfort. That's Mom!
So HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY LADY! Thank you for sharing your voice with me!
Preparing for your hospital stay doesn't have to be a daunting task. Actually, it is much easier when you realize that all you really NEED is yourself, your support team, and your provider. But, having "all the things" is a comfort thing that I totally understand and have subscribed to myself during my own births.
So below is a quick list to help you bring in the things from home that can bring a sense of comfort to your birthing and/or early postpartum experience. (And don't forget about your partner...there's a section for them too!)
Feel free to add to or take away things as you see fit. And should you forget to pack any of this stuff, no worries, between your Doula and the Hospital (and possible quick spousal runs back to the house after the birth...because, that happens and it's ok!) you will have everything you and your precious little one need to feel comfortable while away from home.