Let Labor Begin on Its Own
Healthy Birth Practice 1: Let Labor Begin on Its Own
Adapted from The Official Lamaze Guide: Giving Birth with Confidence.
Letting your body go into labor spontaneously is almost always the best way to know that your baby is ready to be born and that your body is ready for labor. In the vast majority of pregnancies, labor will start only when all the players—your baby, your uterus, your hormones, and your placenta—are ready. Naturally, labor usually goes better and mother and baby usually end up healthier when all systems are go for birth. Every day of the last weeks of pregnancy is vital to your baby's and body's preparation for birth.
If your labor is induced (started artificially), it becomes a medical event and proceeds quite differently from spontaneous labor. Unless you or your baby has a health problem that necessitates induction, it makes sense to wait patiently for your labor to start on its own. Even if your due date has passed and you’re longing to hold your baby, remember that nature has good reasons for the wait.
- Download the Lamaze Healthy Birth Practice Paper, available in 11 languages, to learn more about induction of labor.
- Get tips for avoiding labor induction.
- Find out how to keep labor as natural as possible if you have a medical reason to be induced.
- Watch a video on why to let labor begin on it's own.