How to Make Contractions Stronger

By Heidi Gonzales
Make Contractions Stronger

Sometimes, for reasons unknown, contractions will slow down or stop during labor. While many people believe that medical intervention is automatically needed if this happens, there are a couple of natural methods to try first. If contractions do not get stronger or continue after a few hours, medical intervention may be needed as the last resort. Here are some things to try first.

Stay hydrated. Dehydration can contribute to the decreased intensity and efficiency of contractions. Water and fruit juices are excellent choices. If you feel that you are becoming exhausted, you can pour a packet of Emergen-C in a half glass of water. The 1,000 mg of Vitamin C that it provides can keep you hydrated and give you additional energy.

Use movement and positioning. If contractions have really slowed down, meaning they have spaced out or seem less intense, try walking. Walking will usually make contractions more intense. Changing positions like squatting, standing and sitting can have an impact on contractions. Avoid lying down if you can.

Try nipple stimulation. Nipple stimulation increases oxytocin production and will generally increase the intensity and length of the contractions. Stimulate one nipple at a time to see if contractions increase. Once you begin having regular and stronger contractions, stop the nipple stimulation.

Use acupressure. There are certain points on the body, specifically on the hands and feet, that are used to stimulate contractions.

Use a warm compress. Putting a warm compress, heating pad or rice sock on the fundus may stimulate contractions by relaxing the mother and increasing circulation.

Keep an empty bladder. A full bladder can impede the descent of the baby's head and cause contractions to stay less intense.

Tip

Try all of these natural methods for increasing contractions before using medical interventions.

Warning

Vomiting in labor is extremely common, so remember this as you decide what to drink. If you vomit frequently, you will need to drink more fluids. If you decide to use nipple stimulation or acupressure, start slow and pay attention to the intensity of the contractions. If you choose to use a warm compress, make sure that it isn't too hot and take it off immediately if it becomes uncomfortable.

About the Author

Heidi Gonzales is a midwife, childbirth educator, doula, American Heart Association BLS instructor, author and editor for the Childbirth and Postpartum Professional Association e-mag. She left the Navy after 10 years to pursue her passion in birth work. She has attended over 60 births in Louisiana and has helped over 150 families through birth consultations. She volunteers as a childbirth educator at a pregnancy crisis center in Louisiana and also as an online career mentor.