Are you an expecting mama, slowly reaching your due date, and wondering if there are other natural ways to induce labor (besides spicy food, nipple stimulation, and castor oil…)? Pregnant women all around the world have been trying out lots of different methods to go into labor overnight.
Let me introduce you to Curb Walking:
Curb walking is a natural way to induce labor for pregnant women who have reached their due date. When other natural ways like spicy food, nipple stimulation, and castor oil have failed, curb walking is a great way to help your baby’s head reach further down into the birth canal and get your body ready for birth.
Curb walking refers to walking with an uneven gait, which ultimately brings your baby into a better position in your pelvis to put pressure on your cervix. That way, it will signal to your body to be ready for birth and might cause uterine contractions, aka active labor, to start.
That sounds like a good idea, doesn’t it?
According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, a survey from nationalpartnership.org in 2013 showed that around 30% of pregnant women try to induce their labor at home. Tired of being pregnant, being full term, or wanting to avoid a medical induction, women like you and I have tried many different natural ways to go into labor.
Disclaimer: As a pregnant woman, when trying out curb walking (or any other natural induction methods) at home, please stay in close contact with your healthcare provider. They can give you professional advice and will know if checking your baby and triggered contractions is necessary with a ctg (cardiotocography). Do not try to induce your labor if you have any pregnancy complications, health problems, or even a placenta previa!
What is Curb walking?
Ultimately, Curb walking is a strategy to induce labor at the end of your pregnancy. Once you have reached your due date and had a healthy pregnancy, you can start trying it out to trigger your labor contractions.
Inducing your labor through curb walking (or anything else) will only work if your body and baby are ready for birth. Unfortunately, if that is not the case, there is not much you can do to make things happen faster.
Yes, a long walk, bouncing on an exercise ball, drinking red raspberry leaf tea, and sexual intercourse might indeed help your body prepare for labor and delivery. However, ideally, you’ve already had a few mild contractions and know that your baby is in the optimal position and your body is ready in these last weeks of pregnancy before you start any natural labor induction methods like curb walking.
How to Curb Walk?
Classic curb walking is walking with one foot on the ground and your other foot on the slightly higher curb. The uneven gait will help your pelvis open so your baby’s head can move down deeper into the birth canal.
Additionally, the baby’s body weight will increase the process of cervical ripening with the help of gravity. If your baby is in the correct position, the gentle pressure of the head on your cervix also causes the release of oxytocin, a hormone known to jump-start labor.
Technically, every kind of walking can have that effect, according to scientific evidence published in the National Library of Medicine:
“Walking during late pregnancy could improve Bishop score, increase spontaneous onset of labor, and decrease induction, cesarean, and instrumental delivery without having any adverse effect on the neonate’s Apgar score.”
However, the uneven walk with the pressure of the baby is definitely the most effective way of walking due to preparing the baby’s positioning.
Oh, and by the way, if you can’t go outside and walk on a curb, you can get the same effect by walking stairs up and down or walking around with one foot with a high heel shoe on and one foot without.
Also: remember to stop walking when you’re starting to feel too tired. Save your energy for the actual labor ahead.
Does Curb Walking really work to induce labor?
My personal experience trying to induce labor by curb walking has been positive, even though it never directly induced my labor.
When I was pregnant with my second child, I learned about curb walking for the first time. I decided to try it since many women have been reporting their success stories with it.
I simply kept doing my daily walks with my firstborn. I just integrated the curb walking wherever possible (meaning, wherever there were opportunities to walk with an uneven gait: curbs, stairs, slight slopes, and more).
Even though I didn’t go into spontaneous labor right after one of my walks, labor started all by itself, and my baby’s head was already very well engaged in my pelvis when I came to the hospital to give birth.
I believe curb walking definitely had its part in helping my baby find the perfect birthing position and putting pressure on my cervix to trigger labor. The dilation process afterward was actually very fast with her, and I was surprised at how soon she arrived in our arms.
Other natural labor induction methods
Sexual intercourse, abdominal massage, other exercise and physical activity like bouncing on a birthing ball/yoga ball, a warm bath, drinking red raspberry leaf tea, eating spicy food, putting in a clove oil tampon, nipple stimulation with a breast pump, drinking the midwives brew (castor oil), and using evening primrose oil are some of the many other natural labor induction methods.
(Did you know that, for example, that nipple stimulation with a breast pump is also known as a very effective way to trigger active labor?)
Try them out if you’re desperate to meet your little one or have a medical induction scheduled. But remember not to overwhelm your body and only do one or two things at a time with enough rest in between. (And always talk to your health care provider first!)
However, if nothing seems to get your contractions going, don’t stress about it. Your baby might need some extra time, and you can take a good last bit of peaceful rest before giving birth. Try to relax as much as you can. By now, you have been growing your little one for more than 9 months; that in itself is huge!
The good news is that you will very soon hold your baby in your arms, and the joy will be greater than ever imagined! And who knows, that peace of mind might get your contractions going at the end of the day. You may be surprised by how soon things start happening after you begin to let go and relax.
Either way, you will hold your baby in your arms sooner than later! I wish you all the best for your labor and delivery! You got this!
If you haven’t already started using birth affirmations, check out how they can be a great prep and help for giving birth.