12 Ways You Can Naturally Induce Labor

Pregnant woman sitting on grass, legs crossed, holding her pregnant belly.

12 Ways You Can Naturally Induce Labor

As you’re approaching your due date, you’re becoming more and more ready and anxious to meet your little one. Your back is aching, your feet are sore, and most of all you’re so excited to finally see the sweet little face you’ve been dreaming about in person. And now that you’re almost at the finish line, you may be thinking of ways to naturally induce labor or be tempted to schedule an induction.

Medical Inductions

Scheduling an induction can be tempting since you can plan exactly what day you get to meet your baby and make it sooner rather than later. This is why we call it “the seduction of induction.” However, we’ve seen that unnecessary interventions can pose unnecessary risks. The major one being a C-section.

Of course there are times when inductions are necessary for the health and well-being of mother and baby, but the majority of inductions scheduled nowadays are elective. I believe that babies come when they are ready, but if you are planning on having a hospital birth and your doctor is not allowing you to go too far past your due date (most doctors schedule inductions at or just after 41 weeks), you may want to do a few things to try to get your body ready and get labor going.

FYI: I’d like to add that new research shows that babies are healthiest when they stay in the womb until at least 39 weeks, so I don’t recommend trying these natural induction methods until you have reached full term or are past your due date.

Here are 12 things that you can do yourself to induce labor naturally.

1. Nipple Stimulation

Out of all the ways to induce labor at home, nipple stimulation is one of the most reliable options. It helps with the release of oxytocin, which is the hormone that causes your uterus to contract. (Oxytocin is also known as the love hormone since it’s released when you feel in love. 🙂 ) Do not try nipple stimulation until you have reached or have passed your due date. If you are at that point and you want to try nipple stimulation to bring on labor, there are a few ways to do it:

  1. You can roll or rub your nipples with your fingers. Basically you want it to mimic the suckling of a baby so you will stimulate one breast for 5 minutes, then take a break for about 15 minutes to see if anything happens before you continue to the next breast. If after 15 minutes the contractions begin to fizzle, stimulate the other breast. If they do start to increase, stop and let nature run its course.
  2. Your partner can also orally massage your nipples. This goes well with option number 2. Use the same time restraints as the first option.
  3. Or you could use your breast pump. Using a breast pump can be more effective since it is going to be more vigorous than you or your partner, but some women find the pumping and the contractions to be a bit too painful too quickly.
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NOTES:

  • Only massage one breast at a time.
  • Don’t stimulate the breast during a contraction.
  • Do not use nipple stimulation after the contractions are 3 minutes apart or 1 minute long.
  • If contractions start coming close together, take a break and let nature take its course.
  • You also don’t want it to be too gentle. Babies have a strong suckle when they are on the breast so you want to imitate that intensity.

2. Sex

Pretty much everyone knows or has been told that having sex is the way to start labor. The reason for that is the act of sex can cause contractions. Not only that, semen contains a substance called prostaglandins which helps the cervix to ripen and efface, so it’s best that he also orgasms. This prepares your body for labor. I know, I know. You’re not feeling very sexy at the end of your pregnancy and you may not be “in the mood” at all.

When I tell women about this, most of them let out a groan and say they feel pretty uncomfortable at this point and they don’t think that sex will be comfortable at all. I then tell them that having an orgasm can also stimulate prostaglandins. So if you don’t feel comfortable having sex at this point of your pregnancy, you can still have an orgasm on your own to help start labor.

NOTES:

  • Having sex does not immediately cause you to go into labor. It helps your body prepare for labor, but it is something that you would have to do regularly to get faster results.
  • Do NOT have sex if your water is already broken. This can cause you to be at risk for an infection.

3. Exercise/ Cardio/ Stair Climbing / Squats

Use gravity to your advantage. Get up and start moving! Physical activity helps move your baby’s head down lower in your pelvis and that allows your baby’s head to put pressure on your cervix, which helps it dilate. Try walking for 30 minutes every day. If you can walk up a steep hill, even better! This causes you to lean forward at an angle helping baby move in the right direction. Walking stairs and doing squats have also been said to be very helpful. So go ahead and get that heart pumping!

4. Labor Inducing Foods

To be honest, most of the foods that are said to help naturally induce labor are old wives’ tales, but there are a few foods that have properties in them that may actually help. It’s been said that pineapples may help ripen the cervix since it contains an enzyme called bromelain, which can do just that. Other foods that may start labor include spicy foods and foods that contain basil, oregano, and/or ginger. Spicier foods tend to work the best out of them all since it stimulates your colon. If you didn’t know, a sign of going into labor is diarrhea. When your intestines are stimulated/ irritated by the spicy foods you consumed, it causes you to have bowel movements. Those cramps in your intestines can spread to your uterus, which then can cause you to have contractions and go into labor.

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5. Raspberry Leaf Tea

Drinking raspberry leaf tea regularly can strengthen and tone your uterus and help those muscles in your uterus start to contract. You can get raspberry leaf tea at pretty much any grocery store. You can prepare it hot or make it iced so you can enjoy it year round. It’s also great to drink after you have your baby, since it’s a uterine toner and strengthens your uterus. Bottoms up!

tea_ripeready

6. Labor Induction Massages

Getting a labor induction massage is a great way to get contractions going. As a licensed massage therapist, I have given many of these massages and have helped approximately 60-70% of them go into labor after just one appointment. Women will question if this massage will help them go into labor within 24 hours, but I tell them it should happen within 48 hours. If nothing happens, they should come back for another massage. This massage allows you to relax your muscles around baby, and it sends signals to your body to start the labor process. I highly recommend it.

NOTE: Make sure your massage therapist is knowledgeable about giving labor induction massages.

labor induction massage

7. Warm Baths

Soaking in a warm bath may help to get labor going. How so? Soaking in the tub helps relax you. There is evidence that stress and being uptight may keep you from going into labor. This is why massages and baths are also beneficial.

8. Evening Primrose Oil

Looking for an oil to induce labor? Evening primrose oil (EPO) might just be the thing for you since it can be used to help soften the cervix. EPO contains a chemical that the body convert it to prostaglandins. Some doctors don’t recommend this since research has been inconclusive as to whether or not EPO is actually effective at inducing labor. They normally recommend sex over EPO since semen has prostaglandins. However, many midwives recommend it to their patients to prepare for labor. Several women swear that after one or two nights of inserting capsules near their cervix they went into labor.

To use EPO, you can break the EPO capsule and rub the oil on your cervix at nighttime, or you can insert the capsules vaginally before you go to bed. The moist environment of the vagina will melt the capsule and disperse the gel throughout the cervix. Be sure to wear a pad or have something under you while you sleep since it can leak. Another option is taking it orally.

NOTE: Speak to your healthcare provider before trying this option.

evening primrose oil

9. Castor Oil

Let me first say, I am not a big fan of castor oil. It is a major controversial induction option. The reason is castor oil has a high content of ricinoleic acid, which when ingested is absorbed in the intestine and causes intense intestinal cramping, vomiting and diarrhea because it acts as a strong laxative. It also tastes disgusting. However, many people believe that castor oil induces labor. Some midwives don’t recommend it and some swear by it. Some pregnant women say that it gave them nothing but a bad case of diarrhea. No fun. If you are desperate and spoke to your health care provider and got their approval, here’s how you can take it rather than just by taking a shot:

  • Get 2 ounces of castor oil in a glass of orange juice and quickly drink, or
  • Get 2 ounces and mix it with ice cream. The flavor might be hard to slowly get down though. It bothers some women more than others. Just a heads up!
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Castor-Oil

10. Membrane Sweeping/Stripping

This one can be quite uncomfortable. It hasn’t been proven to be one of the most effective forms of induction, but it is an option. This is something that your doctor or midwife could do at one of your prenatal visits. What happens is your doctor or midwife will do a vaginal exam and they will reach all the way to your cervix to check your effacement and dilation. Once they can feel that you have had some progress, he/she will run his/her fingers around the edge of the amniotic sac and the uterus and gently try to separate it from your uterine wall. This can send signals to your uterus that it’s time for labor and can cause uterine contractions and the release of prostaglandins which may jump start labor.

11. Acupuncture & Acupressure

Acupuncture and acupressure is another natural method for inducing labor. With acupuncture, a practitioner places fine needles at various points along the body to balance your energy flow. Acupressure is the same concept, but instead fingers are used to apply pressure to pressure points. These are also pressed during labor induction massages. A couple of pressure points are thought to cause contractions. One is located in the webbing between your thumb and forefinger. The other is located just above your ankle. Applying pressure to either of these two pressure points may help bring on uterine contractions.

acupressure

image via wikihow.com

Acupressure-to-Induce-Labour-ankle

image via wikihow.com

12. Herbs & Tinctures

You should consult your doctor or midwife before considering herbs to induce labor. Herbs are not regulated by the FDA and can be dangerous if not taken at the proper dosage. This is why it is important to work with your midwife or an herbalist for instructions on when and how to use them. Some herbs that have been used to induce labor include black cohosh, blue cohosh, false unicorn root, and motherwort.

There you go!

Twelve different ways to naturally induce labor. I will say, even these methods are interventions and it’s always best to eat right, exercise, rest and enjoy those last few days of pregnancy as much as you can because the safest and healthiest labor is one that starts spontaneously. But for the ladies that need a little extra help to get things going, I hope that these options help! Listen to this podcast about naturally inducing labor, where we’re talking more on this topic.

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About the Author /

Nina is The Baby Chick® & CEO of Baby Chick®. She is a baby planner, birth doula, postpartum doula, childbirth educator, newborn care specialist, and a mother. With over eight years of experience, she has supported hundreds of families during their pregnancies, births, and postpartum journeys.

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#coronavirus #covid19 #toddlerlife #quarantine #quarantinelife #motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #momstruggles #momprobs #mumlife #mommylife #parenthood #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #momhumor #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣ #mommychick
If they complain that everyone else is going out, If they complain that everyone else is going out, you tell them, “You’re not everyone.” How the tables have turned. 🤦‍♀️🤦‍♀️🤦‍♀️⁠😂
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#coronavirus #covid19 #stayinside #quarantine #quarantinelife #motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #momstruggles #momprobs #mumlife #mommylife #parenthood #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #momhumor #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣ #mommychick
🧼 How to Clean Your Kids Toys in the Days of CO 🧼 How to Clean Your Kids Toys in the Days of COVID-19⁠ 🧸
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It’s hard to be a parent at times like these. It means lots and lots of cleaning, and being vigilant about killing germs on a daily basis. 🦠😷 During this season when many of us have our kids at home, too, it’s important to learn the best known strategies for how to clean your kids toys effectively. We have a mama, teacher, childcare provider, and school administrator on baby-chick.com today and she has seen and tried all different kinds of ways to keep toys and the objects children use most often clean and free of germs. It’s a struggle, but it’s worth it!⁠ 👍
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Even though COVID-19 is a novel virus, experts say that we can still use products that the Environmental Protection Agency lists as effective on killing similar viruses, like the rhinovirus or common cold. And when we halt the spread of germs in our own home, we are doing our part to keep our communities healthy, too.⁠ {Click 🔗 in bio to continue reading!}⁠
📷: @inmomsitrust⁠
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#coronavirus #covid19 #quarantine #quarantinelife #motherhoodthroughinstagram #cleaning #cleaningtoys #safety #kidstoys #momlife #motherhood #momstruggles #momprobs #mumlife #mommylife #parenthood #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #momhumor #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣ #mommychick
Thankful that takeout is still available. 🙏 Thi Thankful that takeout is still available. 🙏 This is what self-care now looks like. 😂⁠
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#coronavirus #covid19 #selfcare #quarantine #quarantinelife #motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #momstruggles #momprobs #mumlife #mommylife #parenthood #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #momhumor #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣ #mommychick
No one’s at your party because it’s called soc No one’s at your party because it’s called social distancing, bro. That and no one cares. 🤷‍♀️ #quarantineday6 😂⁠
📷: @scarymommy⁠
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#coronavirus #covid19 #laundry #quarantine #quarantinelife #motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #momstruggles #momprobs #mumlife #mommylife #parenthood #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #momhumor #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣ #mommychick
Cool 😒⁠ .⁠ #coronavirus #covid19 #nsync #qu Cool 😒⁠
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#coronavirus #covid19 #nsync #quarantine #quarantinelife #motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #momstruggles #momprobs #mumlife #mommylife #parenthood #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #momhumor #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣ #mommychick
❤️❤️❤️❤️⁠ Quote via @thismessygr ❤️❤️❤️❤️⁠
Quote via @thismessygrace 🙏
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#coronavirus #covid19 #quarantine #quarantinelife #motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #momstruggles #momprobs #mumlife #mommylife #parenthood #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣ #mommychick
Quarantine Day 5 . . . May your coffee be strong a Quarantine Day 5 . . . May your coffee be strong and your baby's nap be long. 🙏☕😴⁠
📷: @julieejacks⁠
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#coronavirus #covid19 #coffee #naptime #quarantine #quarantinelife #motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #momstruggles #momprobs #mumlife #mommylife #parenthood #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #momhumor #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣ #mommychick
😫😫😫⁠ .⁠ #coronavirus #covid19 #quaran 😫😫😫⁠
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#coronavirus #covid19 #quarantine #quarantinelife #motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #momstruggles #momprobs #mumlife #mommylife #parenthood #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #momhumor #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣ #mommychick
🏥 When is it Too Late to Change Your Doctor Dur 🏥 When is it Too Late to Change Your Doctor During Pregnancy? 👩‍⚕️⁠
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A major decision that you must make in your pregnancy is who is going to be your care provider to help you give birth to your baby. Are you going to go with your current OBGYN, are you going to look for a different OB, are you going to choose a midwife? Depending on where and how you want to give birth to your baby, this question and your options should become more clear. But if you're seeing some red flags pop up 🚩 with your current provider during your pregnancy, you might be wondering if it's too late to change your doctor.⁠ 😬 We're talking about it today on baby-chick.com! {Click 🔗 in bio to continue reading!}⁠
📷: @mamamatcha_⁠
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#pregnancy #pregnant #pregnancytip #momtobe #pregnancylife #pregnancyguide #mamatobe #firstpregnancy #babybump #pregnancyjourney #bumpie #preggo #pregnancybasics #pregnancyhelp #maternity #motherhood #momlife #expecting #mumlife #mommytobe #pregnantlife #babyontheway #inspirepregnancy #mommychick #babychick
🎶 Sunny day ☀️ Sweeping the clouds away ☁ 🎶 Sunny day ☀️ Sweeping the clouds away ☁️⁠
🎶 On my way to where the air is at best, questionably clean 😷⁠
🎶 Can you tell me how to get, how to get a COVID-19 screen?⁠
🎶 Don’t come over to play, everyone’s social distancing today 🚫⁠
🎶 Sketchy neighbors can stay at least 6 feet away? 🚷⁠
🎶 Can you tell me how to get, how to get a COVID-19 screen?⁠
📷: @howtobeadad⁠
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#coronavirus #covid19 #sesamestreet #quarantine #quarantinelife #motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #momstruggles #momprobs #mumlife #mommylife #parenthood #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #momhumor #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣ #mommychick
It'll be interesting to see how all of this change It'll be interesting to see how all of this changes us in the future. But for now, we are uniting #togetherapart. We are healing and our hope is we will then be stronger than ever. ❤️⁠
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#motherhoodthroughinstagram #covid19 #coronavirus #momlife #motherhood #mumlife #mommylife #parenthood #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #healing #momsofinstagram #mommychick #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣
🧘‍♀️ How to Reset Your Motherhood Mindset 🧘‍♀️ How to Reset Your Motherhood Mindset⁠ 😊⁠
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Motherhood can be the most rewarding and amazing experience in the world. 😍 But, it can also be one of the hardest. 😖 It’s easy for the stress of mom life to become overwhelming. If you’re working, you somehow have to juggle a work schedule and job demands, in addition to fulfilling expectations at home. 🤹‍♀️ If you’re a stay-at-home mom, it can be all too easy to surround yourself with the pressures and stress of motherhood, and forget to ever come up for a breath. 😰 For me, when that stress starts to bubble over, it really affects my relationship with my husband and my kids. When I start to feel like this, I know it's time to reset my motherhood mindset.⁠ 🧘‍♀️ {Click 🔗 in bio to continue reading!}⁠
Article by: Lisa Prosser⁠
📷: @liaeverette⁠
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#motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #momstruggles #momprobs #mumlife #mommylife #parenthood #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #resetmindset #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣ #mommychick #motherhoodmindset
When you have to suction their nose during cold an When you have to suction their nose during cold and flu season. 😂😷⁠
📷: @perfectionpending⁠
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#motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #momstruggles #momprobs #mumlife #mommylife #parenthood #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #momhumor #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣ #mommychick #coldandflu #parentlife #toddlerlife
🧼 Cleaning Tips and Tricks for Busy Moms 🧹⁠
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As a busy mom, I have a whole lot going on at any given moment. 🤹‍♀️ Sometimes, I'm not able to keep my house as clean as I like. 😬 But I have found that I’m much happier when my house is clean and organized, so I try to dedicate some time to getting the job done. I’ve found that following these ten cleaning tips and tricks makes things much easier for a busy mom to maintain (and keeps a whole lot happier!).⁠ 🙌 {Click 🔗 in bio to continue reading and see our tips!}⁠
Article by: @flake.lauren⁠
📷: unknown⁠
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#adultlife #adulthood #motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #momstruggles #momprobs #mumlife #mommylife #cleaningtips #motherhoodunplugged #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #momhumor #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣ #mommychick #cleanup #cleaning #cleaningmode #timetoclean #passionforcleaning #cleanyourhouse #healthyhome #springcleaning #housecleaning #howtoclean
I mean, can you blame us?! 😍😂⁠ 📷: @momf I mean, can you blame us?! 😍😂⁠
📷: @momfriendblog⁠
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#pinchmeimcute #stpatricksday #stpattysday #motherhood #momlife #motherhoodrising #mumlife #motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #mommylife #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣ #mommychick #babiesofig #lucky
Absolutely true. 💚🍀 Happy St. Patrick's Day! Absolutely true. 💚🍀 Happy St. Patrick's Day!⁠
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#motherhoodquote #motherhood #quotes #momlife #quoteoftheday #mumspiration #motherhoodrising #mumlife #inspiringquotes #stpatricksday #momfriends #motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #mommylife #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣ #mommychick #fourleafclover #lucky
☀️ Warm Weather Wardrobe Refresh 😎⁠ .⁠ ☀️ Warm Weather Wardrobe Refresh 😎⁠
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The temperatures are rising and Spring is almost here! If you're not sure how to transition things in your closet with the new season and you're looking for some pieces to welcome the warmer weather, we've got you covered. Consider this your warm-weather wardrobe refresh. 🙌 {Click 🔗 in bio for our tips and for new Spring pieces!}⁠
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#springishere #warmweatherwardrobe #springtime #springstyle #ootd #fashion #style #spring #springfashion #instafashion #instastyle #styleinspo #mommychick #babychick
Such a sweet pregnancy announcement. 😍 To all t Such a sweet pregnancy announcement. 😍 To all the lucky babies out there . . . you're magically a dream come true. 🌈💕⁠
📷: @isisallmiightyy⁠
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#pregnancy #pregnant #pregnancyannouncement #momtobe #pregnancylife #mamatobe #firstpregnancy #babybump #pregnancyjourney #firsttrimester #preggo #luckybaby #luckymama #maternity #motherhood #momlife #expecting #mumlife #mommytobe #pregnantlife #babyontheway #inspirepregnancy #mommychick #babychick
😧 Common Concerns of New Parents (And How to Ha 😧 Common Concerns of New Parents (And How to Handle Them)⁠ 👍⁠
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You waited months and months for this big moment. 🤰 The day you get to meet your bundle of joy and bring him or her home. 👶 Once you're home, you're quickly overtaken by common concerns many new parents have! Wondering how often you should be feeding your new baby? Did they tell you when your baby can have his or her first bath? 🤔⁠
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Don't worry. You're NOT alone! In fact, it's natural to be feeling a little unsure about this whole parenting thing right about now (I know I did!). 😬 So to help you out, we're going to break down some of the common concerns of new parents AND how to handle them!⁠ {Click 🔗 in bio to continue reading!}⁠
Article by: @fitmommystrong⁠
📷: unknown (DM us for credit!)⁠
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#thisispostpartum #postpartum #postpartumlife #newparent #postpartumcare #postpartumcareplan #newborn #dailyparenting #honestlymothering #motherhoodunplugged #youarenotalone #motherhood #mothering #momlife #newmom #4thtrimester #fourthtrimester #postnatal #babychick #mommychick #motherhoodthroughinstagram #mumlife #mommylife #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣
I like to live on the wild side. 😎 In light of I like to live on the wild side. 😎
In light of the Coronavirus, we do hope that everyone is staying home and stay safe. While taking kids out in general can be crazy 🤪 this is not the time to be taking risks. We hope everyone is staying healthy and happy. 🙏💕
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#motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #momstruggles #momprobs #mumlife #mommylife #parenthood #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #momhumor #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣ #mommychick