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The Science Behind Curb Walking To Induce Labor – From Pavement to Push

Is Curb Walking To Induce Labor More Than Just a Pregnancy Myth? πŸšΆβ€β™€οΈπŸ‘ΆπŸ”

As the due date approaches and anticipation grows, many expectant mothers eagerly explore various ways to naturally kick start labor. Amidst the plethora of suggestions and advice, one age-old practice continues to pique the curiosity of pregnant women: curb walking. But is there any substance behind this seemingly simple act of strolling along the curb? Can curb walking truly play a role in inducing labor, or is it merely another anecdotal pregnancy myth?

In this blog post, we embark on a journey from pavement to push, delving into the intriguing world of curb walking and its potential scientific underpinnings. We’ll peel back the layers of tradition and explore the evidence that may shed light on whether curb walking holds the key to expediting the miracle of childbirth. So, let’s lace up our shoes and start our exploration to find out if curb walking is more than just folklore. πŸŒŸπŸ‘£

Curb Walking: A Labor-Inducing Myth or Miracle? πŸšΆβ€β™€οΈπŸ‘Άβœ¨

Curb walking is an age-old pregnancy trick that’s left many expectant moms intrigued. How do you curb walk? You intentionally walk along the edge of a curb with one foot stepping up on top of the curb and one foot stepping down on the road. This makes an up and down rocking movement as you walk.

(Make sure to turn around and do it on the other side on your way back as well! Remember – what you do on one side, you do on the other!)

But what’s the deal with this curiously simple method, and why do some people believe it might just kick start labor? Let’s dig into the fun theories:

Curb Walking Theories

  1. Curbside Shuffle: Curb walking involves a bit of a curb-side shuffle, with some up-and-down action. πŸ•ΊπŸ’ƒ This movement is thought to help the baby shimmy down into the pelvis, potentially signaling the start of labor.
  2. Cervix Push?: Stepping on and off curbs might apply a little extra pressure on your cervix. 🎯 Some say this could be the gentle nudge to your cervix to kickstart the changes it goes through prior to labor.
  3. Oxytocin Boost: Any form of physical activity can get your body’s oxytocin (the “love hormone”) flowing. πŸ’– This hormone is the conductor of the labor orchestra, responsible for those contractions that bring your baby into the world.
  4. Blood Flow Bliss: Walking gets your blood flowing all around your body, even down there. 🩸 Improved circulation could mean better oxygen and nutrients reaching the uterine muscles, the cervix, your baby and potentially helping labor along.
  5. Stress Buster: Curb walking might also be a fantastic stress-reliever for some moms-to-be. πŸ˜… Reducing stress and anxiety levels can have a positive impact on the progression of labor.

But here’s the scoop: While curb walking sounds like a straightforward and fun way to encourage labor, it’s not a guaranteed method. πŸš«πŸ”’ The scientific evidence supporting its effectiveness is non-existent. Curb walking has never actually been studied! Not to mention, each pregnancy journey is unique. Always consult with your healthcare provider before giving it a whirl, and remember that the most important thing is to enjoy the journey to meeting your little one! πŸŒˆπŸ‘£πŸ’•

How To Tell If Curb Walking To Induce Labor Is Working For You?

Gentle induction techniques often need a little time and patience before most moms start feeling the labor vibes. Let’s take nipple stimulation, for example. With this strategy, you’ve got to add an hour of nipple stimulation to your daily routine for three consecutive days.

When I put on my doula hat and think through the mechanics of curb walking – it seems to fit in this gentle body prep for labor category. One night might not do much, but a few nights in a row can work wonders and get those contractions going! It’s like watching a berry ripen. Just like sunshine and time can change a strawberry from hard and green to soft and red, simple nudges can help your cervix ripen and get ready for labor.

Now, if you’re in the mood to keep both your body and mind occupied during the final stretch of pregnancy, here’s an idea: try curb walks for a few nights in a row. It’s a fun experiment! Take some belly pics before and after each walk, and you might just spot your baby inching closer to the exit.

How will you know if curb walking did the trick? Well, keep an eye out for contractions that start to get longer, stronger, and closer together! πŸšΆβ€β™€οΈπŸ‘ΆπŸ“ΈπŸ€° If you’re timing contractions and they are five minutes apart, a minute long and stay that way for an hour, it’s probably time to head to your birth location!

So, slip on your comfiest shoes, hit the curb, and embrace the excitement as you wait for your little one’s big debut. πŸŒŸπŸ‘£πŸŒ†

Curb Walking Vs Regular Walks To Induce Labor

We may not know much about the benefits of curb walking – but we do know quite a bit about the benefits of walking when it comes to the labor process.

In a nutshell, consistent 40-minute walks four days a week at the end of pregnancy won’t instantly trigger labor, but they do have remarkable effects. πŸ§™β€β™€οΈπŸ‚

In a noteworthy study, regular late-pregnancy walking was linked to an improved Bishop score, increased chances of spontaneous labor onset, and reduced need for interventions like inductions, C-sections, or assisted deliveries! πŸŽ‰πŸ‘ΆπŸ“ˆ

So whether you’re curb walking or just walking, here’s a virtual high-five from us for just getting your body moving!

The Theories On Why Curb Walking Could Be More Helpful Than Just Plain Walking

Did you know your baby has job to do during labor as well? That’s right. Take our birth class to find out more about how movement and positioning can help baby progress through what is called their cardinal movements. These are the movements that THEY need to take throughout labor.

This is what your baby is doing during labor:

  1. Engagement – Baby Takes the Plunge: Picture this as the baby’s grand entrance into the birth canal. It’s like they’re saying, “I’m coming down, folks!” This movement often gives Mom some much-needed breathing room, as the baby shifts lower in her belly. This is the step that curb walking to induce labor is believed to support.
  2. Descent – Baby’s Journey Continues: As labor chugs along, the baby keeps on truckin’ down that birth canal. It’s like they’re on a road trip to meet the world! We definitely know walking and the freedom to move in general help with this.
  3. Flexion – Baby’s Chin Tucks In: Here, the baby decides to tuck in their chin towards their chest. It’s like they’re saying, “I’m ready for my close-up!” This chin-tucking makes the baby’s head all streamlined for the journey.
  4. Internal Rotation – Baby Takes a Turn: Once the baby’s head is inside the pelvis, it’s time for a little spin. Think of it as the baby doing a graceful pirouette to align with the curves of the birth canal.
  5. Extension – Baby Says Hello: As the grand finale approaches, the baby’s head extends as it emerges from the birth canal. It’s like they’re giving a little nod to the world, saying, “Hey, I’m here!”
  6. External Rotation and Shoulder Shimmy And Expulsion: After the head makes its debut, it’s time for the shoulders to shimmy and twist a bit to navigate through. It’s like the baby’s way of wiggling into position for their big entrance into the world.

These six cardinal movements are like the choreography of a unique and beautiful dance that every baby does during birth. It’s all part of the magical journey of bringing a new life into the world! πŸ•ΊπŸ‘ΆπŸŒŸπŸŽ‰

The cool thing is that your movement can help them with their movement!!

Could Curb Walking Help A Baby Engage In The Pelvis?

Alright, let’s talk ‘baby engagement‘ in the pelvis! 🍼🏰 So, what’s the scoop? Well, when we say a baby is ‘engaged,’ it means their head has made its way below the entrance of the pelvis (that’s the ‘brim’ for you anatomy buffs).

In first pregnancies, this usually happens right around the 39-week mark. For moms who’ve been through it before, it might happen earlier or when those early labor contractions decide to kick off. When a baby is engaged, they could be anywhere from where they start labor, at +3 station to halfway there at a 0 station.

Quick reminder: A baby’s gotta get in the pelvis before they can descend through the pelvis and ultimately make their grand entrance! 🚼πŸšͺ

Engagement And Curb Walking

When practicing curb walking, you’re like a gentle rocking chair, with one hip gracefully dipping below the other. πŸšΆβ€β™€οΈπŸͺ‘ The whole idea here is to make a cozy space in the pelvis, gently nudging your baby to shift positions. They might do a little pirouette from right to left or flip from posterior to anterior, all thanks to your rhythmic moves. πŸ’ƒπŸ‘ΆπŸ•Ί

Imagine it’s a bit like playing the game of “Perfection” where you’re aiming to fit those tiny pieces perfectly into their snug homes. 🧩🏑 It’s kinda the same dealβ€”by moving differently, you’re offering your baby different chances to play their part and find their way into and through the pelvis. Some babies figure it out right away. Others take a bit more of a gentle nudge. πŸŽ‰

Yep, it’s true, you and your baby are like those perfect puzzle pieces fitting together just right. πŸ§©πŸ‘ΆπŸ’ž So, enjoy your unique dance with your little one on the way! πŸŒŸπŸ€°πŸ‘£

Are There Any Risks Of Curb Walking?

Curb walking hasn’t officially been subject to scientific studiesβ€”yes, it’s a bit surprising that in today’s world, there’s not a single published study on it. πŸ“šπŸ€” However, from an anecdotal perspective, there have been some concerns about the potential risks associated with curb walking.

Let me share my own experienceβ€”I was curb walking the night before my first labor began! πŸšΆβ€β™€οΈ Unfortunately, my water broke that very night. After getting through 24 hours of contractions with no progress (I didn’t even make it to 3 cm dilated), I made the tough decision to opt for a surgical birth. πŸ₯πŸ‘©β€βš•οΈ There were signs of possible infections cropping up, and my sweet baby’s heart rate kept dipping.

Now, it’s essential to note that the way my birth story unfolded likely had little to do with my attempt at kickstarting labor through curb walking. 🚼🌟 However, every once in a while, I do wonder if there might be a connection.

Of course, as a doula, I’ve witnessed many moms using curb walking toward the end of their labor journeys. 🀰πŸ₯ In full disclosure, I tried curb walking again with my second. And still continued on to a healthy, vaginal birth.

But, when I consider the range of women I’ve worked with since then, it does seem like quite a few of the moms whose water breaks before labor mention this technique. Though this is simply my observation, personally, I would skip curb walking in favor of a simple prenatal yoga class or walking.

You can even find specific movements to help balance the pelvis, and prepare the body for labor in our childbirth class.

If you have time, we recommend moms go through this 15 minute sequence once a day the last 6 weeks of pregnancy.

Curb Walking To Induce Labor TL/DR

In the world of childbirth, mysteries abound, and each story is unique. So, while curb walking remains a bit of an enigma, it’s just one piece of the fascinating puzzle that is the birthing experience. πŸ§©πŸ‘ΆπŸ’•

From encouraging the baby to shimmy down into the pelvis to applying gentle pressure on the cervix, these ideas make it seem like curb walking might just be a hidden labor-inducing gem. πŸ’ŽπŸ’ƒ

However, it’s crucial to approach curb walking with a dose of caution. Remember that each pregnancy journey is unique, and while curb walking might be a fun experiment, it’s not a guaranteed labor kickstarter. 🎒🀰

But don’t fret! Regular walking, a tried-and-true method, has shown remarkable benefits in late pregnancy. It’s linked to an improved Bishop score, increased chances of spontaneous labor onset, and reduced need for interventions. πŸžοΈπŸ‘£

As for curb walking, it remains an uncharted territory in the realm of scientific studies. Anecdotal stories and personal experiences are valuable, but always consult with your healthcare provider before embarking on any labor-inducing adventures. πŸ₯πŸ‘©β€βš•οΈ

In the end, the most crucial aspect of this journey is to cherish the unique path to meeting your little one. Whether you choose curb walking, regular walks, or other gentle preparations for labor, relish the moments and the anticipation as you await your baby’s grand entrance into the world. πŸŒŸπŸ‘ΆπŸŒ†