Why do we want the cervix to soften?
As you near the end of pregnancy, a woman’s cervix will begin the process of softening as your body prepares for the birth. It softens so it can efface (thin and stretch) and dilate (open up), which needs to happen for the baby to pass through the birth canal.
Today I’m sharing 5 ways you can to help soften your cervix with natural methods. When the baby is head down, facing your back and pressing against the cervix (aka optimal position), the pressure from their head signals your body to produce prostaglandins which help soften and open up the cervix.
To get the baby in the right position, try these things:
- Spinning Babies: Near the end of pregnancy I share some of my favorite Spinning Babies exercises for mamas to do at home. These moves help get the body in tip top shape for labor and delivery!
- Work on your posture: sit up straight and stay away from recliners and comfy couches. Instead prop up your back with pillows to maintain good posture, and stand with your hips over your ankles (rather than pushing out the belly). When you slouch and recline back, you close off the pelvis and encourage the baby to turn posterior.
- Try a birthing ball: Rocking, bouncing, and rotating your hips on a birthing ball also opens the pelvis, and it may speed up cervical dilation.
- Walk: I cannot tell my clients enough how beneficial it is to walk! The rhythmic sway of walking helps open up your hips, and that along with gravity aid in wiggling the baby down to where they need to be. Plus it helps the baby press against your cervix, which can help it efface and dilate.
- Intercourse: It’s a joke among the birthing world that the way to get baby out is the way you got it in, but if you are able to, this is a great way to help soften your cervix! Semen contains prostaglandins, which I discussed earlier, and intercourse can cause uterine contractions which can help dilate your cervix.