I’m done having all the babies, but it seems like many of my friends are just getting started. And as the countdown to the due date begins on Facebook, I start to see the same well-meaning comments from the peanut gallery again and again to get that expectant mom to pop out her baby as soon as possible.
Go on a power walk for at least an hour, and you’ll go into labor. I promise!
Just do the dirty deed that got you into this situation in the first place, and that baby will come right out.
Try doing a load of laundry. That’s what worked for me the day I had my daughter!
All this advice is nice and harmless, and people love sharing their birth stories. I get it. Some advice to jumpstart labor even has a bit of medical backing. For example, my midwife recommended as I approached the due date for both of my kids that I go on a power walk, have sex, and also start taking Evening Primrose Oil to soften the cervix. She emphasized that none of these methods were guaranteed to work, but they couldn’t hurt.
At that point in my pregnancies, I just wanted to punch her in the face for giving me such random advice that I probably wasn’t going to use. With my first son, who was eight days late, I was jogging a week past my due date. So maybe I’m kind of bitter that my baby didn’t fall right out of me when I took a lap around the block, as everyone promised he would. Nope, he took his sweet time, and no amount of jogging or horizontal polka would coax him out.
When my midwife told me to go on a power walk (up a hill!) and have sex to speed up my second son’s labor, I had to stop myself from laughing in her face. How about YOU power walk up a hill in the Texas heat with an 8 pound baby strapped to your stomach, and then tell me how horny you feel? I didn’t think so.
If you tell friends and family—especially on social media—that your due date is approaching, you better get ready for some unsolicited advice. While it may be fun and even distracting to have sex, eat pineapple, and stimulate your nipples at 40 weeks pregnant (all suggested methods for inducing labor), I wouldn’t count on your baby coming before he’s good and ready.
(photo: Getty Images)