According to a recent study, bicarbonate of soda (also known as baking soda,) “helps women avoid Caesarean-sections.” The findings of the study, which were published in The Journal of Maternal-Fetal & Neonatal Medicine, revealed that baking soda dissolved in water can help at least 17 to 20 percent of women to give birth naturally if they are experiencing delivery complications. Women who are “having slow or difficult labors” were able to give birth and the infants were unharmed during the procedure.
In an episode of BBC’s Today, Professor Susan Wray, study author from the University of Liverpool, reveals that baking soda can help neutralize acid in the uterus. This then helps women give birth naturally. The baking soda used in the study is the standard kind that can easily be bought in grocery stores.
In the U.K., at least one out of four births are done via C-section. While the procedure is usually a safe one, it can sometimes cause “blood clots, excessive bleeding, and womb infections” among women.
The researchers from the university, who collaborated with scientists from the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, looked into the condition of 200 participants “who had difficult or slow labor.”
Some of the women who were observed in the study drank water with baking soda. After an hour, the participants received oxytocin, a hormone that is given to women to help induce labor. Oxytocin can make the uterus contract. Meanwhile, the women who didn’t ingest baking soda mixed with water were given oxytocin right away.
The scientists posit that drinking water and baking soda “is a simple, cost-effective way” to help women give birth naturally no matter where they are in the world. (Related: Acupuncture reduces medical interventions used in labor and delivery!)
Professor Wray shares that baking soda can be bought as an antacid. She concluded, “It’s really low rent. You can buy it if you feel a little bit hungover, heaven forbid, or if you feel you’ve got indigestion.”
How to avoid a C-section
Childbirth is already a nerve-wracking experience for first-time moms, and you don’t need to add any worries about a C-section into the mix. Here are some tips to help you avoid this procedure:
- Stay in shape during the pregnancy — Ensuring that your body is in good shape when you’re pregnant can increase your chances of giving birth naturally. Since birth is often a complex process, following a healthy diet and staying away from processed foods significantly lowers your chances of being overweight, having high blood pressure, and being diagnosed with diabetes. These three conditions all “increase your risk for cesarean section.”
- Familiarize yourself with the birth process — If you know what to expect, you can minimize any anxiety you may feel and you can give birth in a calm state of mind. If you and your partner know what to expect, you won’t show up at the hospital too early. Doing so can increase the chance of having some sort of intervention, which can also increase the risk of having a C-section.
- Do not induce labor — Take note that according to studies, this allegedly “safe practice” can “more than double your risk of cesarean section”.
- Consider having a doula as your support person – A doula, or a woman who has received training to assist another woman while she is giving birth, is often “associated with shorter labors, less need for pain medication, increased breastfeeding rates, and less vacuum-assisted births.” With the support of a doula, you can stay home longer once labor starts.
You can read more articles about infant health and pregnancy news at WomensHealth.news.