You’re so pregnant, you’re DONE and you want that baby out. Someone suggested curb walking. In fact, we talked about it in my episode on how to induce labor. Is using curb walking to induce labor smart? I think the answer is no. It won’t put you into labor unless you’re already there. But let’s talk about when it CAN help things move along!
How do I know so much about curb walking? Hi, I’m Hilary — The Pregnancy Nurse®. I’ve been a nurse since 1997 and I have 20 years of labor and delivery experience (plus, I’ve had 3 kids of my own). I know a lot about how the pelvis works as you head into labor and I think I’m a great resource for this one!
Will Curb Walking Induce Labor?
There are no studies on curb walking, unfortunately, so I’m going to have to go off knowledge of the body and seeing people do it on their own.
I do not think that curb walking will INDUCE labor. That means, that even if you go 5 miles around your neighborhood you will HURT but you likely won’t go into labor.
And, if you take nothing more away from this article than this, it’s that…
Pain is different than labor.Remember this!
I really think that people THINK they’re going into labor because of how much it hurts after they do stupid things like lots of stairs, or jumping jacks, spicy foods or jumping on the trampoline! But that isn’t labor. That’s hurting — needless pain!
However I do think that curb walking can help augment labor, and small amounts of it can put your body in a good place to go into labor.
And while you’re here, grab my Signs of Labor Checklist to see if you’re going into labor:
How to Curb Walk?
It’s just like it sounds (you do need a curb to do it, although I’ve seen some women try to replicate it with high heels I don’t recommend it as your sense of balance will be off). You put one foot up on the curb and the other one is in the gutter. You then walk that way, and then turn around and give the other side a chance to be up on the curb/down in the gutter.
As you can tell, it’s pretty simple!
You know what else is simple? Getting prepared for birth!
How can Curb Walking Help?
I really think it’s the jarring motion of up and then down and then up (etc — be sure to switch sides so not always one side is getting the “down”) may help baby find their best way into your pelvis.
I also think that the angle your hips are at (remember to switch sides) isn’t how we normally are, and that can help baby find a good place, and perhaps help your pelvis open for baby to descend better (possibly also causing you to dilate).
Some people have also reported that the jarring nature of curb walking helped their water break, but I hear many more people that it did NOT do that. I have a whole post on what makes your water break you might find interesting.
How would I use curb walking?
If it was me, and I was starting to feel some cramping and didn’t feel like sleeping I might consider a short curb walk. I just think that motion can help your baby move more into labor. I would maybe alternate some curb walking with sitting on a yoga ball and doing some hip circles. That will also help stretch out those tired leg muscles.
There is also something monotonously comforting about curb walking like we did it in second grade walking home. Take someone you love and go on a nice walk with them and dream about your future. That will also help the oxytocin flow.
Why won’t curb walking induce me?
In order for your body to decide to go into labor and give birth your brain, your baby and your uterus all have to decide it’s time. Many “natural” methods of induction really don’t work. The only proven methods are the ones that we use in the hospital (you can learn more about those in my induction guide).
When your body decides that it puts off hormones to help soften your cervix, it creates contractions that push against that softened cervix to help push baby into the birth canal.
And that’s labor in a nutshell.
What other things can I do to speed up labor?
Other things could be lunges, using the birthing ball (to rotate, NOT to bounce), sleep can also help. You’re looking for activities to help open your hips and that feel good (because oxytocin wants to flow most when you’re happy).
So, those are my best tips for curb walking.
However, is your brain in gear for labor? Remember IT needs to get into the game too and if you’re nervous about labor sometimes THAT is the thing stopping you.
The Online Prenatal Class for Couples is the easy way to get prepared for birth. It can help your head be ready so when your uterus and baby are ready, your brain’s like “let’s go!” It can be done in less than 3 hours and it’s GREAT to do while rolling on your yoga ball!
Or, if you’re not wanting to learn ALL about labor grab my guide: Going Into Labor Made Easy where we talk just about my best tips to go into labor!
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A nurse since 1997, she has worked in various fields including pediatrics, geriatrics & hospice. She has 20 years of labor and delivery experience in the San Jose, CA and Phoenix, AZ areas.
As an evidence-based prenatal educator Hilary has delivered thousands of babies and has educated hundreds of thousands of parents from a diverse patient population to help them have a confident birth.