The nursery furnishings are all picked out; the most ardent royal fans are camped outside the Lindo Wing and the Queen's gynaecologist has long since given up drinking in readiness for the birth. Now all pregnant Kate Middleton and the rest of the nation wants is to see her baby.
Like other celebrities such as Selma Blair, Mel B and Jessica Simpson, Kate may now be searching for natural ways to induce labour. Former Spice Girl Mel B was typically forthright about her frustration.
"I've tried everything, I've tried the hot food, the running... I've tried it all. It just seems to be stuck and hibernating in there getting bigger and bigger, " she said.
Here at HELLO! Online we've investigated the best ways to get the ball rolling.
Kate is said to be well, but may soon start wishing things would kick off
- Warm Baths
Grab your bath salts, light the candles and hop into a nice warm bath. Soaking in the tub is thought to help kick-start a labour. It not only relaxes the expectant mum but also helps soften up the cervix and prepare the body for the work ahead.
Acupuncture is another popular way for heavily pregnant women to speed up a birth. Kate Winslet, Natalie Portman and Mariah Carey reportedly all used acupuncture to relieve stress and help with their general wellbeing while expecting.
"Acupuncture has a high rate of success and is safe," says PJ Cousin, a registered London acupuncturist and herbalist who owns the Cure by Nature treatment centre. An acupuncture session will last around an hour.
"I place needles in acupuncture points on the legs, hands and shoulders that correlate to the pelvis and help encourage the baby to descend in the womb and the contractions to start," he adds. "Sometimes a woman will find that her contractions start before the end of the session, or sometimes we'll need another session the next day."
PJ, who also has 25 years experience in the treatment of male and female infertility, says that he will often also give a woman homeopathic Caulophillum tablets to help induce the birth a couple of days before the due date.
There is an old wives tale that spicy foods are very good for helping along a pregnancy that is way overdue.
Foods with basil, oregano or ginger are also thought to help encourage contractions. Exotic fruits like pineapple, mango and papaya contain an enzyme called Bromelain, which is said to soften the cervix and stimulate muscle contractions.
Evening Primrose Oil can also be used by heavily pregnant women to soften the cervix and bring on labour. Castor oil is an effective alternative but it is not always recommended. The oil is a strong laxative and can also have unpleasant side effects such as vomiting.
Selma Blair went for long walks in the hope of bringing on labour
- Long walks/climbing stairs
Selma Blair was constantly seen strolling through the streets in LA when she was three weeks overdue with her son Arthur. Physical activity and exercise can encourage your baby's descent into the pelvis and put a little pressure on your cervix that can encourage contractions to start. Try climbing stairs or dancing if walking isn’t your thing.
Having reflexology in the final stages will help your body enter a deep state of relaxation which in turn puts you in the optimum state for birth. This can sometimes result in the onset of labour, preventing the need for induction by your gynaecologist.
A professional will start treatment with the expectant mum around 36 weeks.
Reflexologist Carly Garrett says: "This can be a very stressful time for a client as not only is she becoming very tired and in lots of cases uncomfortable, some do really worry about the impending labour.
This is where the relaxation side of the treatment really helps as well as them being able to voice their fears without being judged.
"Post 40 weeks I work much harder on the endocrine system (helping to stimulate hormone production such as Oxytocin which starts contractions), large intestine (to simulate the same effect as having a curry!) and pelvic area to help encourage the baby down, soften the cervix and to hopefully get things moving."
"Results are always different (as are pregnancies & births). I have had clients that have not gone into labour but have felt the benefits of the treatments during birth. I have also had lots that have gone on to give birth very soon afterwards and avoid induction."