Ways You Can Induce Labor Naturally

There are different ways and tricks being practiced to induce natural labor. Here is an exhaustive list!

Ways You Can Induce Labor Naturally

14 Natural Ways to Induce Labor

As the due date approaches, you will feel more and more excited and anxious at the same time to meet your baby. Your feet will be sore while your back is aching but finally you can’t wait any longer to see your little one’s face that you have dreamt of for so long. 

Now that you are about to cross your due date, you might be curious about what natural ways you can induce your labor. You might even be enticed into scheduling an induction.

Ways You Can Induce Labor Naturally
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    Medical Inductions

    You can opt for medical induction because you will know which day you will finally be able to see your baby’s little face and it will be sooner than later. Since this option is so tempting, it is called “the seduction of induction”. However, with artificial medical doses, there will always be a potential unnecessary risk attached. 

    There is no denying that in some cases medical inductions are a necessity for the health of the baby as well as the mother. But, the problem is that the scheduling of inductions is primarily elective nowadays. 

    If your delivery is going to be at a hospital then your doctor will schedule your induction to be at the 41st week or right after that. You might feel like inducing your labor naturally before you take the help of artificial drugs. 

    Research has shown that most of the healthiest babies spend 39 weeks in their mother’s womb. I would advise you to wait until at least the end of your full-term pregnancy or at least a couple of days past your due date.

    Here are Some suggestions you can try to induce your labor naturally:

    Labor Inducing Foods

    Most foods that you have heard to help induce labor are old wives ’ tales, however, some foods have properties in them that can help induce your labor. For example, many people believe that pineapple helps in ripening the cervix because it contains bromelain (an enzyme) but there is no concrete evidence of this fact.

    Foods that contain oregano, basil, and ginger as well as spicy foods are also known to start labor. Since spicy foods are a natural stimulant to your colon, it works better than other food in inducing labor.

    Did you know that diarrhea is one o the signs that indicated the start of your labor? When you eat spicy foods, it irritates and stimulates your intestines so there’ll be bowel movements. The cramps generated in your intestines will hopefully reach your uterus causing you to have contractions, inducing your labor.

    Nipple Stimulation

    Nipple stimulation is one of the safest and most reliable ways of inducing your labor naturally at home. You’ll feel happier because this releases the oxytocin hormone which is also known to be the feel-good hormone. But, most importantly, oxytocin also helps in inducing labor. 

    Don’t try to stimulate your nipple unless you have gone past your due date. Here’s how you can stimulate your nipples to induce labor :

    a. Rubbing your nipples

    Use your fingers to rub your nipple and circle around them. It’s best if you can create a false sensation of your baby sucking on your boobs. Keep stimulating each of your breasts for 5 minutes.

    When you’re done stimulating one of your breasts, wait for the next 15 minutes to see if anything is happening and then you can move to your other nipple and stimulate them for 5 minutes. 

    If you feel contractions fizzling then you can stimulate your other nipple. If you feel the contractions being more frequent then it’s time to stop and let nature take its course

    b. Oral Massage

    You can get help from your partner to give you an oral massage for your nipples. The time limits are the same in number a.

    c. Breast Pump

    Breast pumps are more powerful in stimulating your nipples than you or your partner. However, some mothers have reported that breast pumps made their nipples sore and the contractions became a bit painful. 

    Notes 

    • Do not message both of your breasts at the same time. 
    • When you are getting a contraction, don’t stimulate your nipples through it. 
    • If the contractions you’re getting have become 1 minute long and 3 minutes apart, stop the nipple stimulation. 
    • In case of contractions becoming more frequent, it’s time to let nature take the wheel from there. 
    • Your goal while trying nipple stimulation would be to mimic the suckling of your child and since they mostly have a strong suckle, you need not be gentle while stimulating your nipple.

    Light Exercise

    When you do more physical work, it helps push your baby more to your pelvic area. With this, the head of your baby will create pressure around your cervix which will in turn dilate your cervix more.  

    You don’t have to do heavy exercises, just a 30-minute walk will be just as good. If you have a steep hill anywhere near your house then that will be perfect for this. Since you are leaning forward at a certain angle, this helps your baby position lower at your cervix in the right direction. 

    You can try walking up the stair and back down or you can try doing squats but squats will be really difficult since you are past your due date and have a whole human being inside your belly. So, go and get your heart pumping!

    Notes:

    • There is no guarantee that if you exercise, it would induce your labor. A recent study has declared that there is no connection between physical activities and inducing labor.

    Sex

    Even the big shows like Big Bang Theory have talked about the fact that sex can induce labor. This is an extremely popular belief that has been told for a long time because sex is known to cause contractions. The semen has a substance namely prostaglandins which is effective in ripening the cervix while being effaced so it would be best if your partner orgasms. 

    This process will make your body ready for labor and I know that at the end of your pregnancy, it is difficult to feel the sexy vibe or maybe you are not in the mood at all. Most of my friends whom I have shared this thought with, have given me an audible groan saying that it becomes very uncomfortable at that point. 

    So, if you don’t want to get into it right now, you can still have an orgasm all by yourself because that will also stimulate prostaglandins making your body go into labor. 

    Notes:

    • If you have sex, it doesn’t mean that you will immediately go into labor. Sex helps in preparing your body so that you can go into labor. If you want to get a faster result, you will have to have sex regularly. 
    • If your water is broken, DO NOT have sex as this will increase your chances of getting an infection. 
    • Even though this technique is quite popular, there is not much concrete scientific evidence that supports the theory of sex being an effective method of inducing labor.

    Raspberry Leaf Tea

    Your uterus will get stronger and be toned if you regularly intake raspberry leaf tea. The muscles in your uterus will start to contract so your body will go into labor. You can find raspberry leaf tea online on Amazon or you can get them from grocery shops. 

    Both hot and cold raspberry leaf tea will work and it is especially good after you have given birth since it promotes toning of your uterus making it stronger.

    Warm Baths

    If you’re stressed, your labor will likely be delayed. Warm baths help you relax making your body feel safe and comfy. This is why warm baths, as well as massages, are known to help induce labor.

    Learn More:- Can I Take A Hot Bath To Induce Labor?

    Labor Induction Massages

    Your contractions are likely to begin if you get labor induction massages. Sometimes, even your doctor will recommend getting these massages since they are helpful almost 60% to 70% of the time. Most of them experience going into labor just after one session of these labor induction massages. 

    Generally after the massage, within 48 hours, most women experience contractions. If there is no sign of labor then get another massage. Massages help relax the muscles around your uterus and cervix which in turn sends your body the indication of you being ready to go into labor. 

    Note: make sure that the massage therapist attending you has enough experience and knowledge about performing labor induction massages on you.

    Evening Primrose Oil

    Did you know that certain types of oil can induce labor? Well, EPO or Evening primrose oil softens the cervix and contains a chemical that produces prostaglandins in your body. 

    However, many doctors do not approve of EPO since the scientific research has been inconclusive about the success rate of EPO-inducing labor. Though many midwives recommend this method. Some women also reported having found EPO quite effective, saying that they went into labor after 1 to 2 nights of inserting the EPO capsules near the cervix. 

    If you want to use this oil then break the capsule and rub the oil on the cervix area (best at nighttime). You may insert the capsule vaginally before going to bed at night as well. The moist and warm area inside your vagina will help melt the capsule making gel disperse throughout your cervix. Make sure to wear underwear or something so that the leaks don’t ruin the bedsheet. 

    You can even take these capsules orally if the idea of inserting chemicals in your vagina makes you uncomfortable.

    Note: You should consult with your provider before you opt for using EPO

    Membrane Stripping or Sweeping

    This method might not be very comfortable for you! It is also not the most efficient method of inducing labor but this option is available so I am listing it here in any case it interests you. In this method when you go to do your prenatal exams with your midwife or doctor, they will do a vaginal exam. 

    Your doctor or midwife (who is doing the examination) will examine your cervix and feel it to get an estimation of dilation and effacement. Basically, they will look for progress around your cervix and after finding some, they will feel the edges of your uterus and amniotic sac with their fingers.

    After that, they will gently separate the amniotic sac from your uterine wall. This will send your body a signal that you are ready to go into labor. You might feel contractions after that and your body will release prostaglandin, jump-starting your labor.

    Castor Oil

    This one has quite the controversy attached with its reputation of being able to induce labor. Castor oil acts as a powerful laxative so when ingested, the high ricinoleic acid inside castor oil makes one vomit, have diarrhea, and get strong intestinal cramping.

    The taste of castor oil is just disgusting. I have a friend whose midwife told her not to take castor oil while my midwife had approved castor oil. So, as you can see, the opinions regarding castor oil vary among the masses. 

    Some would-be-mothers complained that it gave them a bad case of diarrhea and nothing else. If you feel desperate and have permission from your doctor then here’s how you properly intake castor oil. 

    • You can take a glass of orange juice and put 2 ounces of castor oil. Now if you want to avoid the horrible taste, you have to drink it quickly. Or
    • You can also get ice cream and mix 2 ounces of castor oil in that. Since the taste is very bad, it might be difficult to swallow quickly. Some women have a really hard time handling the taste of castor oil.

    Acupressure & Acupuncture

    Another natural way of naturally inducing your labor is through acupuncture and acupressure. In acupuncture, a skilled practitioner will insert fine needles at different places on your body that will help balance the energy flow. 

    Acupressure is built upon the same concept but the tools are different; instead of needles, acupressure requires hands to apply pressure to various pressure points on your body. During the labor induction massages also, these pressure points get pressed as some of them are believed to cause contractions when pressed.

    Did you know that there is a pressure point just between your forefinger and your thumb? Another one is situated above your ankle. You might get uterine contractions if any one of those or both of those is pressed.

    Tinctures & Herbs

    You need to consult with your doctor before going ahead with this method to induce labor. Since FDA is not responsible for regulating herbs, there is a possible danger if the dosage is not proper. 

    This is why I would recommend you to first discuss this with your provider or doctor and then continue with their instructions on the timing and the dosage of intaking the herbs. Some known herbs that induce labor are blue cohosh, motherwort, black cohosh, and false unicorn root.

    Intake of Spicy Foods

    You can’t find concrete scientific evidence that guarantees labor if you eat spicy food. Some people believe it helps start contractions naturally. You can eat curry which is safe, healthy, and tasty, thought to have the equivalent effect as castor oil. 

    The gut and bowel of a pregnant woman’s body get stimulated by the spicy foods which then indirectly stimulate the uterus. If you have a palate for spicy food and don’t mind getting possible heartburn, by all means, serve yourself a plate or two.

    Have Pineapple

    Besides the great taste, pineapple is also rich in bromelain which is an enzyme. Bromelain helps ripen the cervix which then causes your body to go into labor. However, the medical proof of this theory is only a handful but some people are still adamant in their belief that pineapple is natural labor-inducing food. 

    Each pineapple has only a small quantity of bromelain inside them so you’ll have to consume it in large quantities for this to theoretically work. You have to eat several pineapples to get the desired result. 

    Consuming several pineapples will likely affect your body the same way having a spoonful of castor oil will but the taste is way better in the case of pineapple. It might cause you to stomach upset if you eat 6 or 7 so be ready for that

    The Bottom Line

    There you have it! 14 ways to induce your labor naturally. Even though these are all interventions, it will be best for you and your baby that you eat healthily, exercise according to your body, rest properly and cherish those last memorable moments of your pregnancy as much as you can. 

    This might help you go into labor naturally which is the healthiest as well as the safest way to go into labor; one that begins spontaneously. But for would-be-mothers who need the extra push, I hope these suggestions succeed in being helpful!.

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