How to induce labor at home

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There are many ways on how to induce labor naturally, but one of the most trusted ways to induce labor is with the use of castor oil. But why is that so? With this article, we will explore the various natural means on how to induce labor and compare it with the use of castor oil for labor induction.

How to Induce Labor Through Natural Ways

There are several ways to induce labor naturally which were discovered and developed by our ancestors over thousands of years. Some women all over the world are giving birth up to this day without the use of modern or western medicine and they are doing it fine, so it is not a surprise that natural ways to induce labor are as effective as some modern western means. Below are some natural ways on how to induce labor and how they are done in comparison with castor oil:

Natural Ways to Induce Labor

How it Works

How Safe Is It?

How to Induce Labor with Castor Oil

As the facts at the table above have shown, although there are several natural ways to induce labor, not all of them are as safe or as effective as the use of castor oil. True, using castor oil on how to induce labor may not be the best way as the use of western medicine has a bit of a higher success rate compared to castor oil’s 58% but it is still a lot better than other natural ways to induce labor. As with anything concerning childbearing and childbirth, whatever method you choose on how to induce labor must be safe, and done in the presence of an experienced natural birth practitioner or a medical doctor.

The end of a pregnancy can sometimes feel like it drags on forever. You’re bloated, tired, achy and you just want to meet that little person who has been kicking you for nine months. Luckily, there are many natural methods to induce labor that can help speed things along.

Although none of these methods are medically proven to kick start your labor, they are all safe and harmless. Whether they’re old wives tales or they prove to be effective, why not give them a go?

How to induce labor at home

Take a Walk

The most simple way to induce labor naturally is to go for a walk. Taking a relaxing walk around your neighborhood or even walking around the house can help the baby’s head to drop against your cervix, thus releasing oxytocin, a hormone which helps induce labor.

Walking every day in the weeks leading up to your due date is not only one of many natural methods to induce labor, but a good way to condition yourself for labor and delivery. Not sure where to start? Check out this article on How to Walk to Induce Labor.

Eat Spicy Food

While it may be an old wive’s tale, many mothers swear that eating spicy food sent them right into labor! Why could this be? Spicy food stimulates the digestive system, helping move the bowels, which in turn could possibly help the uterus start to contract. Go for some delicious curry recipes, Chinese take-out, or Thai food.

Have Some “Alone Time” with Your Partner

If you’re up for it (and with your doctor’s approval), shut the bedroom door and go for it with your partner. Semen has natural prostaglandins, a hormone produced by a woman’s body to help induce labor. After sex, lay horizontal for a bit and relax with your hips elevated to try to thin and soften your cervix. Plus, the uterus contracts during orgasm, a great way to jump-start labor.

Try Acupressure

An age-old Asian practice, acupressure is the act of using finger pressure over certain places of the body to help the body relax and relieve pain. There are certain pressure points on the body which have been known to not only help induce labor, but also to help with the pain associated with childbirth. For some tips and safety measures of acupressure, check out this article.

Eat Pineapple

Pineapple contains bromelain, an enzyme from the stems of pineapples which is said to stimulate muscle contains and soften the cervix. The proteins in bromelain are known to stimulate chemical activity within the body, therefore, hopefully helping the body kick into high gear for labor.

Pineapple is also an anti-inflammatory and therefore a digestive aid, bringing about bowel movements, and hopefully inducing labor. Can’t stomach pineapple straight up? Sip on one of pineapple smoothie recipes and wait for that baby.

Go Dancing

Shake your groove thing, mama! Not only is dancing one of the perfectly natural methods to induce labor, you can have fun while doing it. Swaying your hips while dancing can help the baby descend into the pelvis. Just like with walking, gravity will help the baby down, so that the head is up against the cervix, thus releasing the oxytocin that can induce labor.

Bounce on a Ball

Many women use an exercise ball during labor to help ease the baby down the birth canal, but did you know you could also use it to induce labor? Squatting and bouncing on a large ball will open up the pelvis and help the baby’s head down near the cervix. By bouncing, you are allowing your pelvis to engage the baby. Again, let gravity do it’s thing!

Drink Red Raspberry Leaf Tea

While red raspberry leaf tea, an old Native American pregnancy tonic, may not actually naturally induce labor, many women drink it throughout their pregnancy because it helps tone the uterus.

It also helps strengthen the contractions, so once actual contractions begin, red raspberry leaf tea is thought to help the process along. If the uterus is toned, it is prone to be more ready to go at the right time. Furthermore, many women continue to drink the tea after delivery because it helps tone the uterus back into shape.

Try Swinging

Find your local playground and go for “a swing.” The small G-force which results from swinging could possibly encourage your little one to come out. Further, a ride on a swing will help the baby’s head down into the cervix, thus stimulating the oxytocin as it does during walking and dancing.

Last Updated: February 23, 2021 References Approved

This article was co-authored by Susannah Kerwin, ANP-BC, HNP. Susannah Kerwin is a board certified Adult Nurse Practitioner in New York, New York. With over 10 years of experience, Susannah specializes in adult primary care, holistic medicine, and women’s healthcare. Susannah holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of San Francisco. She obtained her MSN from New York University’s (NYU) unique dual degree program combining integrative and allopathic disciplines. Prior to becoming a Nurse Practitioner, Susannah worked for more than ten years as a Registered Nurse in psychiatric and surgical settings. Susannah also serves as an adjunct faculty member for NYU.

There are 30 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.

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Your pregnancy due date is typically calculated at 40 weeks of pregnancy. If you are beyond 40 weeks, you may be uncomfortable, impatient, and excited to get the birthing process started. Before you turn to medical interventions to induce labor, try some natural ways at home to start labor.

How to induce labor at home

Toward the end of pregnancy, most women are tired and ready to meet their babies. As their due date nears, my patients often ask about natural ways to induce labor.

There are plenty of urban legends about natural remedies that supposedly move things along. Some of these methods are harmless; others may have risks or unpleasant side effects. Most don’t actually work at all.

Let’s look at the truth behind nine of these “natural” methods of inducing labor at home, and why you may or may not want to try them out:

1. Castor oil

Caster oil to induce labor is one of the more popular, supposedly “natural” suggestions. Because castor oil is a laxative, it does cause uterine irritation or contractions – but often as a result of GI upset and diarrhea, not labor. In randomized studies (the gold standard in medical research), women who ingested caster oil were no more likely to go into labor than women who had taken no castor oil.

There are some foods and recipes out there – such as this infamous salad or eggplant parmesan – that are rumored to cause labor and likely contain castor oil or something similar as their “active” ingredient.

But the oil itself has generally fallen out of favor given the significant side effects (again, GI upset and diarrhea) and its inability to induce true labor.

2. Exercise

Moderate exercise is safe – and highly recommended – during pregnancy. Unfortunately, there aren’t any exercises that have been shown to induce labor. I have a friend who walked 40 city blocks unsuccessfully attempting to coax out her little one.

3. Acupuncture or pressure

Randomized trials have failed to show that acupuncture or pressure (like massage) will induce labor. Given this remedy can be quite pricey, I suggest you skip it and save that money for diapers.

Some people still buy into it, however, so don’t be surprised if your favorite pedicurist refuses to perform a foot massage when you’re pregnant. Many people believe massage of the inner leg above the ankle can cause miscarriage or preterm labor.

4. Pineapple

Fresh pineapple – the core, in particular – contains an enzyme called bromelain, which is commonly used as a meat tenderizer. This enzyme breaks down the proteins in tissue and is what makes your tongue tingle or mouth develop sores when you eat pineapple.

The popular theory is that somehow the bromelain from the pineapple makes its way to your cervix and causes the breakdown of tissue there, causing the cervix to soften and stimulating labor.

There is no evidence to support this theory, however. The enzyme is not active in your acidic stomach and is only partially absorbed by the body.

There’s no harm in enjoying a serving of pineapple at term – although the fruit is known to cause significant heartburn.

5. Sexual intercourse

It’s not clear whether or not sexual activity at term will help induce labor. One study has even shown that having sex might actually reduce the likelihood of going into labor.

Intercourse generally isn’t harmful during pregnancy. However, with certain conditions, such as placenta or vasa previa, your obstetric provider may recommend “pelvic rest” or “nothing per vagina.” Not following these recommendations could lead to hemorrhage and endanger your health and the health of your baby.

6. Herbal remedies

Herbs such as blue and black cohosh, raspberry leaf tea, and evening primrose oil have been sold as a way to “prepare” your uterus for labor.

Not so fast. Cohosh has been associated with fetal heart failure and stroke as well as maternal complications during labor. Randomized trials have shown no increase in likelihood of labor onset with any of these herbs, and the safety is unknown. Avoid these supposed remedies completely during pregnancy.

7. Nipple stimulation

Nipple stimulation causes oxytocin release, which in a lactating mother causes the “letdown” of breastmilk. It also causes uterine contractions and return to normal uterine size (called “involution”), which is why women who breastfeed generally have heavier bleeding for a shorter amount of time compared to women who bottle-feed their babies.

Nipple stimulation during pregnancy will also cause uterine contractions, although it may not cause the onset of true labor. It may also cause severe, prolonged contractions that cause fetal distress and harm. That’s why I don’t recommend using nipple stimulation to induce labor.

8. Spicy food

Spicy foods affect the body the same way as castor oil – GI upset leads to uterine irritation and contractions. As with castor oil, these contractions rarely result in true labor.

Spicy food can also lead to significant heartburn, which pregnant women are predisposed to anyway. Bottom line: you may regret those tacos later.

9. Membrane stripping

Your obstetric provider may begin membrane stripping about a week before your due date. This process – where a finger is inserted through the cervical opening and swept to the left and right in a clockwise motion to separate the lower part of the membranes from the uterine wall – may be uncomfortable for some women and is only possible if your cervix is dilated.

The available data does show an increase in spontaneous labor onset following this procedure – but it is also associated with vaginal bleeding, cramping, and occasional membrane rupture.

With my second child, I experienced heavy bleeding after membrane stripping that required a trip to labor and delivery to evaluate my baby – with my toddler in tow. This made me feel anxious, was inconvenient, and did not bring on labor.

If you are interested in membrane stripping to induce labor, discuss it with your provider, and he or she can help you decide if it is the right choice for you.

The medical community studies drugs and interventions (such as oxytocin for labor induction) both before and after implementation to ensure their safety and efficacy and to ensure no unexpected complications or side effects have occurred.

Many women swear by a certain natural method, but a woman close to her due date is extremely likely to go into labor no matter what she is doing – or eating – at the time.

Many of the above natural ways to induce labor are probably harmless. Others, however, may have unwanted side effects or could be unsafe for you or your baby. Talk to your obstetric provider beforehand about any method you intend to try and get his or her opinion on what is safest.

We recommend you take the true “natural” approach to labor – let it happen when it happens. After all, only about 2 percent of women remain pregnant more than 1 to 2 weeks past their due date.

Think of it as your first demonstration in patience – something you will undoubtedly require often as a mother!

For more information about pregnancy, labor, and delivery, sign up to receive Your Pregnancy Matters email alerts when we publish new stories. You can also make an appointment to see one of our specialists by calling 214-645-8300.

Certain movements can improve a pregnant person’s alignment and properly position the baby for delivery. Experts share how to do them safely and effectively.

By the end of the third trimester, most parents-to-be are pretty anxious to get the show on the road. “Women feel uncomfortable being pregnant and want to be un-pregnant,” explains Joyce Gottesfeld, M.D., OB-GYN for Kaiser Permanente in Denver. If their due dates passes without any hint of contractions, some people consider taking things into their own hands by inducing labor themselves.

  • RELATED:How to Induce Labor at Home

But is it safe? “It’s important for every pregnant woman to discuss labor induction and plans to attempt it at home with her physician,” says Ilana Ressler, M.D., a reproductive endocrinologist with RMA of Connecticut. She explains that women who have increased pregnancy or medical risks should avoid it altogether.

That said, she acknowledges that women might seek to “put favorable circumstances in place” to encourage labor to happen naturally, which might involve positioning the baby properly and improving the alignment of the mother’s body through exercise. The good news: You can safely do this through intentional and low-impact movements.

  • RELATED:Signs of Approaching Labor: How to Tell Your Baby is Coming Soon

“For a low-risk person, exercise (or movement in general) and paying attention to your posture and alignment is one of the most important things you can do,” explains Ashley Brichter, founder and CEO of Birth Smarter, which offers in-person and virtual childbirth classes for expectant parents.

She adds that, in order for labor to start off well and progress, the baby must be in an optimal position (head down, facing your back with their chin tucked). Women should also encourage proper body alignment to achieve more space in their lower back, which allows the baby to rotate and descend. “What I would look for is just postural work, and trying to bring some balance into the body and pelvis,” says Brichter. The following movements might be able to help.

  • RELATED:Is It Safe to Exercise During Pregnancy?

The Best Exercises to Induce Labor at Home

1. Parallel Your Feet

“A lot of pregnant women splay their feet wide, but bringing their toes parallel can help separate the sitz bones,” says Brichter. This finds more space in their lower back, which makes labor and delivery easier.

2. Maintain Alignment

Instead of pushing your belly forward when standing, stay aligned with your hips over your ankles. This stance—which is easy to take while doing dishes, standing in the line at the grocery store, etc.—encourages the baby to move into the proper position. Similarly, try not to slouch when you’re sitting down, says Brichter.

3. Sit on a Birthing Ball

According to Brichter, sitting on a birthing ball in neutral wide-legged positions prepares the body for labor by increasing blood flow, opening the pelvis, and encouraging cervical dilation. You can also try these birthing ball exercises to induce labor: circular hip rotations, rocking, and gentle bouncing.

  • RELATED:The Best Positions for Labor

4. Do Pelvic Tilts

During delivery, your pelvic bones pull away and separate to accommodate your baby’s head. Keep the joints loose by completing pelvic tilt exercises. Here’s one way to do them: Lying on your back, place your feet flat against the floor and bend your knees. Slowly lift the pelvis until it becomes parallel with your torso. Hold for 10 seconds, return to your starting position, and repeat several times.

5. Assume the Butterfly Pose

You might recognize the butterfly pose from dance or yoga class—but did you know it can increase flexibility in your pelvic joints, improve blood flow, and make childbirth easier? To get into the pose, sit upright on the floor, and bring the sole of feet together while bending the knees. Pull your feet toward your body to feel a stretch in your hips and inner thighs, and don’t forget to breathe into it.

6. Go on Walk

Maintaining a regular exercise routine, including low-impact cardio like walking, has many benefits throughout pregnancy. But walking can also be used as an exercise to induce labor, since it helps with cervical dilation and allows the baby to drop in the pelvis. Walking might also ease some of your anxiety surrounding labor and delivery.

  • RELATED:The Best Exercises to Prepare for Labor and Childbirth

7. Perform Lunges

Lunges stretch the hips and open the pelvis, which helps the baby move into the ideal birthing position. Here’s how to do them: Stand up straight, then take a big step forward with one leg, keeping your knee over your ankle. The other leg should drop so it’s parallel to the ground. Push back up to starting position, then repeat with the other leg.

Who Shouldn’t Use Exercise to Induce Labor?

While experts often recommend regular exercise for low-risk pregnant women, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) suggests discontinuing if you experience certain symptoms. They include vaginal bleeding, abdominal pain, regular painful contractions, amniotic fluid leakage, shortness of breath, dizziness, headache, chest pain, muscle weakness affecting balance, and calf pain or swelling.

Always speak with your plans to induce labor through exercise with your healthcare practitioner, especially if you have a high-risk pregnancy. Consider discussing your plans with a physical therapist as well. “Midwives and OB-GYNS are very good at keeping pregnant women safe, but they aren’t necessarily experts at the body’s structure,” says Brichter. “Somebody thinking about using movement and exercise in labor might want to talk with a women’s physical therapist.”

  • RELATED:Stages of Labor: What to Expect When You Give Birth

The Bottom Line

“If your body is not ready for labor, don’t push it,” says Dr. Gottesfeld. And although exercise can prepare a woman’s body for delivery, it’s not a well-proven method of labor induction. “If a woman is interested in attempting labor induction, it is best to discuss this with her physician,” adds Dr. Ressler.

If you are looking up the frequently asked question of how to induce labor naturally at home, then you are probably 40 weeks pregnant and had enough with pregnancy. Luckily, you are at the end of a difficult journey and you are about to meet your bundle of joy.

Fortunately, they are a few tips and tricks to induce labor naturally that will help prevent an overdue baby. The main way is to cause your uterus to contract and your cervix to open. Two hormones do this, and they include oxytocin and prostaglandin.

The following ways stimulate uterine contractions and cervix opening.

  • Exercise

Go on long walks. Gravity helps push the baby downward. This could work, but it may take a long time to have an effect. Also, walking upstairs has a similar effect.

  • Sexual Intercourse

Semen has prostaglandin which helps ripen and soften the cervix. Orgasms also release oxytocin which contracts the uterus.

  • Pumping

Stimulating nipples releases the hormone oxytocin which leads to uterine contractions. Usually, women who have pumped went into labor within 72 hours.

  • Dates

Eating 6 dates a day for four weeks before your due date will help mothers go into labor before induction is needed.

  • Primrose Oil

Many women have taken these pills in the evening, These pills act like prostaglandin which helps the cervix soften and open up.

  • Membrane Sweep

This technique involves your doctor pushing her finger up the cervix and separating the membrane from the cervix. It is uncomfortable and may hurt, but this usually causes labor within 48 hours.

  • Red Raspberry Leaf Tea

Some research concluded that red raspberry leaf tea shortens the second stage of labor. Begin drinking a cup at 32 weeks and increase the amount gradually.

These ways are scientifically proven to help in some way to induce labor. Use the tips and tricks to induce labor naturally before needing to be induced. Induction may cause complications during labor; so, these tips could be handy. If you begin feeling contractions, look for the signs found in the article “Are You In Labor” to help you decide whether you are actually in labor or not.

In this Article

In this Article

In this Article

  • Can Labor Be Induced Naturally?
  • Possible Ways of Inducing Labor Naturally
  • Inducing Labor in the Hospital

Can Labor Be Induced Naturally?

It’s just a week until your due date. You’re scouring the Internet for some way to coax baby out on time — or maybe even a couple of days early. The message boards are full of suggestions for inducing labor “naturally.” They range from eating spicy foods to spooning down castor oil.

But does anything really work? Childbirth experts say there’s no good proof.

The only safe and reliable methods for starting labor involve medications given at the hospital. Only a couple of non-medical techniques show any promise, but the jury is still out on those. Most other techniques are rumors, unlikely to help at best, and potentially harmful.

Possible Ways of Inducing Labor Naturally

When it comes to inducing labor, the following methods draw mixed reviews from childbirth experts. Either there’s no evidence to support them or they might work, but carry risks. If you plan to try any of them, consult your doctor or midwife first.

Acupuncture

Acupuncture may help bring on labor. In parts of Asia, it has been used for centuries to jump-start labor. Some studies suggest it can help women who are 40 weeks or less pregnant, but may not help bring on labor in women who are post-term, or 41 weeks or more pregnant. More research is needed.

Sex

Another strategy that gets positive reviews from doctors and midwives is inducing labor the same way you started your pregnancy — by having sex.

Although there’s no proof sex can start labor, there is a good reason why it might. Sex releases prostaglandins, hormone-like substances that are like the medications used to induce labor. If you’re comfortable with having sex, it won’t hurt to try. Make sure your water hasn’t broken and your doctor or midwife has given you the green light.

Other Methods

  • Long walks: Going for a walk is good exercise but experts don’t think it will help bring on labor.
  • Spicy foods: It’s a popular theory, but there’s no direct connection between the stomach and the uterus. So, there’s no reason to think a particular type of food will bring on contractions.
  • Castor oil: Some experts recommend taking a small amount of castor oil after the 38th week. But castor oil brings on diarrhea and could cause dehydration.
  • Cohosh: Some women try starting labor with cohosh, but doctors caution that this herb contains plant-based chemicals that may act like estrogen in the body.
  • Evening primrose oil: This herb has substances that your body changes into prostaglandins, which soften the cervix and get it ready for labor.
  • Red raspberry leaf tea: Some people think this herbal tea helps bring on spontaneous labor. The verdict is still out, but the tea is chock full of iron and calcium, which can be healthy for mom and baby. Studies show it’s safe to drink during pregnancy.

Continued

Inducing Labor in the Hospital

If you pass your due date, your doctor or midwife may recommend inducing labor in the hospital. Women with high-risk pregnancies may be induced very close to or just before the due date. Some risks of complications require induction well before the due date. For low-risk pregnancies, your doctor may want you to go to 42 weeks before inducing labor.

Inducing labor usually starts with taking prostaglandins as pills or applying them inside the vagina near the cervix. Sometimes this is enough to start contractions.

If that’s not enough to induce labor, the next step is Pitocin, a man-made form of the hormone oxytocin. It stimulates uterine contractions. Pitocin should only be given once the cervix is open and ready for labor.

As the due date approaches, many couples are eager for labor to begin so they can finally meet their little one.

And though that’s the most exciting moment of your life, you might want to slow down and not rush through things. Save your energy, rather than wearing yourself out with schemes for starting labor sooner.

In other words, get some sleep while you can!

Sources

SOURCES:
Elizabeth Stein, CNM, owner,Ask Your Midwife, PC.

“A randomized controlled trial of acupuncture for initiation of labor in nulliparous women,” The Journal of Maternal-Fetal and Neonatal Medicine, August 2006.

Terry Harper, MD, obstetrician and maternal fetal medicine specialist, Perinatal Associates of New Mexico.

Cleveland Clinic: “Truth or Tale? 8 Ways to (Maybe) Move Labor Along Naturally.”

PubMed: “Acupuncture to induce labor: a randomized controlled trial,” “Effect of acupuncture on induction of labor,” “Acupuncture for cervical ripening and induction of labor at term–a randomized controlled trial.”

Beilstein Journal of Organic Chemistry: “Acupuncture for the induction of labour: a double-blind randomised controlled study.”

How to induce labor at home

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I sat in the Best Buy parking lot to write down my birth story. My son was four months old, but I was finally facing the memories of my traumatic birth experience.

As I was writing the first few pages, I realized I felt an overwhelming sense of guilt when thinking about my birth experience—from the caesarean delivery to the NICU stay to the chocolate pudding.

Could I have prevented all this by not researching How To Induce Labor At Home?

The guilt was undeniable as I continued through my memories of my son’s birth.

But it had also gone unseen.

I didn’t want to see it. I didn’t want to face that my attempts to induce labor from home in the last month of my pregnancy were burdensome.

How to induce labor at home

Ways to Induce Labor At Home That I Tried

Pregnancy is an uncomfortable experience.

You are sacrificing your own body to grow another one. Your organs rearrange. Bones feel pressure. Your muscles ache. Among all of the other strange pregnancy symptoms (cue peeing yourself every time you move)

To further put my pregnancy into perspective: I am 5 foot 2 and had a 10 pound baby.

I was miserable and desperate to evict my beautiful blessing, so I headed to Pinterest, Google, and old wives tales. I tried 6 natural ways to induce labor at home.

Pineapple

I ate cups of pineapple at breakfast, lunch, and sometimes dinner. My tongue was raw, but my cervix was still closed and thick.

Spicy foods

I gobbled down spicy foods every chance I could. Mexican restaurants got my paychecks.

(On the Border’s salsa is wonderfully spicy. At least it seemed to be while I was pregnant.)

While spicy foods brought on Braxton Hicks, my son stayed put. His belly was full enough; the enchiladas didn’t entice him to join this side of the world.

Walking

I walked laps around the mall during a busy Christmas season. To Bath and Body Works and back. My ankles swelled and my wallet thinned, but I was still pregnant a few days later.

I tried sex. Then tried it again. And kept trying it as tired as I felt.

There’s something about third trimester sex that just does not make you feel good about yourself. Plus, I remained pregnant, so that was a bust.

Exercise ball

I bounced on an exercise ball from the time I got off work to the time I went to bed.

I swayed on the ball, straddled the ball, completed circles on the ball.

It made me feel like a kid in gym class again. While it was fun, it still wasn’t a proven method to induce labor at home.

Nipple stimulation via breast pump

Each night I pumped with my Spectra S1 for 15 minutes WHILE bouncing on my exercise ball. I did this for about 3 days; then, I stopped.

The exciting thing was that drops of colostrum came out! Since this was my first child, I wasn’t sure how my breastfeeding journey was going to look. This was the first “sign” that my boobs could do this!

PREPARE FOR POSTPARTUM BY BUILDING YOUR DREAM TEAM

I Felt Guilty After Inducing Labor From Home

As excited I was to know my body could feed my child beyond the womb, my use of the breast pump while pregnant made me feel incredibly guilty.

All of the other things I tried were common old wives’ tales. I knew so many moms who tried one or most of those at-home induction methods. But pumping while pregnant? It seemed like untouched territory, like it was crossing the line.

Pumping while pregnant is pushing it too far.

Did I do something wrong in pumping during my ninth month of pregnancy?

Nipple stimulation, from hands or a breast pump, releases oxytocin which helps with uterine contractions. There are a few studies on nipple stimulation by hand, but little to no research exists on using a breast pump, which is what I did.

Even with the existing research on nipple stimulation, there is no guarantee that it worked for me. Every body, every pregnancy, and every labor is different.

How to induce labor at home

Coping With Guilt After Successfully Inducing Labor At Home

As a positive coping mechanism, my therapist told me to research every at-home induction method that I tried. She wanted me to see the statistics for just how “well” these methods work for quickly inducing labor at home. The guilt was adding heavily to my postpartum anxiety.

I shouldn’t have been shocked at the stats, but I was.

While researching, I read the same statement again and again on a variety of websites.

There is no evidence that non-medical methods successfully induce labor.

There’s no reason for me to feel guilty for “inducing” my labor. There is no evidence for it!

My scouring of the top 5 pages on Google did wonders for me in regards to coping with a traumatic birth.

Seeking God In My Traumatic Birth Experience

My labor played out how it needed to play out. My baby is now healthy and smiles with the chubbiest cheeks. I am healthy and have successfully recovered from major abdominal surgery.

God played a role in my labor and in my birth experience.

On His timeline, no method of induction would have worked without Him wanting it to work. And that includes pineapple, sex, pumping, Pitocin, and the Foley bulb.

I shouldn’t feel guilty about trying at-home induction methods that haveno proof of harming the baby.

It was His will, and I shouldn’t feel guilty for being miserable and desperate, researching and then trying methods that have no proof of starting labor.