How to induce labor naturally

How to induce labor naturally

Your due date is here and you feel ready to pop…so why haven’t you gone into labor yet? Though it’s usually perfectly normal for pregnancy to continue an extra week or two past the 40-week “finish line,” it can be frustrating and a bit icky as your feet swell, your back hurts, you can’t sleep, and you feel hot and sweaty.

Past-due mamas: You’re not alone! About 35% of pregnancies extend past the due date. Since these mega-pregnancies are so common, women have long searched for ways to naturally induce labor. Here’s the lowdown.

Natural Ways to Induce Labor

Sexual Intercourse

Getting busy may not be at the top of your to-do list when you’re nine months pregnant, but there are reasons to believe that the activity that probably started your pregnancy could be the same one that helps finish it! For one thing, semen contains prostaglandins, which help ripen your cervix. For another, your orgasm creates rhythmic muscles spasms in your vagina, which could possibly help get your contractions going and act as a natural way to induce labor quickly.

Nipple Stimulation

Rubbing your nipples or stimulating them with a breast pump releases oxytocin, a hormone that helps your uterus contract. Though nipple stimulation is not a guaranteed fix, a 2005 study did determine that it’s beneficial to ripening the cervix, which is necessary for labor. So why hasn’t every about-to-pop pregnant person turned to this technique? Because for manual stimulation to naturally induce labor, you may need to do it for an hour a day…or longer!

Walking to Help Induce Labor Naturally

Taking a walk is a popular way to get things moving—literally. Walking to bring on labor has never been studied, but some moms swear it is one of the best natural ways to induce labor. Whether walking really works or not, it’s healthy for your body and reduces stress, so go for it.

Eating Dates

If you enjoy the sweet taste of date fruits, then you may want to snack on them in the weeks leading up to your due date. A study showed that women who ate six dates per day in the four weeks leading up to their due dates had higher rates of spontaneous labor and better cervical dilation than those who didn’t. But cross this one off your list if you’ve been diagnosed with gestational diabetes—the extra sugar isn’t worth it.

Acupuncture

Acupuncture is one of the oldest remedies for overdue pregnancies. It is said to help ripen the cervix, but medical studies have not yet proven that it actually works as a natural way to induce labor. If acupuncture is already part of your health regimen, it may certainly be worth a try!

Acupressure

If you’ve ever gotten a pedicure while pregnant, you may have noticed your aesthetician avoiding putting too much pressure on your inner ankle area. That’s because it’s thought to be an acupressure spot that can cause contractions in your uterus.

Herbs and Supplements

There are many stories about using herbs and supplements to naturally induce labor, such as red raspberry leaf, evening primrose oil, castor oil, and black cohosh, but it is absolutely essential that you speak with your OB or midwife before taking any of these. Most practitioners do not recommend their use. These medicinal herbs have not been proven to work and some may have harmful side effects. For instance, castor oil can cause terrible diarrhea—definitely not what you want when you’re on the verge of giving birth!

Spicy Foods

If you love hot peppers and tolerate them well, then there’s no harm in eating them while pregnant as a natural way to induce labor. But there’s not real science to back this old wives’ tale. Chowing down on really spicy foods could possibly get labor going by irritating your stomach enough to cause cramping…but who wants that?

Prenatal Massage

The healing touch of massage can raise your body’s level of oxytocin, which is needed for labor to begin. If you enjoy getting a professional prenatal massage—typically laying on your side propped up on pillows—by all means, go for it. Relaxation is always a good idea! If not, cuddling with your partner may have the same beneficial effect.

Membrane Stripping

Also known as a cervical sweep, membrane stripping is a procedure in which your practitioner uses a gloved finger to separate the amniotic sac from the cervix. This process increases production of prostaglandins, which helps induce labor. Membrane stripping does not require medication, and it can help some women avoid a c-section or Pitocin. That said, it can be pretty uncomfortable. Discuss the pros and cons with your practitioner if you’re interested.

Final Thoughts on Natural Ways to Induce Labor

While an overdue pregnancy can be so frustrating, keep in mind that due dates are hardly an exact science. In general, it’s best to let babies tell us when they’re ready to greet the world. However, if you’re nearing 42 weeks, your doctor will discuss options with you for moving things along, perhaps with a labor induction. In the meantime, try to rest up in these final days…because soon you’ll have a new little one to care for!

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Disclaimer: The information on our site is NOT medical advice for any specific person or condition. It is only meant as general information. If you have any medical questions and concerns about your child or yourself, please contact your health provider.

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.”

Once you reach the end of your third trimester, you might be wondering about how to naturally induce labor — pregnancy can be exhausting and after several weeks of growing another life inside your body, you might start to feel #OverIt. That being said pregnant women have historically done a few different things to jumpstart labor naturally, from getting some exercise, to having sexual intercourse, to eating certain foods that naturally induce labor.

Most foods known as natural labor-inducers are actually just subjects of pregnancy folklore, and yet, it doesn’t seem to stop pregnant women from researching this topic. In fact, many of these foods actually bring on other symptoms like diarrhea, cramping, and contractions. Still, such symptoms could kickstart labor, so it could naturally work. Here are 10 foods that are thought to speed up the labor process – but take it all with a grain of salt (just not literally).

Which foods naturally induce labor?

Drinking about 1 to 2 ounces of castor oil can help naturally induce labor by stimulating your body’s release of the hormone prostaglandin. This hormone is known for encouraging the cervix to dilate, which is a key part in jumpstarting labor. Before drinking castor oil to naturally induce labor, we recommend consulting your OBGYN, because consuming too much can irritate your GI tract and cause symptoms such as cramping and contractions.

Another “drink” known to naturally induce labor is red raspberry leaf tea. While it may not work, it’s one of the top recommended pieces of advice from midwives. Even if it doesn’t cause you to start having contractions, red raspberry leaf tea is thought to prepare the uterus for labor and even strengthen your inner body.

Similar to the effect of drinking castor oil, consuming spicy foods to naturally induce labor might also have some unpleasant side effects. This could include cramping and contractions, especially if you are already dilated. There isn’t much scientific evidence to back this pregnancy legend up; however, one study that targeted pre-term births did find a connection between consuming spicy foods and inducing labor.

There is also some research that suggests eating dates could induce labor naturally. In one study, pregnant women who ate six dates per day during the month before their due date were more likely to go into labor naturally; they also had higher levels of dilation when admitted to the hospital. So, while snacking on a few dates won’t result in immediate labor-related contractions, it can affect your experience of labor, making it generally easier and potentially faster when the time comes.

Consuming pineapple is said to initiate labor, potentially because the core contains bromelain, an enzyme known to break down proteins in the tissue. The myth seems to contend that the bromelain makes its way to a pregnant woman’s cervix, where it can break down tissue, softening the cervix and therefore initiating labor. However, there isn't scientific data to support this theory, so definitely consult your doctor before eating pineapple, as it could lead to heartburn.

Other foods that could potentially induce labor naturally – though these are mostly based on anecdotal evidence and not scientific data – include green papaya, black licorice, garlic, black or blue cohosh, and cumin tea.

What else triggers labor?

A variety of activities supposedly trigger labor, from sexual intercourse and mild exercise. Some pregnant women try a combination, so it can be difficult to tell which activity is most effective. However, exercise is generally a safer bet when it comes to naturally inducing labor — the Journal of Perinatal Education reports that of women in a survey who tried to induce their labor naturally, exercise worked best. Walking, having sex, and nipple stimulation were of the top types reported.

Does evening primrose oil induce labor?

While there is no scientific evidence to suggest that evening primrose oil – in either oral capsule form or by inserting it vaginally – induces labor naturally, many people believe it to soften the cervix in preparation for labor. Consult your doctor first before trying this method as potential side effects could include diarrhea, nausea, and upset stomach, which could lead to other GI symptoms.

As the due date comes nearer, many pregnant women become impatient to deliver the baby out as they have been enduring the uncomfortable condition of pregnancy for several months, such as being unable to sleep in a comfortable position, feeling big as a whale, and the mood swings they go through, they start to find different ways to induce labor. Luckily, there are some safe and natural ways found on how to induce labor fast, but it is recommended to imply them after or around 40 week’s pregnancy.

How to Induce Labor Fast

Walking

Walking is the one of the most natural ways to induce labor at the end of pregnancy. A baby needs to shift and wriggle around to get in a birthing position, and long walks encourage the baby to move downwards and put gentle pressure on the cervix to encourage it to dilate.

Intercourse at 40 Weeks Pregnancy

Making love at the third trimester of pregnancy can be helpful to bring on labor fast as long as you are comfortable with it. The prostaglandins in your partner’s semen can soften the cervix, ready for it to open when labor starts. And a woman's orgasm may trigger the uterus into action.

Accupressure

You all have heard of several pressure points to heal various ailments. There are also some pressure points for softening and dilating the cervix and encouraging contractions. The most effective pressure points to induce labor are:

Hoku point in the webbing of index finger and thumb. Apply gentle pressure on it with thumb of your other hand and massage it in a circular motion, which will affect a part of the large intestine surrounding the uterus and cause contractions.

Bladder 32 point is a very effective pressure point. It is located in the dimple between the spine and the buttocks. Apply firm pressure to the point and move vertically up, and repeat. After 1-2 minutes of rubbing, contractions often begin.

Spleen 6 is located on the inside of the ankle, about 4 finger widths above the ankle bones. Use your index finger to massage this point for 1-2 minutes to stimulate contractions.

BL 60 is one of the most effective pressure points to ease labor pain. It is located between the Achilles tendon and the ankle bone. Apply light pressure on the point with your thumb and massage, which can help your baby descend into the pelvis.

Nipple Stimulation

Nipple stimulation is one of the most beneficial strategies on how to induce labor fast. Rubbing or rolling nipples helps the body release oxytocin, which plays a role in initiating labor. It can be performed by caressing or rubbing one nipple at a time, every twenty minutes an hour. Consult your physician or midwife before you choose this method to induce labor.

How to induce labor naturally

Castor Oil

Castor oil may be best known as a laxative. Castor oil will cause intestines to spasm which can stimulate the uterus into action. Add 1/4 ounce of castor oil in six ounces of apple or orange juice or into four ounces of root beer and swallow this solution quickly. Pregnant women who choose to use this method should be aware that the bowels will evacuate within 3 hours, so drink more water after the bowels evacuate to avoid dehydration.

How to induce labor naturally

This method is something women can follow gladly without any complications. It has been found that there are some specific foods that can trigger labor, such as spicy foods, pineapple, eggplant Parmesan, black licorice and Chinese food, but there’s no proof of that.

Climbing Stairs

Climbing stairs is almost a same way as walking. It moves the hip muscles and widens them to prepare for the labor process. The action of climbing stairs can help the baby settle into its laboring position and put gentle pressure on the cervix in order to start the dilating process.

Birthing Ball Exercise

Feel fed up of walking around or climbing the stairs? Well, here’s an easy alternative way on how to induce labor fast. A birth ball is a good option to trigger the laboring process. A birthing ball is simply an exercise ball. Find a comfortable position on it and gently bounce up and down, or doing vigorous circles on the ball can help the baby move down to the place and the pressure on the pelvis will trigger the contractions.

Evening Primrose Oil

Evening primrose oil is a good source of prostaglandins which can help induce labor naturally and ripen the cervix to be ready for delivery. From the 34th week, you can take two capsules of evening primrose oil in 500mg per day. Once you reach 38th week, you can increase it to four capsules per day.

How to induce labor naturally

Black Cohosh

Black cohosh is a commonly herb supplement recommended for inducing labor. It works as a uterine tonic and prepares the uterus for contractions. Before you start on black cohosh, consult your herbalist, as it can lead to thinning blood which is dangerous in some cases.

How to induce labor naturally

Red Raspberry Leaf Tea

Red raspberry leaf tea plays a vital role in your overall birth plan. It can help in the toning of the uterine walls and improve the uterus function better during labor process. Red raspberry leaf tea not only helps with natural labor induction but also has other postnatal benefits, including breast milk production and recovery from childbirth.

As your due date gets a little bit closer, you get more and more uncomfortable. Your belly is so big it feels as though it’s about to pop! Even worse is the Braxton Hicks that some of us have when labor gets closer.

The weekend before I gave birth to my daughter was full of them. I spent hours in the maternity ward to be told that it just wasn’t time yet, even though I was having contractions.

They said it would be any time now, but not that day. I was miserable, and the nurses could tell.

Anyone having contractions for three days that don’t regulate without dilating would be. So, they gave me plenty of tips to try to help speed things along.

Table of Contents

How To Naturally Induce Your Labor At Home

These methods might not work for everyone. Whereas exercise is going to send someone into regular contractions, it will do nothing but make another woman break a sweat.

If one doesn’t work, keep going down the list to help you meet your little one sooner instead of later.

1. Exercise

Walking is great exercise, and can help stimulate labor. First, gravity tends to work in your favor when you’re trying to stimulate labor.

The weight of the baby pushing down when you are standing up can help move things along quicker. Some great exercises include walking upstairs and doing squats.

These can help you make sure that your little one is in the right position when it’s time for labor. They’ll also make the head bear down on the pelvis, helping to move labor along a little bit more quickly.

2. Sex

Everyone has heard that sex can naturally induce labor, and they’re right! Having an orgasm makes your body release prostaglandins.

When a man has an orgasm too, his body will release the same thing in his sperm. If you both orgasm, you can help stimulate the body to have contractions.

However, by the time you get to the ninth month, you’re pretty uncomfortable. It’s almost impossible for some of us to feel sexy. That’s doesn’t mean you’re out of luck.

Since your body is capable of producing prostaglandins on its own after an orgasm, masturbating is another way to make it happen. If you’re not supposed to have sex while pregnant, don’t make an exception this time without consulting your doctor first.

3. Raspberry Leaf Tea

Raspberry leaf tea is delicious. You can drink it in the winter to enjoy a soothing, hot beverage. Iced raspberry leaf tea is refreshing in the summer.

  • Comes with (3) 16-count boxes of tea
  • Organic full-bodied single herb caffeine free herbal tea
  • Formulated with organic red raspberry leaf traditionally used to help nurture and support women, soothe period cramps, support healthy menstrual cycle and helps tone the uterus to prepare for childbirth

Prices pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:

Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on [relevant Amazon Site(s), as applicable] at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

It’s known for helping tone your uterus, which can bring on contractions. However, since it works primarily to strengthen the uterus, it might not be enough to bring on contractions all by itself.

This is a great beverage to enjoy after having a baby. The uterus takes time to get back into shape after it’s been stretched by pregnancy. Raspberry leaf tea can help speed things along.

4. Labor Induction Massage

This is a special type of massage that both relaxes your body and helps it signal that it’s time for labor to begin. Most women begin labor within two days of having a labor induction massage.

The massage works in a similar manner to acupuncture, but the massage therapist applies pressure to specific points on the body using their hands instead of needles.

This makes it a great solution for people that are interested in naturally inducing labor via methods like labor induction acupuncture, but are not a fan of needles.

You should keep in mind that this is going to guarantee that you start labor soon. While it is effective for over half of the people that participate in labor induction massage, there are some people that do not go into labor soon afterward.

If you fall into the latter category, you can always schedule another one!

When scheduling an appointment for a labor induction massage, make sure to read reviews for your massage therapist. There is a specific way to conduct this type of massage in order for it to be effective.

5. Relax

According to this study, stress can prevent you from going into labor. If you do go into labor, it can stop labor. Eventually, your contractions can get weaker until you’re no longer in labor.

They might not regulate, preventing your body from starting labor. (Remember the above story about my three days in the hospital on and off? I was terrified.)

This could be from daily stresses like work and home stress. It could also be because you’re scared. Being scared is a common feeling, especially among first-time mothers.

However, you need to remind yourself that you have an amazing doctor. Your support team is equally wonderful. More than anything, you’ve got this. You’re going to do great.

While you remind yourself of that, it’s important to relax. Send the kids to your mom’s house, and do whatever you find relaxing. If you’re at a loss for ideas, here are some great ways to relax:

  • Taking a warm bath
  • Meditating
  • Using essential oils
  • Taking a nap
  • Curling up with a good book
  • Enjoying your favorite snack and television show

You want to do something that you enjoy that helps you relax. Take other advice into consideration, but no one knows you as well as you do. For example, if you find meditating stressful, as some of us do, it’s not going to help you relax. Instead, do what works well for your body.

6. Evening Primrose Oil

Evening primrose oil capsules can make your cervix thinner. They help your body to prepare for labor. Once your body is ready for labor, it’s more likely to start labor sooner.

How To Induce Labor Naturally At Home, or at least this is how I did it.

How to induce labor naturally

First of all, why would someone want to know how to induce labor naturally at home? Unfortunately more and more doctors are actually scheduling mothers for inductions. Many parents don’t want to have extra chemicals and medications like pitocin. I was over 40 weeks with Kay and she was measuring to be at least 8lbs, or they thought that by the ultrasound. When sweet baby girl was born she was only 6lbs and 13oz.

I went to my doctors on Monday and they said they would be scheduling my induction for Wednesday. I was so upset, crying, and just helpless. I didn’t want to force my baby out and not by unnatural means.

I wanted a natural birth too. I did end up getting the epidural, but I’m one of the lucky few that it doesn’t work for. I FELT EVERYTHING and my doctor warned me about the burning ring of fire while delivering naturally without an epidural. Next time I will not get one and obviously know I can handle it.. kind of. Giving birth is SO painful, but once it’s over you forget all about how painful it was to have a baby come out of you. Promise 😉

How to induce labor naturally

How to induce labor naturally

I went home and was determined to naturally induce labor. I googled How To Induce Labor Naturally At Home and found a ton of information. Instead of waiting for them to dose me with toxic medicines I figured I’d try out all those tips and tricks to make you go into labor naturally. I ate a few servings of pineapple, hubby took me out to eat at Hooters for hot wings and then we walked around a 24hr Super Wal-Mart for about 2 hours since nothing else was open after 10pm in our area.

Then on Tuesday July 24th (my birthday) I woke up at around 3:45am with contractions and even passed my mucous plug. I thought it was just pains from that, but then I couldn’t fall asleep as the pain was coming every 5-7 minutes. I finally fell back asleep at 5am, then awoke again at 7am with extreme sharp pains. I put a call into my doctors office and they said I should come in at 8:30am. They told me “you’re ready!” and that I didn’t need to be induced. I was elated with joy and just so extremely grateful!

How to induce labor naturally

  • PINEAPPLE – Chris cut up two whole pineapples and I ate them throughout the day
  • HOT WINGS – I ate a dozen hot wings and asked for extra hot sauce!
  • WALKING – I couldn’t figure out where to walk so we ended up going to a 24 hour Wal-mart and walked at a fast pace for 2 hours.
  • I did all this on Monday and then Tuesday at 3:45 AM I was having labor pains and baby came less than 24hours later.

How to induce labor naturally

  • Practice making more babies.. or in other words HAVE SEX. That being said I could barely move let alone have sex, ha!
  • Castor Oil (I didn’t try this and didn’t want to either, gag)
  • Nipple Stimulation (Didn’t work for us!)
  • Chiropractor/acupuncture/pedicure
  • Membrane Sweep

Full disclaimer: We aren’t doctors and don’t claim to be. We’re just sharing How To Induce Labor Naturally At Home, or at least how we did it. Always listen to your maternal instincts and of course be under the supervision of your doctor or mid-wife. Ours were fully aware of us trying to induce labor naturally and gave us 2 days to do so.

It’s easy to buy into the magic of pregnancy when you experience some of those cool "firsts." The first time you hear the heartbeat or feel the baby kick are super special, but by the time all that stuff has passed and you’re rounding the third trimester, you may feel more like sliding into home plate than taking a leisurely stroll to get there. Being at the end of your pregnancy can start to drag on, so you may start to wonder how to induce labor naturally at 37 weeks, since that is when doctors consider it safe for most women to deliver.

There are some safe ways to accomplish this, but you’ll always want to check in with your doctor or midwife before swallowing a mixture of anything promising to get the labor party started. Although some methods are dismissed as old wives tales, many women claim that they have had success with at home induction — so as long as you’re cleared by your health care provider, why not give it a shot? Although there is still no method that has been proven successful for every woman, all these ideas are safe and worth a shot if you just can’t take being pregnant for one more day.

Down The Hatch

If a spoon full of sugar helps the medicine go down, you may want to grab a whole bag of Dixie Crystals. One of the oldest suggestions for natural labor induction is eating or drinking certain foods and oils thought to bring on the labor process.

For example, someone may have recommended you douse your dinner in hot sauce since spicy foods are believed to stimulate contractions. But according to Parenting magazine, even though foods that tax your digestive system could lead to irregular uterine contractions, they are more likely to "cause heartburn than labor." They key word here is could, which means there is a possibility (if you can handle the heat).

If you’re not down to set your mouth on fire, you can always take a swig of castor oil. But be warned, every attempt comes with a price. As Very Well reported, some mothers and practitioners swear castor oil encourages labor, while others feel it’s not a safe choice for pregnant women due to side effects such as diarrhea and vomiting.

Down Yonder

Want a method that has less possible side effects than spicy food and castor oil? Stick with the actions that got you to your current state in the first place (hint: I’m talking about sex).

You’ll want to get the oxytocin flowing to set those contractions in motion. According to Mayo Clinic, once the hormone oxytocin is released, it can stimulate uterine contractions. This can be achieved with a light breast massage and gentle squeezing of the nipples. Consider it a little build-up to your next option.

Take the action down yonder and let science take over. Although research on the effectiveness of sex inducing labor, there is one detail that gives the idea credibility. "Semen contains cervix-softening fats called prostaglandins (also used in medical induction) and a woman’s orgasm can lead to strong uterine contractions," according to Fit Pregnancy magazine. As long as you are up for getting it on, a little romp can’t hurt.

Down, Up, Down, Up

It’s probably the last thing you want to hear when 37 weeks pregnant, but getting in a workout or two could potentially set your delivery in motion. That’s because walking and certain pregnancy appropriate exercises can move your baby into position to deliver. According to the website for What To Expect, walking is a great way to start labor process. While you’re up and walking, gravity steps in and gives your hand lining up your baby with your pelvis.

The Bump also suggested some exercises that prime the body for labor. Can’t wait to meet your baby? Add some deep squats several and gentle hip circles on a pilates ball to your day and help prepare your body to push out your baby.

Most natural labor induction methods pose little to no threat for you or your baby. Even though there are no guarantees, you just might be the one who starts contracting after chugging castor oil or having sex. You can consider that a win.

How to induce labor naturally

Have you been googling “how to induce labor yourself?” If you’re anything like me, being 38 weeks means you can safely and gently start trying to figure out what triggers labor so you can get this party started!

After 3 babies (one being early, one being late and one being on her due date) I can safely say I’ve tried pretty much everything!

Being 38 weeks you might be searching for quick and easy ways to induce labor. 40 weeks and beyond- you may be searching for ways to go into labor TONIGHT.

This is point where I tell you I am NOT a medical professional. Please see my disclosure at the bottom of the page.

How to induce labor naturally

Is It Safe To Induce Labor At 37 Weeks?

A full term baby is said to be anywhere from 37-42 weeks. There is more information coming out that babies born between 37-38 weeks of pregnancy (whether born on their own or induced) face higher risks of health problems.

Wait. I know, it’s so hard by the end, especially if you’re super uncomfortable. But unless there is a medical reason, don’t start trying to induce labor unless you’re at least 39 weeks.

Drink Red Raspberry Leaf Tea

  • Strengthens and tones the uterus.
  • Promotes faster and healthier labor.
  • Promotes quicker postpartum recovery.
  • Might stimulate contractions.
  • Rich in antioxidants and nutrients that are good for pregnant women.

I used RRLT in 2 of my pregnancies. I drank 1 cup per day in the first trimester, 2 cups per day in the second trimester and 3 cups per day in the third trimester. I literally took it to the hospital with me to give birth, it was my tonic and I loved it!

If you haven’t been drinking it and you’re at the end of your pregnancy- start with 1 cup to try to stimulate contractions.

For me, PERSONALLY- I truly believe red raspberry leaf tea helped shorten my labors, strengthen my uterus and shorten the time I had to push. I would never go through another pregnancy or labor without it!

With my son, my labor was under 6 hours and I pushed for 3 minutes.

YES, 3 minutes.

With my daughter, my labor was under 4 hours and I pushed for 5 minutes.

That being said, there still are not enough studies to definitely say that RRLT will either bring on labor or help shorten your labor, these are just my personal experiences.

If you like the ease of bags- these are the ones I used. If you’re more into buying in bulk at a better price, I recommend this kind!

Nipple Stimulation

Stimulating your nipples can cause your body to respond by releasing oxytocin which can get labor going. The video below explains how to do it correctly and not over do it!