Natural Ways to Induce Labor
As you reach the end of your pregnancy, you may begin looking for natural ways to induce labor. Please keep in mind that you should not use any of these methods until you are past your due date. No method is guaranteed to work. Even drugs like pitocin do not always work at inducing labor. If your baby and body is not ready, labor will not begin. Please consult your health care provider before trying any of these methods.
Here are some of the most common methods women try to induce labor naturally
Sexual intercourse - This works in two ways to induce labor. First, female orgasm can bring on contractions. Second, semen contains prostaglandins. Prostaglandins work to help ripe and soften the cervix.
Nipple stimulation - Stimulating the nipples triggers the production of natural oxytocin. Oxytocin contracts the uterus.
Accupressure - Accupressure may be helpful in inducing labor. Some pressure points you can try are the roof of your mouth, the webbing of your fingers between your pointer finger and thumb, and above the ankle about four fingerspaces above is a pressure point.
Stripping the membranes - This can only be done by a health care provider. Your doctor or midwife will separate the bag of waters from your cervix and this is thought to help encourage labor to start.
Raspberry Leaf Tea - Raspberry leaf tea is not actually known for its labor inducing properties, but it is believed to be helpful in toning the uterus and helping with labor.
Cinnamon stick tea - Take cinnamon sticks and boil them into a tea and drink. It actually tastes good so even if it doesn't bring on labor it may help you to relax.
Evening primrose oil - Evening primrose oil comes in small capsules similar to vitamin E. It is believed to help soften and ripen the cervix.
Walking - Walking may help to get baby to drop into proper position.
Visualization/relaxation - Relaxation can help with labor induction. Try doing relaxation exercisers. They are also good practice for when labor actually begins.
Other methods we do not recommend for inducing labor
Castor oil - Castor oil is also used for inducing labor. It tastes horrible! It is likely to make you feel sick and it probably won't work.
Herbs - There are other herbs you can use to induce labor. Without consulting your doctor or midwife we do not recommend the use of herbs.