8 Ways to Speed Up Labor


If you’re already experiencing some contractions, walking is a great way to encourage them to continue. Walking helps to move your baby into your pelvis, and gravity puts pressure on your cervix, which may soften it or help open things up. Walking is something safe and easy that anyone can try to bring on labor.

Pressure points

Pressure points are points along the body that when pressure is applied they can relieve stress or pain, or even stimulate contractions.  This may sound a little far-fetched, but many women have tried pressing on one of two pressure points, the webbing between your thumb and fingers and the second pressure point is just above the ankle, to bring on contractions.  It actually does cause contractions; however, the contractions may fizzle out once you stop applying pressure.  If you are already having contractions though, this is a good way to strengthen them or keep them coming.

Squatting or Stair Climbing

When you step up or squat, this puts you baby in just the right position to help speed up contractions. Gravity and squatting down applies pressure on your cervix. This help to move your baby into the right position for birth and may move her further down into your birth canal.


Sexual intercourse helps to speed up labor in several ways. Sex can cause the woman to relax and also to have an orgasm, both can help to strengthen, bring on, or speed up labor contractions. In addition, a man’s semen contains prostaglandins. Prostaglandins help to ripen the cervix, which in turn can cause it to dilate and efface.

Nipple stimulation

Nipple stimulation can be done manually or with a breast pump. The reason nipple stimulation works is that it triggers the release of the labor hormone oxytocin. Oxytocin is released when you go into labor and it causes your body to have contractions. By stimulating your nipples you can bring on contractions. If you are having contractions already, try rolling your nipples with your fingers or using a breast pump to bring your contractions closer together or to keep them coming. Once you pump for a while and have gotten a couple good contractions, take a break and see what happens.

Change positions

If you are starting to get contractions but they aren’t regular, try changing positions. Don’t lie around in bed if you want to speed up labor. Get up and move around or try getting on all fours. Getting on all fours may help if your baby is in a posterior position. Gravity may assist and allow him to move into the right position for labor.

Basil and oregano tea

Sounds yummy, huh?  It’s not, but it could help speed labor along.  Basil and oregano are emmenagogues, which mean they help improve the blood flow to the uterus.  In some countries they are used to help with menstrual problems.  It is believed that these two herbs might also help stimulate or speed up contractions.  To try basil and oregano tea, just drop some basil and oregano leaves in hot water and let it steep.  Sip on the tea throughout the day.

Take a warm bath

A warm bath will help you to relax and may soften your cervix. Relaxing is one key to getting those labor contractions going. Take a warm bath and when you’re feeling relaxed you can wait to see if your contractions pick up or you can try walking, sex, or one of the other suggestions to speed up labor.