Maybe your little one was supposed to be here but taking time, and you cant wait longer to see your bundle of joy. Good news is that there are natural ways you can induce your labor just continue reading to find out how.
Has your due date come and gone? Can’t wait another minute to carry your baby in your arms rather than in your belly?
If so, you’re probably itching to give your body a little nudge to bring on labor. While there are no surefire techniques to coax your baby into the world (besides being induced by a doc), there is some research to back up these natural ways to induce labor — if your body (and baby) are ready to cooperate.
But before you try any of these at home, get your practitioner’s okay — after all, you don’t want to push your bun out of the oven before it’s fully cooked. Once you’ve gotten the green light from your doctor or midwife, go ahead and find out how to induce labor naturally.
The simple act of walking during pregnancy may help draw the baby down into your pelvis (thanks to gravity and the swaying of your hips). The pressure of the baby on your pelvis may then prime your cervix for labor — or may help labor progress if you’ve already felt some contractions.
And if walking doesn’t do the trick, it’ll at least get you in shape for delivery day. Just don’t walk too much and tire yourself out before your due date. You’ll need all the energy you can muster to push out that baby of yours!
While it may seem almost impossible to pull off a romp in the sack when you’re 40 weeks pregnant (and counting!), you may want to give sex a try. Sperm contains prostaglandins — hormones that can help thin and dilate the cervix, ripening it for delivery.
Or not. Some research shows that women who continue to have sex late in pregnancy might carry their babies longer than those who abstain.
Either way, this no-cost attempt to induce labor naturally may relieve some tension and is a healthy way to strengthen your twosome right before you become a threesome.
Evening primrose oil
Many midwives suggest evening primrose oil for their pregnant patients, since this herb can help the cervix thin and dilate and prep it for labor. You can take evening primrose oil capsules during the last weeks of pregnancy.
But be sure to talk to your practitioner before trying evening primrose oil — women with placenta previa should stay away from the herb.
There are other herbs — like red raspberry leaf and black cohosh — that also can induce labor naturally. However, no studies have been done to establish their safety. In fact, reports have suggested that some may even cause harm to a fetus — so don’t use any herbs without getting the green light from your doctor or midwife first.
What’s the 411 on this vegetable oil? Castor oil is a laxative (and not a very tasty one, either). Women have been passing down this tradition for generations because if you take a shot of it, it can stimulate your bowels (by causing spasms in the intestines) and, in turn, irritate your uterus and cause it to start contracting. Some small studies support this assertion.
But it’s best to avoid trying castor oil altogether when you’re pregnant. If you’re not already showing signs of labor, taking castor oil can just give you a bad case of diarrhea (something you probably want to avoid this close to childbirth).
Bottom line: Steer clear of castor oil completely. If you really want to try a spoonful, talk with your practitioner first.
Can spicy food really bring on labor? Some people believe that spicy food, like castor oil, irritates your intestines (but more gently) and that can cause your uterus to contract. Therefore, many doctors advise against trying spicy food, as it may only cause stomach upset. Plus, there’s no evidence that proves that spicy foods are natural labor inducers.
But if you generally tolerate spicy food well and think your bloated belly can stomach a couple of chili tacos, go for it. Just remember that you might bring on heartburn instead of labor.
Acupuncture, the art of inserting thin needles into specific pressure points on the body, can stimulate uterine activity and nudge the baby into action — and many experts and mamas-to-be swear this technique is a natural way to induce labor. It’s also a natural stress reliever, which can help.
Of course, even the most die-hard proponents of acupuncture during pregnancy say that if the baby isn’t ready to make a grand entrance, acupuncture alone isn’t likely make it happen. So unless you’re really impatient, save the money. If you do want to give it a try, be sure to get your doctor’s approval first.
Similar to acupuncture, this is another age-old practice that entails putting pressure on specific points on the body to stimulate uterine activity, except that instead of using needles, you can use fingertips (including your own — or your partner’s).
Two pressure points that may induce labor naturally: The webbing between your thumb and index finger, and the inside of your leg about four finger-widths above the ankle bone.
But before you try acupressure, talk with your practitioner.
Are you sitting around twiddling your thumbs, waiting for the baby to arrive? How about twiddling your nipples instead? That’s right, nipple stimulation — massaging or twisting your nipples but not to the point of pain — for a few hours a day can cause your body to release the hormone oxytocin, which brings on contractions.
But when it comes to natural ways to induce labor, some practitioners don’t recommend this one. That’s because it can cause painfully long and strong uterine contractions that could potentially lower fetal heart rate.
Your best bet if you’re considering trying this natural way to induce labor, which can potentially be effective, is to talk to your doctor first.
Studies show that a massage can raise your body’s level of oxytocin, that hormone that can bring on labor contractions. Some massage therapists swear by their ability to help jump-start labor when a mom-to-be is overdue. Many even focus on certain pressure points to move labor along.
If you do decide to try prenatal massage, just get your doctor’s approval first.
Not into massages? Meditation and even just cuddling with your partner can help relax you, which might get your oxytocin levels pumping (it’s no coincidence that the majority of labors start late at night, when an expectant mom is warm and cozy in bed — a state that triggers the release of oxytocin).
So if you’re anxious about that baby who doesn’t want to leave his cozy bed, try a stress-relieving activity like meditation during pregnancy. Even if your efforts don’t directly trigger labor, you’ll be waiting in a more-relaxed frame of mind.