How can I kick-start my labor? Labor & Birth


Woman with hands on pregnant belly.
If your baby is full-term and your doctor gives you the green light, you may want to try some natural tricks to push your labor along. See what doctors and moms say might work to jump-start labor.

There's No Proven Way

"Although there are a lot of anecdotes about how to start labor naturally, none have been proven to work. However, I tell my patients they are welcome to try walking, having sex, or getting acupuncture, to name a few." -- Sarah Yamaguchi, MD, OB/GYN at Good Samaritan Hospital, Los Angeles, CA

Get the Medical Okay First

"While there are lots of tricks including acupuncture, evening primrose oil placed vaginally, and nipple stimulation, none of these should be attempted without advising your OB first." -- Sheeva Talebian, MD, a member of American Congress of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG), New York, NY

Have Sex

"I had been walking all week and had only dilated to one centimeter, so my doctor told me to start having sex. We got the green light and had sex like rabbits for six nights. Just when I was about to give up and schedule my induction, I went into labor."

Pineapple Can't Hurt

"Eating a bunch of fresh pineapple seemed to do it for me! I was four days late, ate two and a half pineapples, and my water broke!"

Evening Primrose Oil

"I was told evening primrose oil can help soften the cervix so that when labor does happen you dilate more easily. I took it from 37 weeks on (orally and vaginally) and, when I finally did go into labor, the dilation process was quick and smooth."

Be Patient

"Like they say, the baby will come when he or she is ready. If your body isn't ready, no amount of sex or spicy food or whatever is really going to make a difference. If your body is ready, those things could possibly help move it along."

The advice on CafeMom aims to educate, inform, and provide a range of solutions to the issues moms care about. It is not a substitute for consultation with a medical professional or treatment for a specific condition. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem without consulting a qualified professional. Please contact your health-care provider with questions and concerns.