6 Natural Ways to Induce Labor

pregnant belly
Come on, already!
So, the thing that everybody said would happen is happening right now. My due date is pretty much here, I still have no baby, and I'm getting impatient. (Really impatient.) I envisioned she'd be here already. I've made all the proper preparations. Her room is ready, the cosleeper is set up, the bottles are sterilized (as well as the apartment), and my bags are packed. I even bought a lovely bouquet of flowers last week in anticipation of her arrival. Alas, no child. Where are you, baby?! Aren't you ready to meet?

So, in the spirit of keeping things au naturel, I've started pulling out the stops. The kooky, crazy, could-totally-be-a-load-of-crap stops that supposedly induce labor sans any drugs. Hey, I'll try anything at this point.

Here are 6 ways that (supposedly) naturally induce labor.

Walking. The classic, right? So many women I know have told me tales of how the day/night they went into labor was after a gigantic hike or walk. Not me. I must have walked 500 miles this weekend, and still, no babe. The concept makes sense, though, as walking apparently helps draw the baby down into your pelvis, and 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.

Spicy foods. Some people believe that eating spicy foods will irritate your intestines and that can cause your uterus to contract. I, on the other hand, am a skeptic as I ate a crapload of ultra-spicy salsa this weekend, and still, no baby.

Pineapples. Like the spicy foods thing, it's also believed that pineapples can help kickstart labor. Pineapples contain an enzyme called bromelain, which some say help soften the cervix. Pineapples are also used as a digestive aid, which could stimulate the bowels to move, which could stimulate contractions. 

Sex. May not be the highest thing on your priority list right now, as you're huge and uncomfortable, but sperm contains hormones that can help thin and dilate the cervix, ripening it for delivery. Also, orgasms release the hormone oxytocin, which can trigger contractions. So, if you're down, get yours, girl.

Acupuncture. Other parts of the world have been using acupuncture and acupressure since forever to bring on labor naturally -- certain points can supposedly stimulate uterine activity. If you're going to go this route, though, it's probably best to consult your doctor first, and make sure you go to someone who's certified in this type of acupuncture.

Teas. Always consult your doctor, midwife, doula, aunts, uncles, etc. before getting herbal, but supposedly teas containing black and blue cohosh, raspberry leaf, cumin, or evening primrose oil help bring on labor.

Visualization. People swear by it in all aspects of their lives, why not with labor? I've read that envisioning your cervix opening (whatever that looks like) is a good way to get things going, as well as -- now this is weird -- opening up all of your kitchen cabinets to signify "opening." I'm yet to try the kitchen cabinet thing, but come talk to me in a couple days.

Did you do anything to naturally induce labor?


Image via photographybyjoelle.com/Flickr

labor & delivery

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Rebecca Peterson

Pineapple pizza jump starts my contractions. It's pretty funny. That's the only thing my friends are feeding me right now!

Amand... AmandaSnyder

Still waiting ready to go into labor with my second baby boy.  My frist was csection because he was breech I dont want to have anoter csection someone please help


 

fmchavez fmchavez

I don't know if it's what put me into labor or not but the day I went into labor with both of my girls I had a big meal. I hit 37wks right before Thanksgiving this time around so I'm a bit nervous about Thanksgiving! 

kebrowni kebrowni

Starting at 37 weeks, I tried everything but acupuncture. At 39 weeks the doctor stripped my membranes. At 40 weeks and 1 day, I drank 2 tbsp of castor oil. My son was born at 40 weeks and 2 days.

mmtos... mmtosam06

I ate spicy food during pregnancy, i did a lot of walking already but to really try and make the baby come nope

HeyCarrie Anne

Foot Reflexology worked best for us. Nothing else worked :(

Christine Waikiki

I was almost two weeks past my due date so I decided to try a manual breast pump. After about an hour, my water broke and my daughter came into the world shortly thereafter. She was born at home, in my bed, perfect as can be.

Laesm... Laesmommy

I walked for about an hour 4 nights in a row. Every night my braxton hicks would kick up. On the 5th night of walking I could tell they were more than braxton hicks. I went to sleep and woke up at 6:45 the next morning in labor. That was the start of my 41 hour completely natural birth!

Courtney Milam

I tried pineapple, walking, and sex. Nothing made me go into labor. Although walking did dilate me to 4 1/2 cm. I took Evening Primrose Oil also to help stimulate labor. Nothing....

aplus6 aplus6

Only thing I've done is have sex once I have the go ahead at 36 weeks and it works like a charm everytime. My babies try to come early then once labor is stopped they get comfy until I give into DH's begging and have sex with him just so labor will start

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