6 Natural Ways to Induce Labor

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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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Preci... Precious333

None o f these things will work if baby is not ready yet. I had sex though and that helped, but I might have gone into labor anyways at that time.

Erin Colleen Hadden

first time around, i was trying to not be induced, so i called my sister, a doula, to ask what she suggested.   Her response: sex, walking, and if that doesn't work and you are really desperate try caster oil.  Its gross but the cramping is thought to bring on contractions.  Luckily sex worked and i went into labor that night on due date.  May have happened without doing anything though, but i was not dilated at all at my checkup that morning.  The second time i wasn't trying, but went for a long walk with my son, and that evening, two days early, went into labor.  Ya just never know when they're going to come!

Megan Reed

Sex is what put me into labor, my husband is pretty proud of that fact. Worked out well because I went right to sleep and slept through most of the labor until early morning when I couldn't sleep anymore!

Jen Martinez

I tried all of it, but not until I was 41 weeks. And the only thing that worked was not on this list: Nipple stimulation. I "rolled" my nipples between my thumb and index finger for about 20 minutes until I got a contraction, stopped for the contraction, and started again when it stopped. I did this for 2 hours then stopped to see if the contractions would go on their own, and they did! 22 hours later I had my 8lbs 3 oz baby boy all natural.

MomaL... MomaLlama

I tried just about everything.  When I was a week and a half past my due date and getting frustrated my husband and I wen't off-roading in his pick-up truck in an attempt to "bounce" the baby out.  It didn't work, but it was a lot of fun (and we did see a great horned owl in broad daylight so that was pretty cool)  I ended up being induced once I was 2 weeks late.  The baby, just refused to come out!  The induction wouldn't take, I only dilated like 2cm, the baby never even dropped..  ( I knew my exact date of conception and a 1st trimester ultrasound confirmed the due date, so I know he was past due)  I ended up with a c-section, something I had never even considered.  Turns out my son had the cord wrapped around his neck 3 times!  He knew he could never come out, "down there" so he didn't even try.  Oh, well I just hope it goes smoother this time. 

nonmember avatar Melissa

I drank raspberry tea w cinnamon sticks. It might have helped me dilate but that's it. And I walked so... Good luck tho. I hear relaxing is the best way to do it! I just get antsy lol so that was in the cards. So grab a book get the warm bubble bath flowing and enjoy. Can't hurt right? Lol

Tanya Flynn

I did a lot of those and they didn't work. I read on the internet about nipple stimulation and then within 2 hours started getting contractions and my waters broke, could be a coincidence though.

ohbladi ohbladi

Well, that's 7, but I tried 3 of them and no dice.

MiyaE... MiyaElizabeth

I went into labor the day after Thanksgiving, and the day before my EDD. I had been doing more walking than normal because my husband just got leave from Afghanistan. But I think it was the turkey. After realizing I was in labor, my husband and I drove halfway to the hospital (2hours away) and we did a lot more walking and shopping. This I think made for an easy labor.

Mandy Stevens

I went horse back riding on my pony with my son helped with contractions walked alot with my daughter.

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