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