10 Natural Ways to Encourage Labor When It’s Time to Get That Baby Out

pregnant woman

When one is 37.5 weeks pregnant and contracting constantly and wishing for maternity leave to begin, the absolute last thing she can possibly imagine is going for another two weeks. Ugh, on second thought, don't imagine that -- even thinking about it sounds exhausting. But, as we all know, there is no guarantee, as labor can happen any time between the 37- and 40-week mark. Which can make waiting for baby, well, agonizing. 

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So I am here, waiting. Waiting. Waiting. Twiddling my thumbs. And waiting still. I know it's early and I want this baby to be as healthy as possible, so I am willing to wait longer. But in about a week or so, I am going to lose my patience. Come on, kid. The free ride is over! It's time to GET OUT.  

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As a home-birth mama who has no plans to induce or try any non-natural means to get things going, I am curious about the natural ways moms-to-be get things started without drugs or IVs. So I did a little digging and found natural ways that will encourage my precious little one to get the hell out of me before I go in there and get them! And I'm going to pass my knowledge on to other moms who might find this information useful as well. Here are 10 natural ways moms-to-be can jump-start their labor.


  • Red Raspberry Leaf Tea


    Image via Baby Hopes

    Red Raspberry Leaf tea is one of the main things midwives will tell expectant mother's to drink. A "uterine tonic," it is said to tone the pelvic and uterine muscles and also to help relax blood vessels. It also causes muscles to contract or relax, depending on the dose and is said to ease labor and delivery.

  • Sexual Intercourse


    Image via Mangiu/Flickr

    Sperm contains prostaglandins that some theorize can help ripen a woman's cervix for labor. Is it real? Studies are inconclusive. But it sure is fun to try! Get in those acrobatic positions and try to enjoy the fact that this is the calm before the storm.

  • Spicy Foods


    Image via Shakar S/Flickr

    Some people believe that eating spicy foods will irritate your intestines and that can cause your uterus to contract. Personally, I live on hot foods and have never seen it work. But it's worth a try!

  • Eggplant Parmesan


    Image via Patrick Fitzgerald/Flickr


    There is a restaurant in Georgia that claims that their eggplant Parmesan causes women to go into labor. Personally, I DID go into labor the day after having some, so I say proceed with caution. In fact, the basil and oregano in the sauce may be the culprits. Both herbs are contraindicated in pregnancy due to their potential ability to start labor.

  • Nipple Stimulation


    Image via Steve Depolo/Flickr

    This was like the BEST news my husband ever heard. And you know what? It's real. The theory is that gently rolling the nipples stimulates oxytocin, which is a hormone that causes contractions. This is one a lot of people I know have tried and they swear by it. Proceed with caution, though. It could cause contractions so strong, they are dangerous.

  • Walking


    Image via Moyan Brenn/Flickr

    If you take a walk, you let gravity work for you. Gravity lowers the baby, puts pressure on the cervix can even dilate it. The day I went into labor with my daughter was a 4 mile walk day. Just sayin'.

  • Castor Oil


    Image via Amazon

    I have known more than one woman who used this method and it led to BAD diarrhea and pain. It also led to a baby. But you know? Is that worth it? Some say it stimulates prostaglandin production.

  • Acupressure


    Image via Anthony Easton/Flickr

    Shiatsu specialists believe that certain spots between the thumb and the pointer finger, near the ankle, and on the shoulder could be connected to the uterus. Worth a try, no??

  • Pineapple


    Image via Derek Rose/Flickr

    Pineapple, mango and kiwi all contain bromelain, which may stimulate prostaglandin that helps ripen the cervix. Not sure if it's true, but will say I have been craving pineapple non stop for weeks. Weird, right?

  • Evening Primrose Oil


    Image via Amazon

    Evening primrose oil capsules can either be taken orally or inserted vaginally. Midwives say it thins and dilates the cervix. Could it? Anything is worth a try, I say.

labor & delivery

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