Natural Ways to Induce Labor

You have finally got to the end of your nine months of labour, maybe loving every minute of it as your body has changed and adapted to the changes, or having had more of a rough ride of it, but now desperately waiting to see what your baby looks like and finally have that first hug you’ve been dreaming of for the last three-quarters of a year.

What can you do to help bring your labour without all the interference some people associate with inducing labour?

Sexual Methods

1. Breast and Nipple Stimulation

This is thought to release oxytocin a hormone that causes contractions and so helps speed up contractions. Some results show over 37% of women start contractions after stimulation compared to around 6% that don’t.

2. Having Sex

Sex is believed to stimulate the uterus into action, trigger the release of oxytocin and help to soften the neck of the cervix with semen.
Although not always an easy method because of your shape and size, careful sex can produce surprisingly good results.

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Food and Drink

1. Eating pineapple

Pineapple contains the enzyme bromelain which is thought to help to soften the cervix and so bring on labour.
Eating fresh pineapple doesn’t work for everyone but it might be worth a try if you can’t wait to give birth. And part from anything else, fresh fruit will do both you and your baby the world of good.

2. Eating curry

Eating hot or spicy food is often though to bring on labour, although there are no firm studies to show this to be true. They are thought to stimulate the gut and lower regions of the body, including the uterus, but be careful the after-effects of a strong curry isn’t the best way to cope with labour.

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Oils, Herbs and New Age Methods

1. Castor Oil

Some people believe that castor oil can stimulate labour by acting as laxative would by getting the gut and the uterus working.
Although nearly 58% of mothers found it a useful method, many now feel it doesn’t really work and is just an old myth.

2. Homeopathy

As with castor oil, there are mixed views as to whether homeopathic methods really work. They aim to relax and stimulate hormones to help bring on labour.

3. Acupuncture

The needles of the ancient method of acupuncture are thought to relax you and stimulate energy in the body to restore balance, boost healing and stimulate progress in things like labour.
There have been limited studies but anecdotal evidence suggests it can work with some mothers so may be worth a try.

4. Blue Cohosh and Black Cohosh Herbs

BEWARE – during early pregnancy these are believed to contribute to the risk of birth defects. But used properly in the later stages of pregnancy, there are many unofficial reports to show their success.

Other Methods

1. Exercise

Many mothers testify to gentle exercise successfully stimulating labour and probably the best and easiest form of exercise is walking.
Gently walking, or exercising in the upright position, is thought to use gravity to give your baby a helping hand.

2. Massage

As with sexual stimulation, massage is believed to relax you, help the release of hormones and so stimulate labour.

Whatever you do, make sure you’re relaxed as possible and try not to let the prospect of a long or difficult labour get to you. Childbirth is an amazing thing and my view is that your baby will come when he or she is ready most of the time. Sometimes they may need a little helping hand but there’s no need to go overboard.