Hello, pregnant lady! If you are here, you are likely in your ninth month of pregnancy and close to your due date, or perhaps already passed it. You are wondering what you can do to get labor going in a natural way, without a medical induction. There are plenty of old wives' tales about how to get labor going, and then there are some very reliable herbal induction techniques.
The old wives' suggestions are generally harmless but not scientifically reliable, while "natural" labor induction can be quite risky. Let's take a look at some of these methods!
- Walk! It is said that walking, especially up stairs, can help your baby drop lower into your pelvis, something that could trigger labor. Walking is a safe thing to do, but it may or may not get contractions up and running.
- Sex. All those prostaglandins in your partner's semen can work towards ripening your cervix, and it is also said that having an orgasm can trigger labor.
- Eat spicy foods. This will lead to a "total cleanse", also known as an upset tummy. Many women report going into labor right after eating a nice curry or some spicy Mexican food. If you love these foods, this is certainly worth a try.
- Eat pineapple. Pineapple contains certain enzymes that can bring on contractions... allegedly. This will be very tasty if you love pineapples, but you need to eat it in huge quantities for it to work, says the old wife.
- Sweeping membranes. Now, we are wandering into more serious territory. Many obstetricians and midwives use this method to attempt to bring on labor. However, if your baby is not ready to be born yet, the membranes will simply reattach with no damage done.
- Breaking the bag of waters. More serious yet, once your waters are broken you will reach the "land of no return". Waters broken without labor increases the chance of infection, and most hospitals want babies to be born within 24 hours of the rupture of membranes. Often, this technique gets labor going.
- Castor Oil. This is a very effective "natural" method to bring on labor. Our recommendation is not to try this at home... not without the supervision of a qualified medical professional.