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Has your doctor given your baby an "eviction date" and has told you that they recommend an induction with Pitocin or Cytotec? Have you gone over your due date, and agree that it is time for your baby to be born? You may prefer to try natural labor induction methods before opting for more medical ones. What are these methods?

These methods, just like medical labor induction techniques, do carry risks. Unlike medications used in hospitals, they are not regulated and if you use them at home, nobody will be there to help you deal with side effects. These methods are used by some midwives, but that does not necessarily mean they are safe. Still, many women opt to use castor oil and other methods to induce their labor with great success. This is, basically, just a note to say that these methods should be used at your own risk!

Castor oil

This is a powerful way to induce labor, and can be used in several different ways. Some women use it orally in combination with alcohol (vodka) and orange juice, others leave the alcohol out. It will upset your tummy and make you get diarrhea which is a sign of impending labor. Labor is most likely to start soon afterward, especially if you take a hot shower. Castor oil can also be rubbed onto the abdomen and covered with a hot, wet towel. In addition, some women rub it onto the cervix. All methods are effective. Castor oil can have nasty side effects including nausea and vomiting, cramps (not to be confused with labor contractions) a rash and itchiness, and dizziness.

Blue cohosh

Blue cohosh tincture is another form of natural labor induction that can be poured into a cup or tea or simply warm water. The dosage is three to eight drops, according to most midwives, and the drink can be repeated every 30 minutes until you feel contractions. It is extremely effective at bringing on labor, but of course there are possible side effects which are rare but serious. They include breathing difficulties, hives, and swelling of lips and face. This is best used under instruction from a midwife or doctor.

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