10 Natural Ways To Help Induce Labour

Looking for home remedies or natural ways to kickstart your labour? These tried and true methods are some of the most common and most known to help encourage labour for the mom who is 40+ weeks.

Caution: Do not attempt any methods before you are 40 weeks pregnant as the fetus is not completely matured or ready for birth. Also consult your doctor before trying any of the below mentioned remedies. 

 

Pregnancy Symptoms

1. Acupuncture/Acupressure

This remedy has been around for ages and stems from ancient Chinese medicine. Acupuncture is the process of inserting very thin needles into specific trigger points of the body. Although this a method used for a variety of illnesses, it is also very effective in inducing labour. Alternatively, if the idea of needles concerns you, there is it’s counterpart, Acupressure, which is very similar only no needles are used and the therapist simply applies pressure to the trigger points in your body. Both can be very effective.  With Acupressure, you also have the advantage of doing this during your labour as well to help facilitate a natural birth and to reduce pain.  Ask your care provider for more information.

 

2. Sex and Nipple Stimulation

Increasing the amount of sex you have is a fun and very effective way to induce labour.  Sex triggers the release of Oxytocin, which is a hormone responsible for inducing labour. Also penetration can help stretch and ready the skin for birth. The semen is also full of a hormone call prostaglandin, which contributes to the softening,ripening, and dilation of the cervix.  NOTE: If you have pregnancy complications such as placenta previa, this is not the best option for you. Make sure you consult your doctor of midwife first.   Similarly, nipple stimulation creates the same effect in the body by releasing Oxytocin.

 

3. Castor Oil

Drinking Castor Oil can help induce labour and has been used as a home remedy for years. As with all remedies mentioned here, consult your doctor. It is recommended to not exceed 60ml of castor oil as it serves as a diuretic. Diarrhea and dehydration could become risk factors if too much is taken. Using castor oil can also lead to fetal bowel movements.

 

4.Walking/Standing

Makes sense that if we want things to start happening we need to move around.  Walking is one of the most common ways to induce labour and also shortens the pre labour stage where Braxton Hicks contractions are most common. The action of walking along with gravity are helping prepare the baby for birth and assisting them in descending further into the pelvis.  Make sure to stay hydrated and not over do it. You will need your energy for labour.

 

5. Evening Primrose Oil

Evening Primrose Oil is an excellent oil for ripening of the cervix. Many women take tablets every day nearing the end of their pregnancy to ensure labour begins on time, Alternativly, with a doctor or midwives presence, EPO tablets can also be inserted directly into the vagina near the cervix before bed, for a more effective and immediate result.

 

6.Warm Bath

Sounds too goo to be true, but true it is. This is exactly what started my labour as I was at my moms house overnight and thought I would relax in her huge bathtub. Sure enough, a few hours later my labour had begun.  Warm baths not only soften the skin but most importantly put you in a very relaxed state. Allowing your body to function without the barriers of tension.  It is very important not to take a hot bath as the temperature of the water should just be warm, anything more than this can overheat the baby and cause fetal distress.

 

7.Spicy Foods/Curry

Wives tale or fact? Some studies do show that eating spicy food near the end of labour helps to stimulate your stomach muscles and soften your cervix.  Like any remedy mentioned here, consult your doctor and don’t overdue it. If you are past 40 weeks and craving something spicy, give it a try, it might just kickstart labour for you.

 

8.Climbing Stairs

Climbing stairs is a great way to help your  shift your baby into the right position in the pelvis. This movement also encourages water breaking. If you have a high risk pregnancy this remedy may not be for you, this is used more often for low risk pregnancies.

 

 

9.Raspberry Leaf Tea

Unlike other remedies mentioned here, It’s best not to use this herbal remedy to kickstart your labour. Instead, raspberry leaf tea may help your labour to progress on time and efficiently once it has begun. The remedy works best if you allow several weeks for it to build up in your system. So if you want try this remedy, it’s recommended you begin taking it when you’re about 32 weeks pregnant. Raspberry Leaf Tea is known to tone the muscles of your uterus so they contract better and work more efficiently.  Taking this tea weekly is a great way to help your labour progress at a nice pace.

 

10. Pineapple

Pineapple contains an enzyme called bromelain, which is believed to help soften your cervix and help start labour. Eating a large amount can stimulate your tummy, which can help to get labour underway.

There are many other remedies that you can find online, as well as many other herbal teas known to help prepare the body for labour.  For normal or low risk pregnancies these are safe to try.

 

 

 

 

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