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Many women see their due date come and go without any sign that they will be holding their little bundle of joy anytime soon. As the final weeks of your pregnancy are putting a strain on your body and youre growing more impatient, there are ways to induce labor in the comfort of your own home.

Some of these natural remedies are backed by research into the efficiency of certain foods, ethereal oils, and even sex to induce labor. But before you try any of these at home, be sure to check with your midwife or general practitioner to see if its OK.

Sometimes, certain preexisting conditions may require extra care. You should also consider taking things slowly rather than simply going ahead and inducing labor. However, it is important to separate the facts ofhow to induce labor naturally from the myths that are being recommended online.

Is it even possible to induce labor naturally? Luckily, the answer to this question is “Yes.” There are many safe and proven home remedies to induce labor. After consulting your doctor, you may be able to try any of them at home and see if they speed up delivery.

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1. Walking And Exercise


If like many future moms, you find yourself wondering Does walking induce labor? you will be happy to learn that there is a great deal of truth in the belief that walking can be used as part of a string of exercises to induce labor.

During walks, the pull of gravity on the baby works in combination with its own weight to put pressure on your cervix. The rocking motion of walking helps position the baby head-first, encouraging your cervix to start dilating. Having said that, walking will only work in inducing labor if youve carried the baby to term and the body is ready for his or her birth. If youre having irregular contractions, walking can stabilize them and guide you into the second stage of the birthing process.

2. Acupressure And Acupuncture


The ancient Asian practices of acupuncture and acupressure to induce labor have been around for centuries. They are relaxing and wonderful natural ways to induce labor as there are no invasive procedures involved.

Acupuncture stimulates the release of oxytocin in the body, which produces the same results as membrane stripping, but without the need for medical induction. Acupressure, on the other hand, if done regularly from 37 weeks onward, can not only speed up delivery of your baby, but also alleviate pain and discomfort during delivery. The reason this practice is so effective is because it relies on pressure points to induce labor, just as when you use massage to induce labor. These are all wonderful ways to try speeding up delivery, as they are enjoyable and relaxing for the mother.

3. Castor And Evening Primrose Oil


There are several ways to use essential oils to induce labor, the best being castor and evening primrose oil (EPO). The latter doesnt necessarily speed up delivery, but it can prime and soften the cervix. It can be taken orally or vaginally to ease birth.

Castor oil is a bit difficult to stomach given its strong and specific taste, but it can be used as a very powerful laxative. The oil works by stimulating the bowels throughspasms in the intestine. This in turn irritates the uterus, causing it to start contracting. However, when you use castor oil to induce labor, you need to be aware of the possible downsides it may have on your bowel movements during birth.

4. Foods That Induce Labor


There is a tastier way of inducing labor, and it includes indulging in certain types of foods that are believed to have the quality of contracting the uterus. Spicy foods, pineapple, red raspberry leaf tea, garlic, and even licorice are all used by expectant mothers to stimulate cramps in the bowel. As a result, irritating the intestines can cause the uterus to contract and speed up delivery. However, be prepared to experience strong heartburn, which is already an unpleasant side effect in the third trimester.

5. Sex


Apart from being a wonderful and intimate experience that brings you closer to your partner, you can use sex to induce labor. Its a win-win!

Making love releases prostaglandins, hormone-like substances similar to the chemicals used to induce labor medically. They are 100 percent natural, and of course, the process of attaining them feels amazing. If you want to increase the effect, you can try it alongside nipple stimulation to induce labor, as it causes your body to release the hormone oxytocin, which brings on contractions. However, dont have sex if your water has broken, since this puts you at a risk of infection.

Myths About How To Induce Labor

Most cultures have specific folklore and traditions associated with inducing labor, but you should know when something doesnt make sense from a medical (or even health) standpoint. Avoiding cutting your hair in the last trimester or standing against a pole are quirky bits of folk wisdom, but there is no validity to any of these claims. Others, such as assertions that taking warm baths and simply relaxing can speed up delivery, also dont have sufficient scientific data to back them up.

How Doctors Induce Labor

Its important to know and understand how doctors induce labor in case it needs to be done to you.

Sometimes, they can offer you stripping membranes to induce labor. This procedure needs to be done in a clinic, but doesnt involve any medications. The doctor will insert one finger to separate the amniotic sac from the uterine wall, thus encouraging labor. This action releases prostaglandins. Following the procedure, you may experience cramps and spotting, but any heavier bleeding is reason for hospitalization.

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