Are you passed your due date and going out of your mind waiting for your baby to arrive?
You probably got excited and shared your due date with everyone right?
So now that time has come and gone and still no baby!
Now your desperately searching for ‘how to naturally induce labor.’
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Going overdue can be stressful for modern mamas. You probably have a ton of people constantly texting and messaging you asking if your baby is here yet.
Heaven forbids you take a break from your phone and social media for a while. They will pretty much go into meltdown.
But the aim of the game is to get your chilled out bambino to make an appearance before 42 weeks.
Once you hit the 40 weeks mark, your doctor or midwife will most likely offer you a date for medical induction.
The problem is that, just like any medical procedure, induction can come with increased risks to you and baby.
Related: How to Prevent Tearing During Labor
If you can naturally encourage labor you avoid going down that road. But let’s face it, you want ways to induce labor that actually work.
Sadly there are no guaranteed ways to induce labor. However, there are some good ol’ home remedies to induce labor that moms swear by.
Let’s check out my favorite ways to help you learn just how to induce labor naturally.
Disclaimer: This information is only for women who have reached 40 weeks of ‘low risk’ pregnancy. Please do not attempt this advice if you are below 40 weeks or have medical concerns regarding your pregnancy. Always discuss any plans to use these methods with your caregiver first.
How To Induce Labor Naturally
When it comes to all things pregnancy related, it’s so easy to forget about the simple things. Stripping everything back to basics usually works wonders.
When I suggest walking as a natural way to induce labor, that may seem perhaps a little too simple for you.
Walking is a great way to encourage baby to engage further into your pelvis. This means baby’s head is balancing nicely on your cervix to stimulate it from the inside and get all your labor hormones going.
You don’t want to overdo it and get exhausted before the big event. If you can try walking up a gentle sloping hill or a small set of stairs. The movement of your hips really helps baby get into the best position, for an easier labor.
This is a fun way to induce labor at home. There are two ways sex can induce labor.
The first way is by exposing your cervix to a prostaglandin. How? Through sperm.
That’s right; sperm is a natural version of the medication you receive vaginally during induction. Prostaglandins are known to help the cervix thin out, shorten and start to dilate, and kick-start contractions.
Another way sex works is by giving you an orgasm.
When you reach the big ‘O,’ you release a hormone called oxytocin. This is the hormone that has the same effect that Pitocin does on your body.
One orgasm can coordinate your womb to start regularly contracting.
If your waters have broken, I don’t recommend having sex, as it can increase the risks of infection to you and baby.
What are the best sex positions to start labor? That depends on what you and your partner enjoy.
Remember the aim of the game is for both of you to orgasm to get the best effect.
Essential oils are an age-old home remedy for every ailment under the sun. Pregnancy conditions are no different.
Modern midwives are often trained in aromatherapy techniques to offer a natural therapy to pregnant women.
The best essential oils for inducing labor are clary sage and Jasmine. You need to use reputable brands with pure oil, like as this one.
It’s important to know these oils shouldn’t be directly applied to the skin. A great way is to mix them with a carrier oil (use coconut oil to induce labor).
For ultimate relaxation dilute them (with carrier oil) in a bath. Also, use them to have a lovely massage so you feel ultra-chilled before your labor started.
4. Membrane Sweep
I am a huge fan of membrane sweeps. When performed well they are fantastic for preventing medical induction.
A sweep is a vaginal examination by your doctor or midwife. They will insert a finger into your cervix and circles around the tip of your baby’s head.
This procedure is usually done in a clinic and then you can go home. Although some private midwives will be able to do this at home.
The idea is to stimulate a natural release of prostaglandins to kick-start contractions. They will be able to tell you how likely you are to go into labor yourself (your Bishop Score).
Sweeps are known to work well after 40 weeks and with a good bishop score. If a sweep has worked well, you should go into labor within two days of having one.
Unfortunately, if the sweep doesn’t work it can cause you discomfort and make you crampy without any real effect.
5. Eat Dates
There are certain foods that some women swear by to get them into labor. Popular options include spicy curries and pineapple.
There is nothing truly scientific to back up these claims. Probably more than anything it gives you enough of a dodgy tummy to set labor off.
Eating dried date fruit is getting a good reputation for naturally inducing labor. It’s thought the fruit helps to ripen your cervix and prevent prolonged pregnancy.
A study in the Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology found it helped prevent induction and reduce the need for Pitocin.
It’s recommended you eat 4 dried dates (like these ones) everyday form 37 weeks.
Perhaps not the most appetizing way to start labor. You can disguise them by blending then add to a breakfast yogurt or smoothie.
6. Birthing Balls
Is your baby in a back to back position?
The bad news is that this isn’t a great way for labor to start. The good news is you can change it.
Use an exercise ball to induce labor.
A birthing ball (yes one of these giant exercise balls) is a great way to get baby into the best position. When babies head is in the right place, your contractions will coordinate, and your cervix will dilate evenly.
Will a birthing ball help induce labor? It can if you know how to use it right.
Most advice tells you to simply bounce up and down. However, baby turning guru Gail Tully from Spinning Babies recommends hip circles for 20 minutes and then switching directions.
This can easily be done while to watch TV each night.
7. Nipple Stimulation
Now this one may sound a bit ‘crunchy’, but it’s seriously very effective at starting your contractions.
This is not one to mess with before your due date, no matter how fed up you are.
Nipple stimulation is exactly as the name suggests. You can gently roll your nipple between your thumb and forefinger or massage the areola with the palm of your hand.
Your body thinks your new-born is nursing and releases oxytocin, which you already know starts contractions.
Can nipple stimulation induce labor quickly? It’s hard to tell, you may be super sensitive to the technique, or you may have to add it to your induction arsenal.
You can stimulate your nipples for up to an hour at a time, three times a day.
Or how about using a breast pump to do the work for you, if you have one available.
You can do it while sitting on your birth ball. Or get your partner to do it for you to combine a few techniques at the same time.
I hope one of these methods works for you. If you have a favorite or unusual way to induce labor naturally, leave a comment below, I’d love to hear about it.