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8 Induction Methods That Haven't Worked and 1 We Won't Try

I have been anxious for the baby to arrive for about as long as I knew about him. Nothing in the world was more important to me than becoming a mother, and now that we’re at the finish line, the wait is excruciating. From about 37 weeks on, I started getting really antsy. I read on a pregnancy board about all the ways that women were trying to induce their own labor and though I wanted to meet my son, 37 weeks felt a little on the early side for me. So I bookmarked the pages with home induction methods for when we were really ready.

We’re really, seriously, at least 5 days past ready now. And as we start facing the music of a medical induction next week, we have tried more and more of the home remedies, all to no avail.

It has become increasingly clear to me that while there are ways that you can speed along the process, if your baby or body is not ready for labor, nothing will induce labor, but trust me, some of these will seriously induce misery. There’s nothing like throwing your body into false labor for hours at a time, only to have the contractions stop and no progress be made. Which is pretty much exactly what I’ve managed to do in 8 different ways. And what I’m unwilling to even try to do with one other.

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  • Walking 1 of 9
    Walking
    Walking is a sure fire way to get my contractions to pick up and many women swear by it as a way to start labor. I've taken walks just about every day in the past 2-3 weeks and surprise! No baby. Walking has a special way of causing me to have 3-4 minute long contractions that persist exactly as long as the walk does and do not seem to be doing anything to get my cervix moving. I'll still do it to keep my stamina up and to use gravity to keep the baby's head engaged, but yea, no dice here. I also don't want to take 5 hour walks because I hear it's good to have a little bit of energy stored up for when you actually do go into labor (if that is ever going to happen).
    Photo by MorgueFile
  • Sex 2 of 9
    Sex
    I cannot tell you how many people have suggested this to me and yes, there is some science behind it. Semen contains prostaglandins which can soften the cervix and help send hormonal signals to start labor. Or, it can cause 2 hours of really unpleasant cramping contractions that then go away and don't do anything to help dilate or efface your cervix, like it did for me. We're not giving up completely on this one since it has a scientific basis and may help keep things moving, but clearly it hasn't gotten labor going for us yet.
    Photo by MorgueFile
  • Red Raspberry Leaf Tea 3 of 9
    Red Raspberry Leaf Tea
    I'm not sure of the science behind this one, but it's gotten us equally as far as the other methods. On the upside, it tastes pretty decent and is a nice hydration push.
    Photo by MorgueFile
  • Driving Down a Bumpy Road 4 of 9
    Driving Down a Bumpy Road
    It should be noted that this is not one I tried voluntarily, but one that my husband decided we should try. His favorite way is speeding rapidly over speed bumps. So far this has not elicited any contractions, but it has gotten my husband punched repeatedly.
    Photo by MorgueFile
  • Evening Primrose Oil 5 of 9
    Evening Primrose Oil
    I'll admit, I am too squeamish to stick this inside me like many have suggested, but I have taken it orally. And no change. Perhaps skipping the vaginal route is my mistake, but I'm a little worried about putting anything foreign in there at this point in time due to the risk of infection and also because I'm pretty sure I couldn't reach if I wanted to. You're welcome for that mental image.
    Photo by MorgueFile
  • Bouncing on a TheraBall 6 of 9
    Bouncing on a TheraBall
    A lot of people swear by this one and it's a method we plan to make use of when/if I ever actually go into labor. The combination of the movement, the spreading of the pelvis and gravity are supposed to help coerce the baby to come out. And yes, it does increase my contractions, but like walking, when I stop, so do the contractions. And I can only bounce for so many hours in one day before I lose my mind.
    Photo from Thera-Band.com
  • Spicy Food 7 of 9
    Spicy Food
    Spicy food is a longstanding old wive's tale for inducing labor. I think the idea is that your stomach irritates your uterus, but mostly it just gives me indigestion and increases the already ever present heartburn without doing anything to my uterus. That hasn't stopped me from wanting and eating it, but it also hasn't done a thing to move me into labor.
    Photo by MorgueFile
  • Nipple Stimulation 8 of 9
    Nipple Stimulation
    I'll admit I haven't busted out the breast pump yet, for reasons that don't need to be elaborated, but so far, all manual stimulation of my nipples has led to is...nipple pain. Not a single contraction was had in the course of that experiment. And I do not need any other body parts to hurt right now.
    Photo by MorgueFile
  • Castor Oil 9 of 9
    Castor Oil
    I know that many women swear by this one, but it's just one I'm not willing to try. My OB actually cautioned against it as well and that was enough for me. The idea is that, as a strong laxative, castor oil irritates the intestines, which irritates the uterus and jumpstarts labor. The downside is that they're seeing a strong correlation between castor oil and babies passing meconium in utero and especially because my fluid is low, we want to avoid that as much as possible to prevent meconium aspiration. Plus, the idea of having diarrhea while in labor is just not for me, even if it could speed up this waiting.
    Photo by MorgueFile

What induction methods did you try and did they work for you?

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