8 Ways to Induce Labor Naturally, and the Lengths I'm Willing to Take.

Me, 40 weeks and 1 day pregnant
Me, 40 weeks and 1 day pregnant

Yesterday was my “official” due date.

For what it’s worth, I’m not surprised at all to by sitting here at my kitchen table, plucking out an “overdue” post.

In fact, I’ve given birth 3 times in the past, and never have one of them come before the morning of 40 weeks.

This is my fourth pregnancy, and here I am, officially past that magical date that has been circled in the calendar for months now, twiddling my thumbs instead of holding a baby.

So what’s a girl to do? Or more specifically, what am I willing to do, to get labor started?

8 ways to naturally start labor (and my willingness to try them):

1. Have sex: Sex gives off prostaglandins that are hormones that help in inducing labor. While I’m not opposed, I’m really not in the “mood” either.

2. Eating Curry and Pineapple. Specific foods have been known to stimulate the uterus, spicy foods and fruits like pineapple. Although I don’t hold much faith that this would work for me, it sounds tasty, so bring it on!

3. Acupuncture. Acupuncture involves the insertion of needles into specific points of your body that stimulate energy. If I’m still pregnant this time next week, I will be getting acupuncture.

4. Long Walks. Long walks can aid in getting your baby’s head nice and low in your cervix. The baby’s head pressing down on your cervix could stimulate the release of oxytocin, a hormone which causes contractions. I think this is a great idea, and I’ve been trying to stay as active as my body tells me to be.

5. Nipple Stimulation. Nipple stimulation is meant to mimic the suckling of a newborn, therefore releases oxytocin, a hormone which causes contractions to start. I’m about as excited about this one as I am about having sex. I’m not opposed, just not really in the mood.

6. Castor Oil. I’m not sure how castor oil works, but it stimulates something in your gut that can kick-start labor. It also can give you the poops and make you nauseous. I will not be using castor oil to start labor.

7. Red Raspberry Leaf Tea. Drinking this tea is known to ripen the cervix, therefore preparing it for labor. I’ve actually been drinking raspberry leaf tea since week 38.

8. Membrane Sweeping. Membrane sweeping is when a medical professional physically separates the bag of water from the uterus. Hormones released may soften the cervix and prepare the uterus to contract. I had this done with my daughter, and while I’m not opposed to having it done this time, it will be one of my last resorts.

So what lengths will you go to get the party started in your uterus? Any tips or tricks I’ve missed?


Find more of  Emily on her blog, twitter and facebook.

Also babbled by Emily:

Why I’m hiring a doula.

My 38 week maternity photo shoot.

Music banned from my labor playlist.


Time Out Q & A: Inducing labor at 41 weeks— is it necessary?

Article Posted 6 years Ago

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