Remember – I am SO not a doctor. Discuss any labor induction techniques with your healthcare provider before deciding to try them.
2018 Update: If you’re already looking to induce labor, it may be too late for you to try this, but if you are looking for an awesome birthing class this one was AMAZING during my 3rd delivery.
When I was pregnant with my 2nd son, every day I’d just hope to stay pregnant to make it to 38 week so I could deliver at our local birth center. Then when I hit that milestone, I wanted to get him out so I could meet him! We immediately started looking for ways to naturally induce labor.
Evening Primrose Oil to Induce Labor
Our midwife suggested taking Evening Primrose Oil orally and internally to help soften my cervix, which I did, but we wanted to try something crazy and see if it would work.
Pressure Points on Foot to Induce Labor
We hopped on YouTube one Friday night to look up labor induction. My husband works long hours through the week, so the weekend was the perfect time to have our little one.
We found a few videos (okay, more like hundreds or thousands) of how to use pressure points to start labor naturally.
I figured it was just something silly to do for 5 minutes and then we’d go to bed and wake up and enjoy our Saturday.
My husband did all of the things in the two videos we watched, including squeezing the side of my pinky toe and putting pressure on a certain spot on my calf.
The next morning, I woke up to go to the bathroom like most extremely pregnant women late in their 3rd trimester and felt a little bit of cramping. No way did that craziness the night before work.
Well…something did, because Tinson Kove was born at 7:58 that night.
Was it the pressure points or was it just his time to come?
We’ll never know, but if I’m ever pregnant again and hoping to start labor naturally, you can bet that these pressure points are exactly where I’ll start.
Sex for Inducing Labor
Obviously the most fun option on the list. If you’re trying to start labor naturally, sex is a tried and true option.
How to Use Nipple Stimulation to Start Contractions
You can even use a breast pump for this purpose. I did.
I’d save any colostrum you’re able to pump because that stuff is liquid gold!
We travel a ton, so using my electric breast pump wasn’t always an option.
Instead, I purchased this cheap manual breast pump and used it for a few minutes a day starting at week 38.
I love having an electric breast pump, but now after having 3 babies I can honestly say I use my manual pump more.
It’s just less to put together and clean up after use. It’s portable and so easy to use.
To think, I bought it to kick start labor and now this $20 manual breast pump has saved my breastfeeding-butt in more situations than I can count.
Do Spicy Foods Actually Start Labor?
Spicy Foods – Whether this works or not is up for debate, but it’s likely that this works by giving you diarrhea which can stimulate your body to begin contractions.
The same reason midwives used castor oil for years.
Birthing Ball to Induce Labor
Bounce on a birthing ball – Not only can this help move baby down the birth canal, it can help your baby to get into the best position for birth.
Red Raspberry Leaf Tea in Pregnancy
Red Raspberry leaf tea – Some people swear by this, others swear it doesn’t work. It’s supposed to strengthen your uterus to make your contractions more effective. Even if it doesn’t start labor sooner, it can hopefully aid in an easier delivery.
Squats to Start Labor
What better way to start labor than to kill two birds with one stone. Exercise is known to help jump start labor, and squats let gravity help the baby into a better birthing position in the birth canal.
Meditation for Inducing Labor
When you’re waiting for labor to start, relaxing can be the furthest thing from your mind.
Trying meditation can reset your breathing and allow your body to ready itself for labor.
Try sitting in a quiet room and just focus on your breathing (or the ever-stronger punches of little one now that they’re too big to kick!) Here are a few awesome books about mediation during pregnancy:
Castor Oil to Start Contractions
Do not, I repeat DO NOT start this without explicit direction of your doctor or midwife.
It gives you horrible diarrhea which usually starts uterine contractions.
I’ve never been forced to try this method, but the mamas who have all say it was a terrible experience.
I’m only listing it here because it’s one of the oldest tricks in the book – but luckily that book has been updated a million times and there are better options!
Black or Blue Cohosh
This is another natural induction technique you should only try under the care of a certified midwife.
These herbs can help start contractions and really get labor going, but you have to be very careful with the dosage.
This is one of the most common ways to induce labor without medication.
Your doctor will insert their finger into your cervix and “sweep” separating the membrane from the uterus.
Whether you decide to try all of these tricks or none at all, rest assured that labor WILL start and your little one WILL get here. We’re just on baby’s time, and that’s perfectly okay!
Have you tried any natural tricks to start labor naturally? Let me know your best labor induction techniques in the comments!