Have you ever been induced? I have.
It was terrible. It was honestly my worst nightmare.
There were some complications that contributed to my induction but after that mess of an induction, I promised myself I wouldn’t have to ever be induced again.
Ironically enough I knew all the natural labor induction methods before I was induced. I received all my pregnancy care from our local midwives and I had attended a WHOLE class on all the things to do to get your body ready for labor, including at-home induction methods to make you go into labor naturally!
Long story short, I didn’t get to use any of the natural methods because I was sent to be induced, with no notice, on my due date because of complications.
In this guide, I am going to share with you ALLLLL the tips including:
- Setting yourself up weeks in advance for going into labor naturally
- Things you can do once you reach your due date to increase your chance of going into labor naturally
- Old Wives Tales to induce labor naturally!
Disclaimer: As a reminder, I am not a doctor, this blog post provides information only. I cannot guarantee results. Do not try to induce labor unless under the care of YOUR doctor.
Labor Preparation: Setting Yourself up for Success
Your body knows what to do. If you wait long enough chances are you will go into labor naturally. The problem is that most doctors won’t let you go more than a week or two past your due date, not to mention YOU also won’t want to go that long.
The last few weeks of pregnancy ALWAYS seem to be terrible for every woman I’ve ever talked to.
So in order to get your body ready to go into labor on time try these tips from my midwives.
If we lived the way our ancestors we would be doing lots of walking. Women used to forage for food, work farms, and then work in factories late into their pregnancy. Nowadays women, especially pregnant women have very sedentary lifestyles.
Walking actually increases normal levels of adrenaline and causes toning contractions that help move the baby into the optimal position for birth and even tones the uterus for an easier labor and birth.
When you are pregnant you can use your caveman instincts and go on lots of long walks to prepare your body for the labor that is to come. Walks of over an hour are ideal.
Walking is also very soothing and can be a great stress reliever. The more relaxed you are the easier it is to go into labor naturally.
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Evening Primrose Oil
Evening Primrose Oil is thought to soften and thin out the cervix. (efface).
- To use take 4-6 gel caps, pierced with a pin and inserted in the vagina every other night–starting at 36 weeks.
Homeopathic medicine is a type of holistic medicine that has been used for centuries. It is believed to be safe and gentle and practiced worldwide. Homeopathy, when used correctly, is thought to reduce the length of labor and reduce the need for medical intervention. The following homeopathic medicines are meant to ripen the cervix and tone the uterine muscles.
- Caulophyllum 30 c pellets –After 36 weeks, take 5 pellets on Monday
- Cimicifuga 30 c pellets –After 36 weeks, take 5 pellets on Wednesdays
- Arnica 30 c pellets–After 36 weeks, take 5 pellets on Fridays
Acupuncture has been used in some parts of Asia for centuries for starting labor. There have been some studies that show that acupuncture can help jump-start labor.
Acupuncture helps to prepare the body for labor by relaxing the nervous system and reducing anxiety and stress. It can also stimulate hormone release and uterine contractions.
As your body grows during pregnancy it is likely that you will feel lots of discomfort. This comes from the growing weight of the baby on your spine and pelvis and your organs moving to make way for the baby.
Receiving chiropractic care during pregnancy can reduce discomfort and also ensure that your pelvis is in alignment for optimal delivery. Remember to ALWAYS get your doctor’s go-ahead before seeing a chiropractor while pregnant.
According to Healthline.com Chiropractic care is not recommended if you are experiencing
- Vaginal bleeding
- Placenta previa or placenta abruption
- Ectopic pregnancy
- Moderate to severe toxemia
While getting your sex on while nine months pregnant can feel less than sexy it can actually increase your chances of going into labor naturally!
Sex, even without an orgasm increases uterine activity and can tone and soften your cervix.
Semen has prostaglandins which is a naturally occurring chemical that can help soften tissue and so it can actually help soften and relax your cervix!
How to go into labor tonight!–Once you are at (or near) your due date
Stripping your membranes
Your doctor or midwife can strip your membrane. Your healthcare provider will usually not do this until you are at least 39 weeks and one centimeter dilated.
Your healthcare provider will insert his or her finger into your cervix and sweep around the edges of your amniotic sac to lift the sac of water away from the cervix.
This releases prostaglandins which can cause your uterus to contract.
Most women find this procedure to be painful and will usually cause cramping both during and after the procedure. It’s possible to have some bleeding as well.
I had my membranes swept and found it to be painful but of course, that pain is nothing compared to labor.
While it might sound strange, nipple stimulation can actually be a really effective way to go into labor naturally!
Nipple stimulation releases oxytocin! Oxytocin is the feel-good hormone and it is actually the main hormone responsible for getting you to go into labor naturally!
Side note: Pitocin is the synthetic drug that mimics the effects of oxytocin. You’ve likely heard about the use of Pitocin during labor inductions or the use of Pitocin to speed up labor.
You ideally want to increase the production of oxytocin in your body to kick start labor! Nipple stimulation is a great way to increase oxytocin and go into labor tonight!
Here’s how to Use Nipple Stimulation
- Manually stimulation: Gently roll one nipple between your fingers for 5 minutes at a time, then take a 10-15 minute break and then roll the other nipple
- Have your partner use nipple stimulation during sex. This is extra beneficial because sex on its own can help jump-start labor naturally!
- Use a breast pump on a low setting, only do one nipple at a time for 5 minutes then take a break.
Have More Sex
As we discussed before, sex is great for helping the body to go into labor naturally for two reasons. One female orgasm and nipple stimulation release oxytocin which can put you into labor! Second, semen has prostaglandins which are a naturally occurring chemical that can help soften tissue and so it can actually help soften and relax your cervix!
Old Wives Tales for Inducing Labor
Fresh pineapple contains the enzyme bromelain which is often used as a meat tenderizer. The idea is that the bromelain in pineapple will soften your cervix and help you go into labor naturally.
Spicy food is an old wives tale as old as time! But go ahead eat some Thai food! It can’t hurt! Unless of course, it increases your heartburn!
Ribs with lots of BBQ sauce
This isn’t exactly an old wives tale, but its something my mom swears by, and I guess she’s an old wife! My mom and her friends swore by eating at a rib joint in our town. They all swear up and down that once they ate their ribs they all went into labor that same night. Multiple women, multiple babies were naturally induced this way. Well, according to legend. Ha!
Castor oil can stimulate the bowels which can in turn also stimulate the uterus and cause contractions. *Only use castor oil under a doctor’s care as it can cause dehydration and other complications.
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