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50 Natural Ways to Induce Labor

There are natural ways to induce labor. Older people usually recommend these natural labor induction methods in order to have a normal and vaginal delivery and avoid Cesarean and other instrument-assisted deliveries. Such methods are also used to prevent medical induction of labor, which usually arise from fetal and maternal risk factors such as maternal and fetal distress. However, these natural methods are not ways to start the labor process but serve to speed up the labor process especially at 39 or 40 weeks of gestation. These natural labor induction ways should also be combined with health maintenance during pregnancy such as smoking cessation during pregnancy in order to ensure favorable pregnancy outcomes. It is also important to review pregnancy symptoms week by week in order to identify the right time to start these natural labor induction ways because delivery below 37 weeks is considered to be pre-term. It is important to induce labor when the fetus is ready to be delivered such as at 37 weeks, 38, weeks, 39 weeks or 40 weeks of gestation. It is also important to consult an obstetrician before starting any labor induction remedies in order to ensure safe labor and delivery. Here are the top 50 natural ways to induce labor:

  1. Walking

Walking is the simplest means to induce labor. Walking aids in the descent of the fetus, enhancing the ripening of the cervix which can help the fetal head engage deeper in the pelvis. Walking should be started at 37 weeks of gestation, but it may be done during the early stages of pregnancy to ensure adequate exercise.

  1. Sex

Sex may also be used to induce labor. Sex may increase the production of oxytocin which helps the uterus to  contract. An increase in oxytocin production peaks when a woman reaches orgasm.

  1. Nipple stimulation

Nipple stimulation is also a natural way to induce labor because stroking the nipples is a great way to increase oxytocin production. In fact, nipple stimulation is used during the delivery process to maintain regular uterine contractions.

  1. Castor oil

Castor oil may be taken after consultation with the obstetrician because it may cause meconium staining in the fetus. It must only be used when the mother is past her due date at 41 or 42 weeks of pregnancy.

  1. Acupuncture

Acupuncture is also used to induce labor in women who are ready to give birth.

  1. Acupressure

Placing pressure on acupressure points may also stimulate labor. Acupressure may also be used to relieve different aches associated with pregnancy and delivery.

  1. Exercise ball

The use of an exercise ball can help the descent of the baby. Spreading the legs while lying over the ball can help induce labor.

  1. Meditation or relaxation techniques

Relaxing the mind reduces stress and thereby inducing a healthy labor. Doing this during 39 weeks of pregnancy may help women prepare for labor.

  1. Evening primrose oil

Evening primrose helps to thin and soften the cervix during labor. Evening primrose oil can be inserted in the vagina to help ripen the cervix, but this may only be done by the health care provider.

  1. Spicy foods

Some proponents believe that spicy foods help the uterus to contract.

  1. Massage

Massage may also help to jump-start the labor because massage increases the release of oxytocin, which is a labor inducer. Massage also relaxes the pregnant woman helping the woman undergo labor easier.

  1. Balsamic vinegar

Starting at 38 weeks of pregnancy, balsamic vinegar can be added to a salad  to help induce labor.

  1. Blue or black cohosh

This herb is used to improve uterine contractions during labor. Although there are studies which claim that this may cause bad effects for the mother and fetus, it is best to consult the physician.

  1. Basil

Basil is also a safe way to induce labor, and it can be added to dishes.

  1. Borage seed oil

This oil, which is similar to the effects of evening primrose oil, also helps cervical effacement and dilatation.

  1. Bumpy car ride

This may help, but women with history of placenta previa and abruption placenta should avoid it due to possible bleeding.

  1. Chinese cuisine

Some women have claimed that Chinese food help induce labor. However, the exact mechanism is unknown, and whether Chinese food really induces labor is still in question.

  1. Dancing

Just like walking, dancing may help stimulate labor.  But avoid overdoing it, including pole dancing .

  1. Clary sage oil

This can be used as an aromatherapy to relax the mind and help stimulate oxytocin production.

  1. Eggplant

Many people have reported that eating eggplant can induce labor, although there is no strong evidence to support this claim. It’s worth a try because it does not have any side-effects.

  1. Galloping

Imitating the movement of a horse may also be used to induce labor because it aids in the descent of the baby. Avoid overdoing it to prevent strains.

  1. Golden sea

This may be taken in tablet form to induce labor.

  1. Wine

Drinking a glass of wine at 40 weeks of pregnancy may help, but drinking too much during pregnancy may possibly cause fetal alcohol syndrome.

  1. Pelvic rocking

Kneeling on the floor with the hands on the floor and swinging the hips back and forth may also induce labor.

  1. Mandarin oil

Some women may benefit from using this oil to induce labor.

  1. Licorice

This herb may help stimulate the gastrointestinal tract (GIT) and uterine contractions.

  1. Motherwort

This can be taken in the form of tea or pill.

  1. Oregano

Oregano leaves may be added in food to help induce labor.

  1. Pineapple

Eating fresh pineapples can help jump start labor due to the chemicals it contains.

  1. Raspberry leaf

Raspberry leaf is known to increase the tone of the uterus and strengthen the uterus, leading to shorter labor and delivery. Raspberry leaf in pill or tea form can be taken at 37 weeks of gestation.

  1. Quinine

Quinine in liquid or pill form can be taken, but before consuming quinine, a physician should be consulted first.

  1. Sperm

Sperm cells also help ripen and dilate the uterus. Engaging in sex is fine as long as there are no contractions and the membranes (bag of water) are still intact.

  1. Squats

Performing squats is one of the most effective and traditional measures to naturally induce labor. Squats done  everyday from the 37th to 40thweek of pregnancy helps the baby descend and move into position.

  1. Membrane sweep

Midwives and doctors can perform this procedure by inserting a finger in the vagina and sweeping around the cervix to slightly separate the amniotic sac from the uterine wall.

  1. Squaw vine

There is no strong evidence for its use, but it is worth a try after consulting with the doctor.

  1. Swinging on a swing

Swinging back and forth helps stimulate the baby and encourages the baby to descend.

  1. Swimming

Swimming may help induce labor.

  1. Thyme

Thyme may be taken in the form of a tea.

  1. Yoga

Yoga is also a great way to stimulate and facilitate the birth process. This may be done throughout all stages of pregnancy.

  1. Visualization exercises

Guided imagery, which stimulates the mind, is also a good way to induce labor. Listening to someone narrate the labor process and imagining these happenings would be an example of guided imagery. Through visualization, which is aimed at creating a scene, the physical information of the labor and delivery process is used on an imaginary level.

  1. Walking up and down the stairs

Walking up and down stimulates the descent of the baby. It may be more beneficial than walking on flat surfaces. It is advised to move carefully to prevent accidental falls.

  1. Cinnamon stick tea

Cinnamon sticks may be added to tea to help relax and prepare for labor.

  1. Cumin tea

Cumin tea may also be consumed to help women induce labor.

  1. Curry

Curry is especially spicy and may induce labor, stimulating the gastrointestinal tract (GIT) and causing the uterus to contract.

  1. Homeopathic remedies

Pulsatilla is a homeopathic remedy for labor induction. For the medication, a homeopathic provider needs to be approached, but it is advisable to inform the physician first.

  1. Blowing up balloons

Blowing up balloons increases the abdominal pressure which may stimulate the uterus to contract. It is also a good way to exercise breathing in preparation for delivery.

  1. Weepy video

Some mothers have tried watching a weepy video and said that labor was imminent following a good cry, but there is no scientific evidence to show that it is really effective.

  1. Preparation of nursery

Some excited women may have labor induction after preparing the nursery of their future newborn.

  1. On the go

Although excessive activity may be bad for pregnant women, it is advised to maintain a good deal of activity during pregnancy to enhance uterine contractions, particularly near the due date. Women who are sedentary have a higher risk of labor complications.

  1. Talking to the baby

Yes! Some women who were overdue sometimes took advantage of the opportunity to talk to their baby, requesting that they come out quickly. This activity also establishes maternal and child bonding.

These are natural recommendations for labor induction. Women who may not experience post-maturity pregnancies may still go into labor without using these natural methods, but such methods may also help women to have easier and shorter deliveries, thereby reducing maternal stress during the process. It is still essential to consult an obstetrician before using some of these natural labor induction ways, especially those that require ingestion. Walking and exercise are the most effective and safest natural ways to induce labor, and even doctors recommend them.

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