20 Natural Ways to Induce Labour
Has your due date come and gone? Unfortunately, it happens, especially to first time mums. This is the last thing you want to hear so let’s move on to the more important task at hand – getting baby out! Below is a collection of supposed labour-inducing methods. Some swear that they work; others believe they are complete myths, but, hey, at this stage, does it really matter? Ready to get the ball rolling – why not give these a go?
Remember to check with your Doctor first!
Actions to Bring On Baby:
- Have sex – and orgasm. Two impossible tasks? At this stage, maybe so but at least it will get your mind off the delayed labour. Sperm is meant to soften and ripen the cervix and prepare your body for baby, provided your body is ready to rock n roll that is!
- Bounce on a Fit Ball – dig that Fit ball out from the cobwebs and start bouncing (not too vigorously!). Getting off the couch and bouncing while watching television can also be good for relaxing your muscles if nothing else.
- Walk, lunge and squat – take a walk (or waddle) around the park, go some squats and lunges and see if this loosens things up down there.
- Acupuncture – have a fear of needles? Then acupuncture is probably not for you. Or, perhaps the thought of having a ton of needles in your back will be enough to scare the baby out?
- Massage – there are certain pressure points on your feet that have been known to trigger labour. Massage, or acupressure, should be performed by a qualified massage therapist.
- Nipple Stimulation – have a lot of free time on your hands? Nipple stimulation is meant to jump-start labour. However, experts recommend stimulating the nipples for an hour at a time, three times a day. This may leave you sore and swollen before you even have a chance to give breastfeeding a try.
- Go for a bumpy car ride – it worked for my Mum when she was pregnant with me! Just make sure it’s not so bumpy that you will cause injury to yourself or bub!
- Sitting in the ‘Butterfly Position’. That is, sitting down with your feet together and knees out. This is a great way to stretch muscles and encourages the body to ‘open’ for birth!
Foods and Drinks You Can Try
- Pineapple – eating a lot of pineapple is definitely a safer bet than drinking castor oil. Pineapple contains bromelain which can stimulate the digestive system and may bring on labour.
- Spicy Foods – willing to risk a little heartburn? Then spicy foods may be your best option. Try a spicy curry to see if this does the trick.
- Raspberry Leaf Tea – this is an herbal beverage that is not recommended during the first trimester of pregnancy because it has been known to cause the uterus to contract. But now that you’ve full term – it’s time for Tea (for two!)
- Licorice – this can have a bit of a laxative effect on some people and it’s said that bowel stimulation can bring on labour.
Essential Oils, Homeopathy and Naturopathy
These methods should only be used after consultation with your obstetrician, midwife, GP and/or naturopath. Please do not use natural therapies off your own bat!READ MORE Eat Well Vegetarian Soup
- Clary Sage Oil – clary sage oil is a strong oil and can cause headaches and nausea if used too often or in too high doses. However, it can also bring on those contractions! Add a few drops in your bath, place some on a tissue and stick it into your bra, add a few drops on your pillow or use it as a massage oil.
- Evening Primrose Oil – this is another ‘cervix ripening’ oil that comes in capsule form. It may be taken orally from 35 weeks and can also be inserted internally from 38 weeks to help soften the cervix for easier contractions.
The Weird and the Wonderful and Old Wives Tales
- Blowing up balloons. Yep – weird. Not sure what the scientific reason is for this, but some women swear by it!
- Ingesting sperm. Yes well. Up to you. It won’t hurt you that’s for sure!
- Castor Oil and Ginger Ale mixed together (please see note below re: castor oil)
- Perineum stretches
- Wearing your very best, most expensive undies and skirt – because Murphy’s law says your water will break when you’re wearing your best.
For further advice about your health and pregnancy, you can call one of the health hotlines available in Australia – for a list of these numbers, click here!
Please note that SAHM is not responsible for any illness, injury or death occurring from misuse of this advice. Use this information at your own risk. Please consult with your doctor or midwife if you have any concerns about your pregnancy.