How to Induce Labor Naturally

Today is my due date. I am ready.

Here are a few things I’ve tried to get her moving:

1) Eggplant Parmesan. Even had leftovers for two days afterward. Nothing.

2) Spicy foods. Sambal and eggs for breakfast. Pad Thai for lunch. Buffalo shrimp for dinner. And so on.

3) Massage. Had a lovely one on Saturday. Plus, Clint continues to give me foot massages nightly. (Thank you, sweet hubby.)

4) Acupressure. My massage therapist is studying to be an acupuncturist. She gave me some ankle points to work a few times daily. (Just under the ankle bone on both sides of the foot, FYI.)

5) Visualization/Relaxation. Been doing our HypnoBirthing scripts a few nights a week for about a month now.

6) Exercise. I laid off my vigorous morning walks when I had too many deadlines and felt too close to labor. I’ve picked ‘em back up.

Here are a few things I plan to try:

7) Sitting on the exercise ball. Another one that I was doing until I had major contractions too early on. I’ll sit on it while working at my desk all day again starting tomorrow.

8) Evening primrose oil. Some people take it orally, and apparently one up the wahoo may help speed things along? Also, it softens. To prevent, um, tearing. (I cringed just typing that.)

9) Glass of red wine. It’s my understanding that this is a relaxation thing. Like massage.

10) Sweeping my membranes. This is something the doc would do during my weekly exam. Sounds horrid, doesn’t it? And, come to think of it, not exactly natural. Still: A way to move things along. Some people say this hurts, but I don’t remember it being painful when he did it last pregnancy. He’s offered to do this the last two visits and I’ve declined. I may take him up on it this time, as the threat of chemical induction looms.

And here are a few things I’m not up for trying—yet—but that you might want to know about if you’re here because you Googled “how to induce labor naturally”:

11) Nipple stimulation. Apparently you need to go at it for hour-long increments at a time? Pass.

12) Castor oil. This sounds harsh and it scares me.

13) Sex. I’m nine months pregnant. I can’t find a comfortable sitting position. You people who perform this feat while this massive and uncomfortable? I salute you.

Considering I’ve tried half of these methods with zero results, I’m thinking she’ll come when she’s good and ready. In the meantime, I’ve got nothing to lose by trying.

(I should probably mention: Do your research & consult your doctor before you try these things, too…)

Edited to add: Find out what worked!

Image: Aubergines with Parmesan Cheese via Shutterstock

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  1. by Angie

    On January 31, 2012 at 2:16 pm

    Hang in there! I really hope she comes soon!!

  2. by Around the Web… |

    On January 31, 2012 at 2:24 pm

    [...] The best ways to induce labor naturally – Parents.com [...]

  3. by leigh

    On February 1, 2012 at 8:12 am

    I did the evening primosre oil: both places, & drank rasberry. Babes arrived 3 days late………My sister-in-law recommend I put on my breast pump and have sex, in the end I realized I didn’t want the baby to come out THAT badly. The baby always arrives when they’re ready. Best of luck.

  4. by Berit Thorkelson

    On February 1, 2012 at 9:17 am

    Wait, Leigh, are you saying you had sex while pumping? Now that is some awesome dedication!

  5. by Kira

    On February 7, 2012 at 7:02 pm

    The nipple stimulation thing is not as hard as it seems. When I’d had enough, I used my breast pump for about 10 minutes at a time on each side, two times, while watching TV. This produces oxytocin, which is your body’s natural form of pitocin. My water broke in the wee hours of the next morning. Plus I got pump practice before my milk actually came in! Actually, this is such an effective method of inducing labor that my midwife wouldn’t let me try it at all until I was 39 weeks.

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