female on birthing ball to induce labor

Have you crossed your due date and the baby hasn’t arrived yet?  If so, you are probably very desperate to bring on labor. While there are no sure-shot techniques to induce labor naturally, there is some research to back up some ways to induce labor naturally.

But before you try any of these at home, get your doctor’s approval to make sure it is a safe option for you. Once you have gotten the green light from the doctor, you can try some of the below-mentioned tips to induce labor naturally.

 

couple in bed trying to induce labor with sex

Theoretically, there are many reasons why having sex can possibly induce labor. 

Sex during pregnancy and especially having an orgasm can release the hormone oxytocin, which can help kick-start uterine contractions. 

Also, for pregnant females who have sex with their partner in pregnancy, there are prostaglandin hormones present in the semen which might help ripen the cervix.

Having sex is safe during the whole pregnancy unless the doctor has advise not to have sex.  You can have sex in the final week of pregnancy, but avoid having sex after your water breaks as doing so can increase your risk of infection.

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  • Do some light exercise or take a walk

 

You can try any exercise, like a long walk that increases your heartbeat. Even if this method does not work, it is a great way to relieve stress and keep the body strong for the big task ahead.

Also Read- How beneficial are Kegel Exercises for Pregnancy?

 

  • Gently stimulate your nipples to induce labor

nipple stimulation can help induce labour

Gently stimulating your nipples can cause the uterus to contract and may induce labor. 

Nipple stimulation stimulates the production of oxytocin, the hormone that causes the uterine contractions, and also the breasts to eject milk. Manually stimulating the nipples or using a breast pump can help induce labor. Speak to your doctor before trying this remedy if you have the complaint of breast pain in pregnancy.

Trusted research shows that breast stimulation can be an effective way for:

  • Inducing and augmenting labor 
  • Avoiding a medical induction
  • Reducing the rates of postpartum hemorrhage 

Source- https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26444882/

 

  • Acupressure can help induce labor

female getting Acupressure to induce labour

Some medical experts believe that acupressure can help induce labor. Before trying acupressure yourself, make sure you get proper instruction and tips from a trained acupressure expert. Also, let your doctor know about it. 

If acupressure does not get your labor going, it is still an excellent way to alleviate pain and discomfort caused in labor.

 

  • Acupuncture

 

Acupuncture has been known for thousands of years for its enormous benefits. The exact way how acupuncture works is not clear.  In Chinese Medicine, it is believed that acupuncture balances the “chi” or the vital energy within the body. Acupuncture is believed to also stimulate changes in the hormones or in the nervous system. 

Acupuncture should always be administered only by a licensed acupuncturist.  In a 2013 trial in Denmark, more than 400 females were given acupuncture, membrane stripping, or both before labor. Study results revealed that acupuncture did not decrease the need for induction, but sweeping the membranes did. As per the research, the main benefit of acupuncture is an increase in cervical ripening.

 

  • Castor oil to induce labor

 

Drinking a little bit, like 29.57 to 59.14 mL (1–2 ounces) of castor oil can stimulate prostaglandin release in the body, which can help ripen the cervix and induce labor. 

It is recommended that using castor oil to induce labor should be done only under the supervision of a doctor. A pregnant female should be careful not to drink too much castor oil as it can be harmful.

 

  • Drink Red raspberry leaf tea

red raspberry leaf tea can help induce labor

It is believed that red raspberry leaf tea can tone and strengthen the uterus in preparation for the labor. Even if this remedy does not work, it will keep you refreshed and hydrated.

 

  •  Eating a handful of dates

 

Various research reveals that eating dates in the last weeks of pregnancy can help increase cervical ripening and cervical dilation at the beginning of labor. Eating dates in the final weeks of pregnancy can also decrease the need for Pitocin (a natural hormone that causes uterine contractions) during labor.

Source- https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21280989/

Final Words

Before trying home remedies to induce labor naturally, speak with your doctor to make sure there are no risks or possible complications.

Though some of the remedies mentioned in this blog are popular among pregnant females and have been widely used for the past years, not much scientific evidence supports their efficiency. 

You should speak to your doctor about what or how you should take the next steps. Have questions? Consult a doctor right away. 

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