Natural Ways to Induce Labor

Induce Labor Naturally

Hey guys! I’m excited about my first ever “discussion post”, one that’s geared towards chatting with you and having you chat with each other! The topic today is natural ways to induce labor. I just left my doctor’s office and, while we still have no idea when this baby is going to come (I’m 12 days from my due date), we scheduled appointments for testing to see if I need to get induced a week after my due date.

It freaked me out a little and now I’m trying to do everything in my power to induce labor before that has to happen.

So far this is what I’ve tried:
– Take evening primrose oil daily
– Drink red raspberry leaf tea daily
– Walk… a lot
– Acupuncture twice/week
Yoga poses
– Visualizations and mantras
This article was also very helpful

Unfortunately I can’t eat spicy food because it gives me heart burn… Any other tips? Things that worked for you?

  • Justine

    Not sure if you consider this “natural” but I too was very afraid of going past my due date so I had my membranes swept. Sounds kind of gross and was a little uncomfortable but I believe that was what initiated labor. two days after I had it done I had my daughter and she was three days early.

    • I definitely would rather do that before Pitocin! I’m hoping my doctor is into that as a first step if we get there. So glad to hear it was a good experience for you!

  • Lauren B.

    Currently pregnant and due in September, I’d add eating dates and sex to that list. We’re currently in the process of switching from an OB/GYN practice with a planned hospital delivery to a Birth Center and a midwife. It’s been a low-risk, uneventful pregnancy so far so we figured why not give it a shot. The Birth Center is right next to the hospital we would otherwise use.

    I’ve also heard castor oil can be used. Good luck!

    • I’ve read terrible things about using castor oil from multiple sources, and my midwife confirmed my fears. She said to imagine having the worst stomach virus you’ve ever had – I’m talking vomiting and diarrhea at the same time, except you’re also having contractions on top of it all. Sounds horrendous, but apparently that’s what you can expect from castor oil or any sort of stimulant laxative.

  • I’m in the same boat as you – 16 days away from my due date, but our little girl is measuring in the 97th (!!!) weight percentile, so there’s been talk of an early induction – which I’m totally against, for the record. I too have been doing everything I can possibly think of to help her come on her own sooner rather than later. One piece of advice I’ve received from multiple friends, as well as my midwife, is to have lots of sex. That would be the only thing I can think of to add to your list. Can’t wait to see what others have to say! Oh, also (sorry for the TMI) but I’ve heard that inserting evening primrose oil capsules vaginally helps, too (in addition to taking them by mouth). I believe you’re supposed to start that in the 38th week, though.

    • Oh man. Good luck!!!

      I’ve heard about inserting EPO as well. I’m 38.5 weeks so maybe I should start 🙂

  • Michaela

    Mexican food did it with both my kids. Specifically the spicy chicken nachos from Diegos in Newport, lol. Re-create those! It prob helped that I walked there and back both times to move things along.

    • Haha I wish! I just get such bad heartburn with spicy food.

  • Kaitlin

    Acupuncture!! I did acupuncture weekly throughout pregnancy, and twice in the last week. Baby was born on her due date! Also took EPO, did lots of yoga and tried to keep moving towards the end, but I’m pretty sure acupuncture helped the most. Oh, and apparently eggplant is supposed to help bring on labor. My acupuncturist told me this and said it’s valid according to traditional Chinese medicine, but if you google you’ll find many women swearing eggplant parm put them into labor. I actually had a roasted eggplant soup the day before I went into labor. May have been a total coincidence, but could be worth a shot once you’re closer to your due date.

    • Ok good! I’m up to twice/week now. We did electro-stim for the first time today. So intense! Going to try the eggplant too 🙂

      • Kaitlin

        I never did electro-stim while pregnant but we started working on labor points around 36 weeks. I know a lot of people who have tried acupuncture without success after they went past their due dates, but I think it makes a big difference if you’ve been doing it all along :). Best of luck!

  • Elizabeth

    This might sound a little crazy, but talk to your baby! As you walk around her nursery, tell her that everything is ready for her and say a prayer.

    One of my babies was 2 weeks early and the other was a full week late. As my grandma used to say, “babies come when they’re ready!”

    I hope you can avoid an induction and if you and baby are healthy, I hope you will be allowed to wait until labor starts on its own – usually a much easier labor than going with an induction.

    I hope everything goes well and can’t wait to hear about her arrival!

    • I don’t think that sounds crazy at all! In fact, I love it. Going to do it now 🙂

  • marybeth

    I had an unmedicated birth center birth six months ago. Baby boy came at 38+4 and only 4 hours of active labor!
    I took evening primrose oil, red raspberry leaf tea, and a homeopathic my midwife gave me. I also walked and bounced on a yoga ball every day.
    I have also heard that eating dates and pineapple will induce labor. As will using a breast pump.
    As hard as it was, I tried not to focus on when I would go into labor. In fact, the day I went into labor I had convinced myself that he would be two weeks late. I think just not stressing helps!
    Best wishes, mama!

  • I heard eating 6 dates daily the last month of pregnancy helps but not sure if itll do anything at less than 2 weeks? It may be worth a try!

  • I’m pregnant with my first, but my sisters-in-law and a couple of my friends started applying Clary Sage essential oil to the insides of their ankles, a tiny bit on their belly (or a drop with Epsom salts in the bath), and diffusing. It’s supposed to help promote strong contractions, kick start labor, steady contractions if they start to slow, and even help milk production. Bonus: it’s really great for healing after giving birth too and it helps to balance hormones.

  • Two of my aunts induced by taking a bath with a glass of wine. Something about relaxing.

  • hithaonthego

    Eggplant parm worked for several friends of mine! Somehow I don’t think a Philadelphia Eagles trade will kick start your labor ;P

  • Jennifer in CT

    I’ve had three kids and all of them decided to come about 10 days past my DD. Not sure if my due dates were incorrect or if my babies just were happy where they were! I had healthy pregnancies and my OB was not a big believer in inducing w drugs. We stripped membranes every time and I even resorted to drinking a table spoon of castor oil to jump start labor with 2. Labor kicked in a few hours later each time! Best of luck and feel free to reach out with questions!

  • I had my membranes stripped on my due date and my water broke two days later (throw sex in there too and I’m not sure which one worked better). I didn’t have contractions when my water broke and had to be put on pitocin anyway.

  • Laura

    I was due on Christmas and adamant about having baby before the holiday. Mainly because I had been dilated and 75% effaced for about 3 weeks so I was getting rather anxious. I baked and decorated cookies for days. I also ate a lot of pineapple!!! It helps to soften the cervix. I climbed the stairs in my house and did some love makin before my 39 week appointment. The next morning my cervix was apparently so soft that my water broke during the exam! Couldn’t have been more perfect timing.

  • Kaleigh

    I tried quite a few of these tips myself, and I’m not sure if they worked or if it was a coincidence, but my baby was born on her due date. Clary sage oil on the inside of your ankles, dates, walking, raspberry leaf tea, and lots and lots of sex! 🙂

    • Everyone keeps saying clary sage oil! I need to go pick some up today.

  • Jordan Fellows

    I had my membranes stripped twice and it didn’t work! I eventually had to schedule an induction for 41 weeks and ended up going into labor the night before the induction. I did have a massage the day before which I think helped me really relax.

    • Oh wow! Maybe I should book a massage for “medical purposes” 🙂

  • Dates!!!! Eat at least 8 Dates a day from here on out. Technically you should have been eating them for the last 4 weeks, but it can only help at this point. Check out this article to show the medical research behind dates. They worked for me! Labor started naturally 3 days prior to my due date, and I progressed very quickly without use of pitocin. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/21280989/

    Also, pineapple, tons of pineapple.

    Hope this helps. Hang in there, the last week is so uncomfortable.

    • I’ve been eating 4-6/day for the last few weeks. I don’t think I can stomach any more haha! Will add pineapple to the list too 🙂

      • Christine

        For a yummy treat try stuffing dates with almond butter, drizzling with melted dark chocolate, then finishing of with a few flakes of sea salt. I got the idea from http://www.hungrymeetshealthy.com

        • alex

          or put 2 in a smoothie! Good luck!

      • Haha, completely understand. I would cook one piece of bacon and break off a little piece with each one.

    • Christine

      My friend clued me into the research on this that was based on the 6 per day. Is there such a thing as too many or is it the more the better??

      • Hey! Apologies for the late reply. Hmmmm I’m not sure, I probably wouldn’t eat more than 8. I started at 6 a day weeks 36-38, then upped the amount to 8 a day. Don’t see the harm in doing more, but I’m not sure anything more than 6-8 would help further.

  • Dear Julia, I read all the comments below and could not smiling. In all honesty (and I think I tried everything) – I am a mum of 3 and my 2 oldest were born 7 and 8 days late – nothing works. Baby comes when she/he is ready and as frustrating as it is, the quicker you accept that, the more relaxed you will be and the more likely baby comes. Although I thought acupuncture worked for my son in the sense that after 2 sessions my waters broke, in the end I had contractions but they were not doing the job and I ended up being induced with hormones….My best advice is to plan things as usual, keep your mind occupy, see friends, do some shopping and if baby comes, just cancel. Best of luck!!!
    Julie, a French mama of 3 based in London (UK)

    http://www.jafinthebox.com