December 20

5 Natural Ways to Encourage Labor

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Your due date is just a week away and you’re searching online for natural ways to encourage labor to ensure that your baby will come out on time.

For the last 40 weeks, you’ve been waiting for labor to begin. You’ve packed your bag, written your birth plan, your tummy feels like it’s about to burst and you’re certain that any moment from now your first contraction will occur.

And then nothing happens… Not even a cramp!

There’s plenty to be said about being patient! Your tot will only come out when it’s ready, and some are never in a hurry. But if medical intervention and induction dates are approaching, you might wish to give your baby a little nudge. While these natural tricks to trigger labor is known to work, be sure to speak to your doctor before actually trying them.

1. Nipple Stimulation

Gentle nipple rubbing or rolling may cause oxytocin to be released, which might help encourage labor. Oxytocin triggers contractions, which sometimes develop into labor. 

But wait!

Doctors generally don’t recommend this natural way to trigger labor as it may cause painfully strong, long contractions that might potentially lower the baby’s heart rate. So lay off the nipples for now, unless your doctor approves or even recommends it. You’ll get plenty of nipple action when your newborn comes out and starts looking for food. ????

2. Having Sex

Similar to nipple stimulation, ‘getting it on’ might help induce labor since orgasms trigger uterine contractions, and semen abounds with prostaglandins.

In fact, one Iranian study concluded that making love in the final week of pregnancy “might be linked to the arrival of labor” and might be a natural method to induce the process.  

Although in some cases, having sex during pregnancy might cause bleeding, putting both the baby’s and mother’s health at risk. So be sure to consult your doctor if you’ve got any concerns about sex during pregnancy before getting right on it.

3. Take a Walk

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If you’re not yet in labor but are having contractions, walking can help set the ball rolling. It helps sway your hips from side to side, helping to bring the child into position for delivery. Also, standing upright causes gravity to move your baby down into your pelvis.

Another tip: It often feels great to walk when contractions occur. Moreover, even if the contractions don’t develop into full-blown labor, at least you’ll get the exercise that your body’s been craving for quite some time (if you haven’t had the chance to work out during your pregnancy).

4. Eat Spicy Food

Some women swear that their labor was triggered by eating extra-hot Mexican enchiladas. Unfortunately, there’s no scientific evidence to support this claim. You can certainly give it a try but in moderation. Remember, you’re trying to get into labor. You don’t want something else to come out while you’re pushing and yelling (or shouting), right?

5. Use Castor Oil 

Many women believe that taking a shot of castor oil can stimulate the bowels by triggering intestinal spasms, which may ultimately cause the uterus to begin contracting. Certain small studies back up this claim.

So if you’re not yet showing any signs of labor, you can certainly take a shot of castor oil. Just a shot, please. Too much might only give you severe diarrhea (something you definitely want to avoid so close to childbirth). 

Should You Try Natural Ways to Trigger Labor?

A mother’s instinct is often correct so it’s best to ask yourself. Do you really need to set your labor into motion? If you’ve decided to go ahead, next you should do is consult your doctor. It’s never safe to assume when lives may be at stake.

Although there are no fail-safe ways to coax your child out of your belly (apart from induction by a doctor), there is some evidence to support the natural ways to encourage labor stated above—as long as your body (and child) are ready for it. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I induce Labour pain naturally?
You can try the following recommendations that other pregnant moms have sworn to work:
1. Nipple Stimulation
2. Having Sex
3. Take a Walk
4. Eat Spicy Food
5. Use Castor Oil 

Does walking induce labor?
Yes, it does. Doctors even ask pregnant moms to take a walk if they are still far by a few centimeters.

What triggers the start of labor?
Most would immediately answer the same thing, “When your baby and your body are ready”, which is true. But if you really want to start it especially if you know that you’re supposed to have gone to labor hours, days or weeks ago, you can certainly try the suggestions mentioned above.

Can you check your own dilation?
You can certainly can if you know how to and if there’s no issues on reaching your vagina. Although most pregnant women would often leave this task to the doctor or midwife, which is definitely understandable.


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5 Natural Ways to Encourage Labor

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