How to induce labor at home

How to induce labor at homeThere are many ways on how to induce labor naturally, but one of the most trusted ways to induce labor is with the use of castor oil. But why is that so? With this article, we will explore the various natural means on how to induce labor and compare it with the use of castor oil for labor induction.

How to Induce Labor Through Natural Ways

There are several ways to induce labor naturally which were discovered and developed by our ancestors over thousands of years. Some women all over the world are giving birth up to this day without the use of modern or western medicine and they are doing it fine, so it is not a surprise that natural ways to induce labor are as effective as some modern western means. Below are some natural ways on how to induce labor and how they are done in comparison with castor oil:

Natural Ways to Induce Labor

How it Works

How Safe Is It?

How to Induce Labor with Castor Oil

As the facts at the table above have shown, although there are several natural ways to induce labor, not all of them are as safe or as effective as the use of castor oil. True, using castor oil on how to induce labor may not be the best way as the use of western medicine has a bit of a higher success rate compared to castor oil’s 58% but it is still a lot better than other natural ways to induce labor. As with anything concerning childbearing and childbirth, whatever method you choose on how to induce labor must be safe, and done in the presence of an experienced natural birth practitioner or a medical doctor.

How to induce labor at home

Your due date says your bundle of joy is overdue — but clearly, baby prefers to stay on the inside. You want to stage a coup, evict the tiny dictator and restore the balance of power, but are there any natural ways to induce labor that actually work?

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“There’s a difference between what’s on the internet, old wives’ tales and what’s actually been studied and shown to be helpful,” says Ob/Gyn Jonathan Emery, MD. He gives the lowdown on some of the most common methods.

How to induce labor naturally

Nipple stimulation to induce labor

Nipple stimulation is a natural way to increase oxytocin levels. You may be familiar with this hormone’s synthetic doppelgänger, Pitocin, which doctors often use to induce labor. Oxytocin kicks childbirth into gear by sending signals that tell your body to start contractions and labor.

Dr. Emery says that nipple stimulation is the only method with data to back it up. “In one trial, more of the women who did nipple stimulation were in labor after three days than those who didn’t. That’s a statistically significant change,” he reports. “And it does not appear to increase C-section rates or bad outcomes for mom or baby.”

Acupuncture and acupressure to induce labor ineffective

Acupuncturists insert tiny needles into specific locations on the body to kick-start labor. Acupressure follows the same principles — but swaps the needles for firm pressure and massage.

“There’s some data to suggest that they might be effective, but the studies haven’t been big enough or well-designed enough to prove it,” relates Dr. Emery. File these two under: Feel free to try, but keep your expectations low.

Labor inducing methods that are ineffective

But what about the methods your Aunt Linda, best friend or even doctor swears by? “I tell my patients jokingly, ‘You can have extra spicy Chinese food, take some castor oil and go for a walk. But you’ll just end up with reflux, diarrhea and sore muscles — not labor.’”

With that in mind, Dr. Emery says these methods are at best ineffective, and at worst, risky:

  • Bumpy car rides: Seems like gravity and jostling should help … but they don’t.
  • Castor oil and spicy food: “These often induce diarrhea, which stimulates the intestines. The intestines then may release hormones or mediators, which could stimulate contractions in the uterus. Diarrhea can also cause dehydration, which may do the same. But neither will put you into labor,” Dr. Emery adds. “And you should avoid anything that causes significant dehydration.”
  • Herbal medicines: There’s no evidence that herbal remedies, such as evening primrose oil and red raspberry leaf tea, work. And they may not even be safe for mom and baby.
  • Hypnosis: Some people try deep breathing exercises, visualization and a gentler way of speaking about childbirth. (No swinging pocket watch needed.) While these methods may help you get through the process, they won’t get you into labor.
  • Sex: A persistent old wives’ tale, it also assumes sex during pregnancy is safe, which may not be the case, notes Dr. Emery. “Women who have placenta previa, bleeding or other complications in pregnancy shouldn’t have intercourse.”
  • Membrane stripping/sweeping: A doctor or midwife may perform this procedure if you already started dilating. They move a finger around the cervix to separate the amniotic sac from the uterine wall. “Membrane stripping can increase contractions, but it does not produce significant labor,” says Dr. Emery. “And a woman should be Group B strep (GBS) negative for this procedure because of the infection risk to the baby.”
  • Walking: It’ll feel nice to get out, but there’s no data to suggest walking is effective, says Dr. Emery.

He also cautions against women taking illicit substances. While they may cause pre-term labor, they are incredibly dangerous for both mom and baby.

Is it safe to induce labor naturally?

Not everyone should try to give Mother Nature a nudge. Dr. Emery cautions that you should not consider natural induction methods unless:

  • You’re 37 weeks pregnant or more.
  • You have received approval from your doctor or prenatal provider.
  • Your baby is head down.
  • You and your baby don’t have existing complications that would make these methods unsafe.

“And be careful in situations where vaginal or unmonitored labor might be risky — like if you’ve had a previous C-section, a placenta issue or any pregnancy-related complication,” says Dr. Emery.

The good news? No pregnancy lasts forever. Junior will arrive (eventually). One look at that cute little face, and you’ll forgive the fashionably late arrival.

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Toward the end of pregnancy, most women are tired and ready to meet their babies. As their due date nears, my patients often ask about natural ways to induce labor.

There are plenty of urban legends about natural remedies that supposedly move things along. Some of these methods are harmless; others may have risks or unpleasant side effects. Most don’t actually work at all.

Let’s look at the truth behind nine of these “natural” methods of inducing labor at home, and why you may or may not want to try them out:

1. Castor oil

Caster oil to induce labor is one of the more popular, supposedly “natural” suggestions. Because castor oil is a laxative, it does cause uterine irritation or contractions – but often as a result of GI upset and diarrhea, not labor. In randomized studies (the gold standard in medical research), women who ingested caster oil were no more likely to go into labor than women who had taken no castor oil.

There are some foods and recipes out there – such as this infamous salad or eggplant parmesan – that are rumored to cause labor and likely contain castor oil or something similar as their “active” ingredient.

But the oil itself has generally fallen out of favor given the significant side effects (again, GI upset and diarrhea) and its inability to induce true labor.

2. Exercise

Moderate exercise is safe – and highly recommended – during pregnancy. Unfortunately, there aren’t any exercises that have been shown to induce labor. I have a friend who walked 40 city blocks unsuccessfully attempting to coax out her little one.

3. Acupuncture or pressure

Randomized trials have failed to show that acupuncture or pressure (like massage) will induce labor. Given this remedy can be quite pricey, I suggest you skip it and save that money for diapers.

Some people still buy into it, however, so don’t be surprised if your favorite pedicurist refuses to perform a foot massage when you’re pregnant. Many people believe massage of the inner leg above the ankle can cause miscarriage or preterm labor.

4. Pineapple

Fresh pineapple – the core, in particular – contains an enzyme called bromelain, which is commonly used as a meat tenderizer. This enzyme breaks down the proteins in tissue and is what makes your tongue tingle or mouth develop sores when you eat pineapple.

The popular theory is that somehow the bromelain from the pineapple makes its way to your cervix and causes the breakdown of tissue there, causing the cervix to soften and stimulating labor.

There is no evidence to support this theory, however. The enzyme is not active in your acidic stomach and is only partially absorbed by the body.

There’s no harm in enjoying a serving of pineapple at term – although the fruit is known to cause significant heartburn.

5. Sexual intercourse

It’s not clear whether or not sexual activity at term will help induce labor. One study has even shown that having sex might actually reduce the likelihood of going into labor.

Intercourse generally isn’t harmful during pregnancy. However, with certain conditions, such as placenta or vasa previa, your obstetric provider may recommend “pelvic rest” or “nothing per vagina.” Not following these recommendations could lead to hemorrhage and endanger your health and the health of your baby.

6. Herbal remedies

Herbs such as blue and black cohosh, raspberry leaf tea, and evening primrose oil have been sold as a way to “prepare” your uterus for labor.

Not so fast. Cohosh has been associated with fetal heart failure and stroke as well as maternal complications during labor. Randomized trials have shown no increase in likelihood of labor onset with any of these herbs, and the safety is unknown. Avoid these supposed remedies completely during pregnancy.

7. Nipple stimulation

Nipple stimulation causes oxytocin release, which in a lactating mother causes the “letdown” of breastmilk. It also causes uterine contractions and return to normal uterine size (called “involution”), which is why women who breastfeed generally have heavier bleeding for a shorter amount of time compared to women who bottle-feed their babies.

Nipple stimulation during pregnancy will also cause uterine contractions, although it may not cause the onset of true labor. It may also cause severe, prolonged contractions that cause fetal distress and harm. That’s why I don’t recommend using nipple stimulation to induce labor.

8. Spicy food

Spicy foods affect the body the same way as castor oil – GI upset leads to uterine irritation and contractions. As with castor oil, these contractions rarely result in true labor.

Spicy food can also lead to significant heartburn, which pregnant women are predisposed to anyway. Bottom line: you may regret those tacos later.

9. Membrane stripping

Your obstetric provider may begin membrane stripping about a week before your due date. This process – where a finger is inserted through the cervical opening and swept to the left and right in a clockwise motion to separate the lower part of the membranes from the uterine wall – may be uncomfortable for some women and is only possible if your cervix is dilated.

The available data does show an increase in spontaneous labor onset following this procedure – but it is also associated with vaginal bleeding, cramping, and occasional membrane rupture.

With my second child, I experienced heavy bleeding after membrane stripping that required a trip to labor and delivery to evaluate my baby – with my toddler in tow. This made me feel anxious, was inconvenient, and did not bring on labor.

If you are interested in membrane stripping to induce labor, discuss it with your provider, and he or she can help you decide if it is the right choice for you.

The medical community studies drugs and interventions (such as oxytocin for labor induction) both before and after implementation to ensure their safety and efficacy and to ensure no unexpected complications or side effects have occurred.

Many women swear by a certain natural method, but a woman close to her due date is extremely likely to go into labor no matter what she is doing – or eating – at the time.

Many of the above natural ways to induce labor are probably harmless. Others, however, may have unwanted side effects or could be unsafe for you or your baby. Talk to your obstetric provider beforehand about any method you intend to try and get his or her opinion on what is safest.

We recommend you take the true “natural” approach to labor – let it happen when it happens. After all, only about 2 percent of women remain pregnant more than 1 to 2 weeks past their due date.

Think of it as your first demonstration in patience – something you will undoubtedly require often as a mother!

For more information about pregnancy, labor, and delivery, sign up to receive Your Pregnancy Matters email alerts when we publish new stories. You can also make an appointment to see one of our specialists by calling 214-645-8300.

Our eхpertѕ ᴡeigh in on natural ᴡaуѕ to induᴄe labor and reᴠeal ᴡhiᴄh home remedieѕ reallу ᴡork ᴡhen it ᴄomeѕ to ѕpeeding thingѕ up.

“I ѕee a lot of people ᴡho are tired of being pregnant, ᴡant it to be oᴠer and aѕk, &apoѕ;What elѕe ᴄan I do?&apoѕ; ” ѕaуѕ Jonathan Sᴄhaffir, M.D., an aѕѕoᴄiate profeѕѕor of obѕtetriᴄѕ and gуneᴄologу at Ohio State Uniᴠerѕitу College of Mediᴄine in Columbuѕ.

Aᴄᴄording to a ѕtudу bу Dr. Sᴄhaffir and hiѕ ᴄolleagueѕ, more than half of pregnant people turn to non-pharmaᴄologiᴄal approaᴄheѕ to haѕten labor aѕ theу approaᴄh or go paѕt their due dateѕ, but feᴡer than half tell their doᴄtorѕ or midᴡiᴠeѕ ᴡhat theу&apoѕ;re up to. That&apoѕ;ѕ troubling, doᴄtorѕ and midᴡiᴠeѕ ѕaу, beᴄauѕe although ѕome folk methodѕ maу ᴡork, ѕome ᴄome ᴡith unintended ᴄonѕequenᴄeѕ.

Critiᴄal fetal deᴠelopment ᴄontinueѕ to take plaᴄe eᴠen in the final ᴡeekѕ of geѕtation. So deѕpite the nagging baᴄkaᴄheѕ, ѕleepleѕѕ nightѕ, and ᴄountleѕѕ bathroom tripѕ, momѕ-to-be are adᴠiѕed to ᴡait until after 39 ᴡeekѕ pregnant before ᴄonѕidering anу induᴄtion methodѕ (inᴄluding pharmaᴄologiᴄal) unleѕѕ an induᴄtion iѕ mediᴄallу indiᴄated.

Eᴠen then, уou ѕhould knoᴡ the proѕ and ᴄonѕ of eaᴄh method and diѕᴄuѕѕ them ᴡith уour healthᴄare proᴠider. Here&apoѕ;ѕ a look at the natural ᴡaуѕ to induᴄe labor at home.

Prolonged breaѕt ѕtimulation promptѕ the pituitarу gland to releaѕe ᴄontraᴄtion-induᴄing oхуtoᴄin, the ѕame poᴡerful hormone that initiateѕ уour milk let-doᴡn reѕponѕe and ᴄan lead to ѕeᴠere ᴄrampѕ ᴡhen a neᴡborn ѕuᴄkleѕ. Itѕ ѕуnthetiᴄ form, Pitoᴄin, iѕ the moѕt ᴄommon drug uѕed to induᴄe labor, and ѕtudieѕ indiᴄate that ѕtimulating it naturallу ᴄan be effeᴄtiᴠe aѕ ᴡell. A Coᴄhrane Databaѕe reᴠieᴡ that inᴄluded 719 ᴡomen at 37 ᴡeekѕ pregnant or beуond found that nearlу 40 perᴄent of thoѕe ᴡho ѕtimulated their nippleѕ for one to three hourѕ dailу had their babieѕ ᴡithin three daуѕ, ᴡhile onlу 6 perᴄent of the ᴄontrol group gaᴠe birth.

But aѕide from the impraᴄtiᴄalitieѕ (ᴡho haѕ time to do thiѕ for hourѕ on end?), thiѕ method ᴄomeѕ ᴡith ѕeriouѕ riѕkѕ: “We knoᴡ it ᴡorkѕ,” ѕaуѕ Suᴢу Mуerѕ, C.P.M., a ᴄertified profeѕѕional midᴡife and ᴄhairᴡoman of the department of midᴡiferу at Baѕtуr Uniᴠerѕitу in Kenmore, Waѕhington. “But уou haᴠe to be ᴠerу ᴄareful that уou are not oᴠerѕtimulating the uteruѕ and making the ᴄontraᴄtionѕ too ѕtrong or too ᴄloѕe together. You alѕo haᴠe to make ѕure the babу iѕ tolerating it ᴡell bу haᴠing уour health ᴄare proᴠider monitor hiѕ or her heartbeat.”

Although reѕearᴄh reѕultѕ are miхed, aneᴄdoteѕ abound about late babieѕ making an entranᴄe ѕoon after a loᴠe-making ѕeѕѕion. Semen ᴄontainѕ ᴄerᴠiх-ѕoftening fatѕ ᴄalled proѕtaglandinѕ (alѕo uѕed in mediᴄal induᴄtion) and a ᴡoman&apoѕ;ѕ orgaѕm ᴄan lead to ѕtrong uterine ᴄontraᴄtionѕ.

One ѕtudу of 200 healthу ᴡomen found that thoѕe ᴡho had ѕeх after 36 ᴡeekѕ pregnant ᴡere ѕignifiᴄantlу leѕѕ likelу to go paѕt their due date or require labor induᴄtion. But another ѕtudу publiѕhed in the Britiѕh Journal of Obѕtetriᴄѕ and Gуneᴄologу found no differenᴄe betᴡeen ѕeхuallу aᴄtiᴠe and abѕtinent momѕ ᴡhen it ᴄame to length of geѕtation. “If a ᴡoman haѕ a loᴡ riѕk for premature labor and no plaᴄenta preᴠia, it ᴡon&apoѕ;t hurt to trу,” ѕaуѕ Dr. Sᴄhaffir.

Midᴡiᴠeѕ haᴠe long reᴄommended induᴄing labor naturallу bу drinking ᴄaѕtor oil (2 ounᴄeѕ in a glaѕѕ of orange juiᴄe or miхed ᴡith iᴄe ᴄream). The idea iѕ that ᴄaѕtor oil ᴄan ѕtimulate the ѕmooth muѕᴄle of the boᴡelѕ, promote the releaѕe of proѕtaglandin, and nudge the nearbу uteruѕ into aᴄtion.

Reѕearᴄh reѕultѕ are ᴠaried, but tᴡo reᴄent trialѕ ѕhoᴡed that full-term pregnant people ᴡho ᴡere giᴠen ᴄaѕtor oil ᴡere more likelу to go into labor ᴡithin 24 hourѕ. But the ѕide effeᴄtѕ—inᴄluding nauѕea, eхploѕiᴠe diarrhea, and dehуdration— ᴄan be grueling, Mуerѕ ѕaуѕ.

A ѕafer bet for thoѕe paѕt 39 ᴡeekѕ? Load up on ѕpiᴄу food, ᴡhiᴄh ᴄould haᴠe ѕimilar reѕultѕ ᴡithout the naѕtу ѕide effeᴄtѕ (but be prepared for heartburn and puffу ankleѕ, beᴄauѕe ѕpiᴄу food taхeѕ уour digeѕtiᴠe ѕуѕtem).

Midᴡiᴠeѕ moѕt ᴄommonlу ѕuggeѕt eᴠening primroѕe oil and blue ᴄohoѕh aѕ natural ᴡaуѕ to induᴄe labor. Though eaᴄh herb haѕ a plauѕible meᴄhaniѕm for ᴡorking, theу alѕo ᴄome ᴡith potential doᴡnѕideѕ.

Eᴠening primroѕe oil, ᴡhiᴄh iѕ preѕᴄribed in ᴄapѕule form to be taken three timeѕ a daу or rubbed direᴄtlу on the ᴄerᴠiх, iѕ belieᴠed to help ѕoften the ᴄerᴠiх and readу it for labor. Hoᴡeᴠer, the feᴡ publiѕhed ѕtudieѕ that haᴠe looked at itѕ effeᴄtiᴠeneѕѕ failed to find that itѕ uѕe ᴄauѕed labor to begin anу earlier. But one ѕtudу ѕuggeѕtѕ it maу aᴄtuallу prolong the aᴄtiᴠe phaѕe of labor and booѕt the inᴄidenᴄe of ᴄertain labor ᴄompliᴄationѕ (ѕuᴄh aѕ arreѕted deѕᴄent of the fetuѕ in the birth ᴄanal).

Both blue (Caulophуllum) and blaᴄk ᴄohoѕh (Cimiᴄifuga) haᴠe been uѕed to treat menѕtrual ailmentѕ for ᴄenturieѕ. Hoᴡeᴠer, ѕome ѕtudieѕ haᴠe ѕuggeѕted that blue ᴄohoѕh ᴄan haᴠe ѕome dangerouѕ ѕide effeᴄtѕ in pregnanᴄу, ѕo it ѕhould be aᴠoided.

Meanᴡhile, raѕpberrу tea iѕ often reᴄommended in the ᴡeekѕ before a due date to tone the uteruѕ but haѕn&apoѕ;t proᴠed to haᴠe anу effeᴄt on labor. And numerouѕ ѕtudieѕ haᴠe ѕuggeѕted that uѕing aᴄupunᴄture to induᴄe labor naturallу iѕ promiѕing, but other ѕtudieѕ link it to prolonged pregnanᴄу.

Fortу-three perᴄent of the reѕpondentѕ in Dr. Sᴄhaffir&apoѕ;ѕ ѕtudу ѕaid theу eхerᴄiѕed more in the final daуѕ of pregnanᴄу in hopeѕ of bringing on labor. But although good for уou, eхerᴄiѕe haѕn&apoѕ;t proᴠed to ѕpeed labor, Dr. Sᴄhaffir ѕaуѕ.

Hiѕ beѕt adᴠiᴄe to paѕt-due ᴡomen longing for that firѕt ᴄontraᴄtion? Skip the home remedieѕ to induᴄe labor, eat right, reѕt, and enjoу thoѕe laѕt feᴡ daуѕ of pregnanᴄу aѕ muᴄh aѕ poѕѕible. “The ѕafeѕt and healthieѕt labor iѕ one that ѕtartѕ ѕpontaneouѕlу,” Dr. Sᴄhaffir ѕaуѕ.

laѕignoralaura.ᴄom maу reᴄeiᴠe ᴄompenѕation ᴡhen уou ᴄliᴄk through and purᴄhaѕe from linkѕ ᴄontained on thiѕ ᴡebѕite.

How to induce labor at home

Your dog will probably be having kids! Oh, congratulations! When you waitfor the due date to get here, it is an enjoyable moment. When the date arrives, though, you may be left questioning why labor hasn’t begun. She may be early, or delivery may have begun painfully, but it does not move forward at all. For all of these examples, you might be thinking about how to cause pet labor at the residence so that your dog, without surgical assistance, will get her babies.

You will need to watch out for any vital symptoms when your lady is delayed, which will provide you a specific idea of the appropriate range window and if you must be worried. This post will be useful to learn about if labor appears to have slowed. We’ll look at the symptoms of delayed delivery, how dog labor can be stimulated at homes, and where medical assistance can be required.

There are all of the same signs a pregnant pet may undergo as a pregnant female. They grow unhappy with the extra weight while the pregnancy continues. They may even have trouble holding the babies for too much or whether they are too large.

Owners tend to continue to stimulate labor several times to prevent such risks. It is still best to leave the pet in the supervision of a professional vet; for all-natural home treatments, there are options to help promote labor at the household. The doctor will give medication that will support her or may enable her to produce the babies straight there.

Usually, whenever we speak about initiating a puppy’s labor, whenever a dog is still in the initial stages of treatment but has not completed productive work, we also talk of doing that. With that said, occasionally, our veterinarian would recommend attempting to have that labor started, mainly whenever a pet is late.


  • Is she entirely past the date? If your pet’s whelping time is shutting, at once, you may have to cause animal labor. Note that typical gestation intervals are 59 to 70 days after the first match, with a median of 63 days after the first tie.
  • For even more than 24hrs, have your pet been through previous step labor-intensive? So the pet is nesting and making her babies prepared for her. You may note specific arrangements, but they have not yet advanced. It will help to get her over that barrier and onto the next step by initiating labor.
  • For further than 2 hrs, have the pet had a pause in her labor force? Although a whelping delay is commonplace among several pets, you realize that it could be a concern if it goes on too long. Using the strategies illustrated in this post will allow your pet to whelp her babies during the break and away.

When does Labor Occur?

Usually, pets keep babies for 58 to 68 days. You could watch whenever labor may arise if you realize when the pet is pregnant. You wouldn’t like to risk the early onset of labor. An X-ray of the pet would be very useful in verifying your deadline at about 45 days and testing for the number of babies your pet will also have. So you can start taking your pet’s rectal temperature. The temperature usually decreases 2 degrees until labor is expected to start.

When to be Induced?

When your pet’s temp has fallen and 24 hours, she is later not in labor, so it is an opportunity to attempt gradual inducing strategies. Please do not be too worried unless they are about 65 days of maternity. To have milk supply, begin by pressing 2 to 3 of your pet’s nipples.

Trying to rub the breasts often produces hormones that can start to initiate the pain of childbirth. Taking her for a quick walk, then rest for a lot of intervals. It would be best if you offered her soft belly massage therapy while you’re done. As it can hurt the children, massage therapy must not be too intense or just too rough.

Whether to Call the Veterinarian

When the dog doesn’t like to consume through this phase, don’t stress, she is exhausted. Do not panic when she does not appear to be hungry, either. Whether you’ve continued to exercise and treat and it doesn’t seem to function, if her temp has fallen, stay another 24 hrs and then send her to the veterinarian.

How to induce labor at home

If you’re close to or past your estimated due date, you may be anxious to go into labor and finally meet your baby. Perhaps you’re feeling physically uncomfortable in your pregnant body. Or maybe you’re approaching the 42-week mark and would like to avoid a medical induction.

Whatever your situation, you may be wondering how to induce labor naturally at home. There are several natural induction methods that can be helpful for jumpstarting labor.

You may’ve heard about that walking, having sex, or ingesting castor oil can help labor begin naturally. But what really works, and what is just myth? Here are seven common natural induction methods and our explanations for why the midwives at Magnolia find them effective.

7 Natural Induction Methods That Can Jumpstart Labor


Anything that gets your heart rate up can be good exercise, helping to relieve stress and keep your body strong. Walking and swimming are often popular choices during pregnancy. Climbing stairs also opens your pelvis, putting pressure on the cervix and helping put the baby in the correct position for delivery.

The evidence on whether exercise puts you into labor is mixed. Anecdotally, exercise can be an effective natural induction method. In fact, a research survey published in the Journal of Perinatal Education found that exercise was the top trigger for expectant parents who tried to start labor naturally on their own.

The Internet Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, however, published a study concluding there is no association between physical activity and going into labor. In most cases, exercise is good for you and your baby, so there’s no harm in trying it as a way to get things moving.

Nipple Stimulation

Nipple stimulation can be done by you or your partner with hand massage. In addition, using a breast pump simulates nursing a baby. Any of these methods releases oxytocin, a hormone that can ripen the cervix and cause uterine contractions. Nipple stimulation can be used both before labor as a natural induction method and during labor to increase contractions.

This natural induction technique has been pretty well studied, and it’s important to understand that nipple stimulation can be powerful. Researchers have noted that there’s no way to control the amount of oxytocin being released during nipple stimulation. Because of its effectiveness, always check with your midwife before attempting nipple stimulation as a way to induce labor.

How to induce labor at home

When it comes to inducing labor, a really important point is that babies come when they are ready. Unless there’s a medical reason to induce, it’s best to let your baby decide on his or her birthday.

Acupuncture and Acupressure

A traditional Chinese medicinal practice, acupuncture involves inserting tiny needles into certain points along the body’s Qi pathways. Studies have suggested that acupuncture can help with cervical ripening, while some researchers believe acupuncture might affect the uterus by stimulating hormonal changes or the nervous system. There’s no evidence of harm for people who have acupuncture during pregnancy.

Similarly, acupressure also takes advantage of the same points, but the therapist applies physical pressure, rather than using needles. Acupressure can also be done at home — with your own fingers or those of your partner — but check with your midwife first.

Chiropractic Care

Multiple studies have shown that chiropractic care, particularly the Webster Technique, is beneficial for pregnant folks, especially those who experience lower back pain. In addition, chiropractic can help loosen the joints in preparation for delivery.

In her book Nurture, birth and postpartum doula Erica Chidi Coen explains it this way: “Some chiropractors use a labor induction technique at 40 weeks combining chiropractic adjustments that stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system, activation of acupuncture points that ripen the cervix, and manual therapy to relax the ligaments around the uterus and pelvis.”

There are three possible ways sex can work to induce labor:

1. Release of natural oxytocin from sexual intimacy

2. Uterine activity from orgasm, which also releases oxytocin

3. Prostaglandins in semen

Prostaglandins, which can be used to induce labor medically, are well known for their ability to ripen the cervix and get it ready for labor.

Research on this natural induction method is limited, and the results are mixed. This technique is difficult to study because, according to Evidence Based Birth founder Rebecca Dekker, it’s subject to what’s called the “healthy user bias, where healthier women are more likely to engage in sex and also experience better birth outcomes.”

Red Raspberry Leaf Tea

This herbal tea may tone and strengthen your uterus, which can help induce labor. It will also keep you hydrated. Some midwives recommend beginning to drink red raspberry leaf tea at about 32 weeks, giving it time to build up in the body. Start with one cup a day and gradually work up to three cups.

The evidence on red raspberry leaf is limited, but research has shown no harm in humans. Studies with human participants revealed no difference between the group that drank the tea and the group that didn’t. Animal studies observed some uterine contractions when the red raspberry leaf was injected.

Castor Oil

Derived from the seeds of the Ricinus communis plant, castor oil is a powerful laxative. Through the digestion of the castor oil, an acid is released that activates prostaglandin receptors, an essential component in starting labor.

Studies have shown that castor oil is safe and effective for inducing labor in pregnancies that go beyond 40 weeks. Almost everyone who ingests it, though, experiences nausea and diarrhea. It’s best to get your midwife’s guidance on whether castor oil is a good choice for inducing labor.

Takeaways on Inducing Labor Naturally

When it comes to inducing labor, a really important point is that babies come when they are ready. Unless there’s a medical reason to induce, it’s best to let your baby decide on his or her birthday.

If you have questions about natural induction methods, definitely ask your Magnolia midwife and find out if it’s safe to try some of these strategies.

To learn about pregnancy and birth at Magnolia, fill out the form to set up a free consultation!

How To Induce Labor Naturally At Home, or at least this is how I did it.

How to induce labor at home

First of all, why would someone want to know how to induce labor naturally at home? Unfortunately more and more doctors are actually scheduling mothers for inductions. Many parents don’t want to have extra chemicals and medications like pitocin. I was over 40 weeks with Kay and she was measuring to be at least 8lbs, or they thought that by the ultrasound. When sweet baby girl was born she was only 6lbs and 13oz.

I went to my doctors on Monday and they said they would be scheduling my induction for Wednesday. I was so upset, crying, and just helpless. I didn’t want to force my baby out and not by unnatural means.

I wanted a natural birth too. I did end up getting the epidural, but I’m one of the lucky few that it doesn’t work for. I FELT EVERYTHING and my doctor warned me about the burning ring of fire while delivering naturally without an epidural. Next time I will not get one and obviously know I can handle it.. kind of. Giving birth is SO painful, but once it’s over you forget all about how painful it was to have a baby come out of you. Promise 😉

How to induce labor at home

How to induce labor at home

I went home and was determined to naturally induce labor. I googled How To Induce Labor Naturally At Home and found a ton of information. Instead of waiting for them to dose me with toxic medicines I figured I’d try out all those tips and tricks to make you go into labor naturally. I ate a few servings of pineapple, hubby took me out to eat at Hooters for hot wings and then we walked around a 24hr Super Wal-Mart for about 2 hours since nothing else was open after 10pm in our area.

Then on Tuesday July 24th (my birthday) I woke up at around 3:45am with contractions and even passed my mucous plug. I thought it was just pains from that, but then I couldn’t fall asleep as the pain was coming every 5-7 minutes. I finally fell back asleep at 5am, then awoke again at 7am with extreme sharp pains. I put a call into my doctors office and they said I should come in at 8:30am. They told me “you’re ready!” and that I didn’t need to be induced. I was elated with joy and just so extremely grateful!

How to induce labor at home

  • PINEAPPLE – Chris cut up two whole pineapples and I ate them throughout the day
  • HOT WINGS – I ate a dozen hot wings and asked for extra hot sauce!
  • WALKING – I couldn’t figure out where to walk so we ended up going to a 24 hour Wal-mart and walked at a fast pace for 2 hours.
  • I did all this on Monday and then Tuesday at 3:45 AM I was having labor pains and baby came less than 24hours later.

How to induce labor at home

  • Practice making more babies.. or in other words HAVE SEX. That being said I could barely move let alone have sex, ha!
  • Castor Oil (I didn’t try this and didn’t want to either, gag)
  • Nipple Stimulation (Didn’t work for us!)
  • Chiropractor/acupuncture/pedicure
  • Membrane Sweep

Full disclaimer: We aren’t doctors and don’t claim to be. We’re just sharing How To Induce Labor Naturally At Home, or at least how we did it. Always listen to your maternal instincts and of course be under the supervision of your doctor or mid-wife. Ours were fully aware of us trying to induce labor naturally and gave us 2 days to do so.

How to induce labor at home

I sat in the Best Buy parking lot to write down my birth story. My son was four months old, but I was finally facing the memories of my traumatic birth experience.

As I was writing the first few pages, I realized I felt an overwhelming sense of guilt when thinking about my birth experience—from the caesarean delivery to the NICU stay to the chocolate pudding.

Could I have prevented all this by not researching How To Induce Labor At Home?

The guilt was undeniable as I continued through my memories of my son’s birth.

But it had also gone unseen.

I didn’t want to see it. I didn’t want to face that my attempts to induce labor from home in the last month of my pregnancy were burdensome.

How to induce labor at home

Ways to Induce Labor At Home That I Tried

Pregnancy is an uncomfortable experience.

You are sacrificing your own body to grow another one. Your organs rearrange. Bones feel pressure. Your muscles ache. Among all of the other strange pregnancy symptoms (cue peeing yourself every time you move)

To further put my pregnancy into perspective: I am 5 foot 2 and had a 10 pound baby.

I was miserable and desperate to evict my beautiful blessing, so I headed to Pinterest, Google, and old wives tales. I tried 6 natural ways to induce labor at home.


I ate cups of pineapple at breakfast, lunch, and sometimes dinner. My tongue was raw, but my cervix was still closed and thick.

Spicy foods

I gobbled down spicy foods every chance I could. Mexican restaurants got my paychecks.

(On the Border’s salsa is wonderfully spicy. At least it seemed to be while I was pregnant.)

While spicy foods brought on Braxton Hicks, my son stayed put. His belly was full enough; the enchiladas didn’t entice him to join this side of the world.


I walked laps around the mall during a busy Christmas season. To Bath and Body Works and back. My ankles swelled and my wallet thinned, but I was still pregnant a few days later.

I tried sex. Then tried it again. And kept trying it as tired as I felt.

There’s something about third trimester sex that just does not make you feel good about yourself. Plus, I remained pregnant, so that was a bust.

Exercise ball

I bounced on an exercise ball from the time I got off work to the time I went to bed.

I swayed on the ball, straddled the ball, completed circles on the ball.

It made me feel like a kid in gym class again. While it was fun, it still wasn’t a proven method to induce labor at home.

Nipple stimulation via breast pump

Each night I pumped with my Spectra S1 for 15 minutes WHILE bouncing on my exercise ball. I did this for about 3 days; then, I stopped.

The exciting thing was that drops of colostrum came out! Since this was my first child, I wasn’t sure how my breastfeeding journey was going to look. This was the first “sign” that my boobs could do this!


How to induce labor at home

I Felt Guilty After Inducing Labor From Home

As excited I was to know my body could feed my child beyond the womb, my use of the breast pump while pregnant made me feel incredibly guilty.

All of the other things I tried were common old wives’ tales. I knew so many moms who tried one or most of those at-home induction methods. But pumping while pregnant? It seemed like untouched territory, like it was crossing the line.

Pumping while pregnant is pushing it too far.

Did I do something wrong in pumping during my ninth month of pregnancy?

Nipple stimulation, from hands or a breast pump, releases oxytocin which helps with uterine contractions. There are a few studies on nipple stimulation by hand, but little to no research exists on using a breast pump, which is what I did.

Even with the existing research on nipple stimulation, there is no guarantee that it worked for me. Every body, every pregnancy, and every labor is different.

How to induce labor at home

Coping With Guilt After Successfully Inducing Labor At Home

As a positive coping mechanism, my therapist told me to research every at-home induction method that I tried. She wanted me to see the statistics for just how “well” these methods work for quickly inducing labor at home. The guilt was adding heavily to my postpartum anxiety.

I shouldn’t have been shocked at the stats, but I was.

While researching, I read the same statement again and again on a variety of websites.

There is no evidence that non-medical methods successfully induce labor.

There’s no reason for me to feel guilty for “inducing” my labor. There is no evidence for it!

My scouring of the top 5 pages on Google did wonders for me in regards to coping with a traumatic birth.

Seeking God In My Traumatic Birth Experience

My labor played out how it needed to play out. My baby is now healthy and smiles with the chubbiest cheeks. I am healthy and have successfully recovered from major abdominal surgery.

God played a role in my labor and in my birth experience.

On His timeline, no method of induction would have worked without Him wanting it to work. And that includes pineapple, sex, pumping, Pitocin, and the Foley bulb.

I shouldn’t feel guilty about trying at-home induction methods that haveno proof of harming the baby.

It was His will, and I shouldn’t feel guilty for being miserable and desperate, researching and then trying methods that have no proof of starting labor.

Did you ever feel guilty during pregnancy or postpartum? Share with us in the comments below!

How to induce labor at home

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