When your due date comes and goes it can be very frustrating (that’s an understatement). Why does the last month of pregnancy seem to be the longest? You packed the name, the hospital bag, the birth plan – but no baby. So we gathered a few mothers together for tips on the fastest way to induce labor at home (+ some we don’t recommend).
While some doctors and midwives initiate medication after 39 weeks, others may have you wait up to 42 weeks. There are some great natural ways to prime your body for labor in the comfort of your home if you’ve passed your due date and are still waiting.
So here are the quickest ways to induce labor at home. All of these methods are natural, but before trying any of these methods, talk to your doctor or midwife about initiation at home.
Physical activity to induce labor
When it came down to it, our mothers kept saying that the fastest way to induce labor at home is through physical activity. Well, don’t overdo it, but these are definitely our mothers’ favorites.
Let’s start with a fun way that will make your partner happy. Sex is a very common way to induce labor, and some say the fastest way to induce labor at home. Many pregnant women have had great success with this method. It’s probably one of the easiest and most effective ways to induce labor.
Scientifically speaking, semen stimulates the cervix and orgasm can cause contractions. It doesn’t hurt to try, does it?
Nipple stimulation is definitely another one of the quickest ways to induce labor at home and has been shown in numerous studies, of course not in all cases. Nipple stimulation can cause contractions by releasing oxytocin, making it a great way to induce labor at home. If you’ve bought yourself a breast pump, it’s a good time to try it out!
A foot or body massage
Did you know that a foot massage can trigger labor? There are certain pressure points that can trigger contractions. You can either see an acupressure massage therapist or simply have your significant other give you a massage. If you are not in labor, at least have a massage!
Acupuncture is similar to acupressure massage, but it is used with needles. This method should only be performed by a professional. Acupuncture is said to induce contractions and mature the cervix for labor. If you’re not afraid of needles, it’s worth trying!
Hop on an exercise ball
You’ve probably seen an expectant mom bounce up and down on an exercise ball before! This is because it can help position the baby in the correct position and encourage the baby’s head to move down through the birth canal. Not only does it help induce labor, but it is also great fun and good exercise!
Swimming is another great way to try to induce labor. Keeping active towards the end of your pregnancy will move your baby towards the pelvis and encourage enlargement. At the very least, a good swim will relieve joint and muscle pain from pregnancy!
Walking works similarly to swimming and hopping exercises – it encourages the baby to go deeper into the pelvis and go into labor. Most light aerobic exercise is highly recommended as you near your due date to encourage labor (although exercise is probably the last thing you want to do in the third trimester!)
You can also try walking on the curb to give the baby extra movement. To do this, put one foot on the curb and the other on the street as you walk.
Natural foods and herbs to use at home to induce labor
Let’s go over some natural ingredients for you to try that some of our mothers say are the fastest ways to induce labor at home.
Evening primrose oil
Evening primrose oil is a highly recommended method to induce the birth of midwives naturally. It has proven its worth with many mothers! It can be taken orally and purchased from most local pharmacies.
Evening primrose oil works by thinning the cervix. So, if your body is ready to go into labor and just needs extra help in extinguishing it, it should be successful.
Red raspberry leaf tea
Red raspberry leaf tea is most effective when you drink it daily throughout your pregnancy – or at least from the third trimester. Many mothers swear by its success – even saying the tea made their contractions faster and less painful! It’s worth a try!
Thyme tea is similar to the Red Raspberry Leaf Tea method. Some women claim that the thyme in tea can cause uterine contractions. It seems most effective when you drink it daily – so add another tea to your shopping list!
This is a sweet and delicious way to induce labor at home! Dates are a proven remedy to aid in dilation and extinction. Not only do they help soften the cervix, but they’re also extremely healthy for you and your baby – replete with tons of calcium and potassium.
Spicy foods are said to induce labor, although they are likely unlikely to help unless your body is seriously ready to go into labor. It’s a good excuse to try some delicious spicy Thai or Indian food or whatever your preference.
Say aloha to pineapple as it is supposed to induce labor and there is some science behind it. During one study, doctors found that pineapple can cause uterine contractions as well as cervical ripening. You can try fresh or frozen pineapples and even pineapple juice!
Black cohosh, specifically black cohosh
Cohosh is an herb that is widely used to promote extinction and contractions. This herb is usually found as a liquid supplement, and a few drops daily are believed to induce labor. Many midwives recommend Cohosh for natural labor induction, but you should check with yours specifically before trying it out.
Castor oil (not recommended)
Castor oil has been used to induce labor for decades. It has been shown to be a very successful method of inducing labor, but it can be dangerous. It can be stressful on the baby, so it is important to speak to your midwife or doctor before using castor oil.
When should you see the doctor!
Doctors or midwives will often tell patients about the 4-1-1 indicator. If contractions are 4 minutes apart, 1 minute long, it’s a good time to call or go straight to the birthing center for at least 1 hour.
If your water breaks it is definitely a good time to go to the hospital, or at least call your doctor if you are not sure. Some women miss labor completely and can actively work if their water breaks.
Tour your birthing center or hospital and take a test drive to find out how long it will take you to get there. Preparation is key and knowing where to go ahead of time will (somehow) help alleviate work stress! Make sure the hospital bags are packed and the car seat is installed. You’ll do it well!
Do you have any questions about induction? Please leave a question in the comments or ask questions on our Rookie Moms Facebook group. It’s a great way to connect with other mothers, share tips, and get advice.
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frequently asked Questions
How do you start labor?
Get moving – walking is a great way!
Try natural teas
Eat spicy foods
What’s the fastest way to get into work?
2. Nipple stimulation
5. Spicy foods
6. Red raspberry leaf tea
Can I break my water myself?
No, your water should only be broken naturally or by fracture Your Doctor, it is generally a safe procedure. Never try break your water at home.
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