Induce Labor Naturally
Tired of being pregnant? Maybe you’re getting close to that induction date you didn’t want to set, but alas! There’s still no sign of labor…. I have made a list of things you can do to encourage baby to make their grand entrance into the world. I want to preface this by saying I am not a medical professional, just a mom with two babies born at 42 weeks- the first with a medical induction, the second all natural thanks to these tips! It may be hard to believe, but I can promise you this- pregnancy does not last forever. I have been where you are, momma, and I hope something on here helps you!
Diet and Supplements
Eating pineapple is said to help ripen the cervix because it contains an enzyme called bromelain. This enzyme causes your body to produce prostaglandins which help ripen the cervix. For this method to put you into labor, you basically have to eat an entire pineapple, but hey- At least it’s delicious, right?
Eating spicy foods is also said to jumpstart labor by irritating the bowels. Causing the bowels to contract will (hopefully) cause the uterus to contract as well. Just have a glass of milk ready to cool off!
Evening Primrose Oil
Evening primrose oil is a supplement you can find at your local grocery store in the vitamin section. Take 1000 mg daily orally (beginning at 38 weeks), and insert one 500mg capsule vaginally before bed (tip: wear a panty liner or pad so the oils don’t ruin those gorgeous maternity panties you are wearing!)
Fun fact: EPO can also be used when trying to conceive! (Take orally at the beginning of your cycle before ovulation to get more desire fertile mucus for conception.) I used this to conceive my second!
Walking, Stair Climbing and Exercise Ball Activities
Walking, bouncing on an exercise ball, or my favorite- sitting on an exercise ball and doing figure 8s with you’re hips all kind of work in the same way. The goal is to inspire your body to create oxytocin to put you into labor. In order for our bodies to secrete this oxytocin, the back of the cervix must be stimulated to tell the brain it’s go time. So we want babies head to sort of bounce and hit the cervix to get this process going. This method only really works if your baby is head down and in a desirable birthing position. Tip: doing some cat/cow yoga positioning is a great exercise to ensure your baby’s birthing position.
Having sexual intercourse actually helps in two ways! It stimulates the cervix which, as we know, can help stimulate oxytocin. Having an orgasm is a huge release of oxytocin as well. Also male ejaculate (semen) is a prostaglandin that can help ripen the cervix. With this method you will need a lot of semen to affect your cervix, so it’s best to just focus on the orgasm.
I have heard of people using the breast pump for stimulation, but I think using your fingers actually works better. This is another way to generate that oxytocin, which we want!
Fun fact: if you do end up with a medical induction you may have Pitocin administered through your IV- this is the synthetic form of oxytocin.
Clary Sage Oil
Clary sage oil is an essential oil suggested by midwives to help naturally induce labor. You can mix it with some almond seed oil or jajoba oil and rub on your belly and lower back. You can also put some on a cotton ball and place it on your pillowcase. I also diffused this oil with lavender oil to help me relax. Another use for this oil is to put a few drops in the bath. I personally think this oil smells really good, so I used it a lot in my last couple weeks.
Did you try all that and still nothing? Ask your midwife or OB about getting your membranes stripped. This in-office procedure requires you to be at least 1cm dilated. During this minimally invasive procedure your care provider will put a gloved finger in your cervix to separate the amniotic sac from the lining of the uterus. I had this done with my second daughter, I delivered within 12 hour! I was able to avoid pitocin, cervidil, foley bulb catheters and all that fun stuff because of this 10 second in office procedure. Check out my birth story with Raleigh to see how this worked for me! Birth Story: My Natural Delivery