Learn how to induce labor yourself and naturally for first time moms!
Believe me, mama, I get it.
You’re past your due date and feeling ready to pop – but baby isn’t showing any signs of wanting to come out and meet you!
And it feels like you’ve been pregnant forever!!
I had such a complicated pregnancy that I just couldn’t wait to deliver my twins!!
And while your doctor might be scheduling you in for an inducement, there are a few natural things you can try to get labor moving.
So here are 12 effective and natural ways to induce labor yourself.
DISCLAIMER: Talk to your health care provider before attempting any of these natural ways to induce labor. Do not try to induce labor before your due date. This is NOT to be considered as medical advice. I am NOT medically trained, I’m just sharing things that have worked for other moms.
Most Effective Ways to Induce Labor Yourself
Caroline over at Swaddles and Bottles recommends eating dates to induce labor naturally, because they have a similar effect on your body to oxytocin.
And there is some evidence that eating dates in the last four weeks of pregnancy reduces the need for induction – although more research is needed.
And if you love dates, you can keep eating them after baby arrives.
Dates contain fiber to help keep things moving ‘down there’ so they’re a great snack to help support your postpartum care plan.
2. Red Raspberry Leaf Tea
This herbal tea has long been recommended by midwives to women at the end of their pregnancy as a natural way to induce labor.
And many believe that red raspberry leaf tea can strengthen the uterus and prepare women for a shorter labor.
But before you think about drinking red raspberry leaf tea to induce labor, there are occasions when you shouldn’t drink it.
For example, you shouldn’t drink red raspberry leaf tea if you’re expecting twins, or you’ve had a premature baby previously.
If your doctor is happy for you to drink this tea, check out this version specially made for moms in their second and third trimester.
3. Nipple Stimulation
There is some evidence that nipple stimulation can bring on labor – and reduce the length of labor!
Gently rubbing or rolling your nipples tricks your body into thinking you’re nursing your baby. This releases oxytocin – the hormone that’s released during labor and nursing.
However, it might be a time consuming method to try. Baby Centre recommends stimulating your nipples for up to an hour 3 times a day and only if you’ve had a normal pregnancy with no complications.
4. Evening Primrose Oil
Evening primrose oil is a popular and traditionally recommended home remedy for inducing labor.
And here’s where it gets tough for pregnant moms.
Because some experts swear by it for inducing and shortening labor.
But some believe you should avoid evening primrose oil in pregnancy.
And recent studies suggest that there’s little or no evidence of its effectiveness.
Should you take evening primrose oil to induce labor? You could definitely speak to your doctor about taking this as a way to induce labor.
And remember that you should always speak to your doctor before trying to induce labor yourself.
Acupressure comes from traditional Chinese medicine and has been used for centuries. Acupressure is sometimes described as acupuncture without the needles!
And if you’re past your due date you might want to consider using it to induce labor.
By applying pressure on certain parts of your body with your fingers, it’s thought that acupressure can stimulate oxytocin. Although acupressure is thought to work ONLY if baby is ready.
If you’re ready to give it a try, Mommy Potamus has a great guide to using acupressure to induce labor.
Walking is one exercise that all doctors usually recommend to pregnant women.
And walking can help induce labor naturally, because you’re using gravity and the swaying movement of your hips to help baby move downwards into your pelvis.
Just remember not to overdo it – gentle exercise is great. But you don’t want to be exhausted before labor even starts.
7. Castor Oil
If you’ve been searching for ways to induce labor, you’ve almost definitely come across this home remedy!! Castor oil has been used as a remedy for lots of different things for literally thousands of years.
And there’s some evidence that castor oil can help induce labor.
Castor oil is a strong natural remedy that can result in diarrhea and vomiting. And these both lead to dehydration and exhaustion – not great if you’re about to go into labor. You’ll need ALL your strength for labor, mama!
So, should you give castor oil a try?
You MUST speak to your doctor before trying anything to induce labor. And this is particularly true when it comes to castor oil.
OK, I know exercising might be the last thing you want to do at this stage of your pregnancy. But there are some simple exercises you can do that might bring on labor.
Pelvic tilts, kegel exercises and squatting are great exercises to induce labor and prepare your body for the hard work of labor.
Of course, you must speak to your doctor before undertaking any exercise during pregnancy or trying any remedy to induce labor. Here’s a video on how to get started with kegel exercises:
9. Sitting on a Yoga Ball
If exercising to induce labor feels impossible right now, how about this one?
Yes, sitting on a yoga ball and rolling your hips might help induce labor. Because you’re using gravity to help baby downwards.
And the good news is that using a yoga ball during labor can help relieve pain. Here’s a great budget friendly yoga ball that’s definitely worth a try.
Looking for more ways to relieve pain during labor? Check out my 10 life saving tips for when you’re in labor.
Yes, this natural way to induce labor is a traditional one.
And Hilary from Pulling Curls says it’s a great way to get baby moving. Although at this stage of pregnancy, sex is more likely to be funny than sexy.
Does sex to induce labor work?
The idea is that an orgasm releases oxytocin – the hormone that’s released to trigger labor. And sperm contains the same fatty acids that are produced by your body to kick start labor.
But the evidence seems to be contradictory.
So it’s a fun one to try but don’t pin your hopes on it. Remember to check with your doctor before trying any of these natural ways to induce labor.
11. Spicy Food
Yes, spicy food seems to top every list of foods to naturally induce labor. But before you order that spicy enchilada or hot curry, does it work?
There seems to be no evidence that spicy food can induce labor – sorry!
Well, it doesn’t hurt to try!
It’s believed by many that drinking coffee (and smelling the steam) can induce labor by contracting the uterus and loosen up your mucus plug. While there is no conclusive evidence, the least coffee can do is get your intestinal activity going and that might just move labor along!
How to Induce Labor Yourself
Over to you – tell me in the comments if you’ve tried a natural way to induce labor.
Did it work? I know it seems unbearable at the moment, but remember mama, you won’t be pregnant forever.
So while you wait for baby, why not put your feet up and check through my essential list of to-dos in your third trimester.
Good luck, mama.
Don’t forget to pin me for later.