How can I kick-start my labor?
Real Mom Problem
“I am curious if anyone has tried safe ways to induce labor -- did it work? I am full-term already and my doctor said go ahead and do what is safe to get her out! I know baby will come when she is ready, but I just want to give her a little boost. I've been having a lot of contractions, they just aren't regular enough, and I'm already dilating!”
- 1. Moms have many tricks for naturally inducing labor, from walking, sex, to eating lots of pineapple or spicy food
- 2. You may try every method and find that labor still won't start; don't worry, your baby will come out when he or she is ready
- 3. Always consult with your doctor or midwife before trying to induce labor or if you are concerned that you are too far past your due date
Real Mom Solutions
If your baby is full-term and you have your doctor's OK, you may want to try some natural tricks to push your labor along. What are safe ways to kick-start your labor on your own? Try these tips from the moms of CafeMom.
Have Fun in the Bedroom
I had been walking all week and would only dilate to one centimeter when my doctor said, "If you want to kick start it, have sex." So we got the green light and for six nights we were like bunnies and just when I was about to give up and schedule my induction, I went into labor.
The effective methods that don't add danger are: walking and sex. These shouldn't be done excessively, just a little here and there. Be sure you are comfortable.
Try Some Fruit to Get Things Moving
I ate a whole pound of cherries. I did this because it got my bowels going (which can cause minor contractions). Then I gave myself an orgasm (I know this sounds crazy, but the orgasm started the contractions immediately). After doing these two things, I was in the hospital within 40 minutes. I had my son the very next morning!
Eating a bunch of fresh pineapple (the canned stuff won't work because the enzyme is heat sensitive) did it for me! I was four days late and ate two-and-a-half pineapples and my water broke.
Try Evening Primrose Oil
Evening primrose oil can help soften the cervix so that when labor does happen you dilate smoother/faster/better. I took it from 37 weeks on (orally and vaginally) and when I finally did go into labor, the dilation process was quick and smooth.
Tried Everything? Give Baby More Time
Like they say, the baby will come when he or she is ready. If your body isn't ready, no amount of sex or spicy food or whatever is really going to make a difference. And if your body is ready, I am pretty sure those things may help move it along, but it's not like if you don't do them you won't have the baby soon.
I tried sex, spicy food, bumpy roads, scrubbing my floor on my hands and knees, I tried EVERYTHING. And she was still over a week late.
I walked to help move things along with my first, but I was already in labor. I don't think anything works if baby's not ready.
Why would you want to induce labor? Your body knows when it's ready, so don't force it. The baby will come when it comes, unless you're overdue, 42+ weeks, there is absolutely no reason to induce. The average pregnancy is 40 weeks. Let it be; don't force it; let your body decide.
I ate so much pineapple I had sores in my mouth. At first I did it because I wanted to get things rolling but after the first few pieces, I was in love with it! I ate so much that I felt physically ill! It was so goooood, though! But no, it didn't do anything labor-wise for me!
We tried everything with our daughter. Sex, pineapple, raspberry leaf tea, walking, spicy food... she still came a week late. We had fun trying, though.