Pregnancy is an incredible period of self-discovery and preparation. While designing your baby’s nursery and thinking about names, you learn about your inner strength and your body’s capabilities. Even if you have a great experience, you might begin to wonder about the natural ways to induce labor.
Some women feel uncomfortable in their bodies and want to start their labor after reaching the 39-week mark. Others remain at home well after their prospective due date and need a little help to finally meet their baby. No matter what motivates you, read about these eight natural ways to induce labor to weigh the risks and decide what’s best for you.
1. Increased Sexual Activity
Although doctors agree that having sex during pregnancy won’t harm you or the baby, it may induce labor if it happens more often in your third trimester. Sexual activity increases blood flow to your uterus and stimulates additional oxytocin production, which can trigger contractions if you’re close to your due date anyway.
Some women have a decreased sex drive because of pregnancy side effects. You might also have an intimacy issue if you’re nervous about sharing insecurities with your partner, which might stem from physical changes related to pregnancy. Reconnect with your partner to help your relationship thrive while you finish the last few days or weeks of your final trimester.
2. More Intense Exercise
Exercise is another way to improve the blood flow to your uterus. You may have already discovered a routine before getting pregnant, since physical activity can improve your reproductive health and make it easier to conceive.
Talk with your doctor to discuss the best exercises for your situation. Adding a few outdoor walks to your day or working out on an indoor bike are a few low-impact ways to get your heart rate up without posing any risks. It depends on your situation and what your doctor recommends.
3. Nipple Stimulation Foreplay
If you don’t have the energy for sex or exercise, nipple stimulation may circulate your blood well enough instead. The foreplay directs blood to your reproductive organs and engages the milk production process. Even if this method doesn’t immediately result in contractions, it could help your body prepare for your baby by starting your milk supply.
4. Castor Oil Supplement
When you’ve passed your due date and can’t help but watch the clock in expectation, castor oil is a great natural way to induce labor. Post-date participants who drank 60 ml in a study exhibited a beneficial effect because more of them went into active labor than those who drank sunflower oil.
Drink it once a day in the morning after your due date flies by. If you experience late-term morning sickness, eat helpful foods that battle nausea along with your new castor oil supplement.
5. Specialized Acupuncture Treatments
Acupuncture provides numerous health benefits, especially for pregnant women. Although the treatment won’t jumpstart your contractions, it increases the degree of cervical ripening which your body needs before it can go into labor. Find an acupuncturist who specializes in pregnancy services so they know precisely how to help you find pain relief and potentially speed things along.
6. Specific Kinds of Tea
Midwives and birthing partners have used teas to assist pregnant women for hundreds of years. They’re all-natural remedies that won’t upset your stomach or take much of your time. One-third of U.S. midwives use raspberry tea to stimulate labor because the fragarine compound strengthens the uterine wall. When the body feels strong enough for delivery, the contractions will follow.
Basil tea is another drink you can try. Although it doesn’t have a direct correlation with starting labor, it’s a potentl emmenagogue. When consumed, it relaxes smooth muscle surfaces and promotes blood flow. Better blood flow assists the start of labor because your uterus gets the oxygen it needs to begin the major task of giving birth.
7. Eating Fresh Dates
Dates also improve natural cervical ripening if you’re past your due date. The fruit can enhance your cervical opening even if your contractions haven’t begun. The nutrients it contains turn into energy for your body and fuel the labor process that might have stalled because your body needs more energy to get started.
8. Additional Chiropractic Care
Pregnancy causes joint and back pain, so you might already visit a chiropractor for non-medical relief. See if a local expert has experience with the Webster Technique. It aligns the pelvis and your supporting musculature to free your body of restricting imbalances that could cause your baby to sit in the wrong position for birthing. If your body doesn’t sense that anything’s wrong, it’s more likely to go into labor.
Induce Labor With Your Doctor
These are just a few natural ways to induce labor, so talk with your doctor about any that interest you. They’ll analyze your options and compare them with your personal history so nothing interferes with your safety or that of your baby.