Ways to Bring on Labor

It is common for women to try things to get labor going rather than just wait and see things take their own course. Some studies show that about 50% of pregnant women try ways to bring on labor. While it is true that full term is up to 42 weeks, about 40% of babies only arrive in two weeks after their "guess" date. You can try certain natural methods to bring on labor, but you should avoid doing so until you have reached your due date.

Ways to Bring on Labor

You can try certain natural remedies, make changes to your diet, or use alternative methods to get labor going and avoid a C-section. Here are some effective ways that have helped other expectant moms:

Food and Drinks

Eating certain foods will help stimulate your tummy and encourage the production of certain hormones that may help bring on labor.

  • Try spicy food


Curry in particular will help stimulate your tummy and may prompt your uterus to get into action. Moreover, spicy foods trigger production of prostaglandins that cause contractions in the uterus.


  • Eat some pineapples

It helps because pineapples are loaded with bromelain, the enzyme responsible for softening your cervix to bring on labor. You may have to eat a large amount of it to see effects.

  • Drink raspberry leaf tea


Include raspberry leaf tea in your diet along with evening primrose oil is one of the ways to bring on labor. It helps tone your uterus and regulate your contractions to make labor easy. You can take it in tablet form as well.

Alternative Methods

Several specific movements, exercises, and alternative treatments may help you visit the delivery room soon. For instance:

  • Start bouncing. Get a birthing ball as you reach closer to your due date and start bouncing. It helps get your baby in the right position to accelerate labor.
  • Try nipple stimulation. The idea is to make your body think that you are suckling your baby. Remember that it works only when your body is ready to go into labor. All you have to do is gently roll or rub your nipples and massage the areola for 15 minutes. Spend another 15 minutes massaging and stimulating the other breast. Then, go back to the other breast – this way you will spend an hour in nipple stimulation with every breast getting half an hour of close attention. Choose other ways to bring on labor instead of nipple stimulation if you have complications such as gestational diabetes, high blood pressure, or preeclampsia.
  • Try acupressure and acupuncture. Used for thousands of years to help induce labor for women who are post-dates in their pregnancy, acupuncture may get things started within 6-48 hours of treatment. The process involves using fine needles to stimulate certain pressure points in your body. You can try acupressure if you have a fear of needles. Instead of using needles, this method uses fingers to stimulate pressure points in your body to get required benefits. It may help prevent nausea and vomiting, and even bring on labor. You can do it at home, or ask your partner or preferrably a professional, to give you a massage to stimulate those points.

Natural Ways

In addition to alternative ways to bring on labor, you can always resort to natural remedies which include:

  • Evening primrose oil

Using evening primrose oil is an effective "cervix ripening" method. You can use it internally or orally. It works by imitating prostaglandin that in turn helps induce labor. Oral dosage should be a couple of 500mg capsules daily – start taking from 36 weeks. You can even consider inserting a couple of capsules to cervix before bed for similar results.

  • Have sex with your partner


This works because semen contains prostaglandins that helps ripen your cervix and induce labor. It is also a good idea because sex produces oxytocin that may stimulate your uterus to make labor easy.


Medically Induce Labor

Among other ways to bring on labor,you can also consult a doctor to induce labor medically. It is important to keep in mind that elective inductions are quite rare because most doctors will not induce earlier than 39 weeks and only when there is a medical reason. If they really decide to help you with that, they may do it using the following methods:

  • They may sweep your membranes by inserting a gloved finger into your uterus then sweep lightly around the wall of your uterus to separate it from the amniotic sac. Your doctor can perform this procedure in their office. Keep in mind that you may experience some menstrual spotting after the procedure. Do not worry unless the flow becomes heavy.
  • They may give you certain medications to soft the cervix. Your doctor may give you Misoprostol that you can take both vaginally or orally. They may alternatively give you a vaginal suppository such as Dinoprostone. Oxytocin is another possible choice and is administered intravenously. However, be aware that in rare cases, it causes fetal distress and leads to a hasty C-section.
  • They may physically coax your cervix. For this purpose, they use a Foley catheter, which is a small tube that consists of a deflated balloon. It is inserted into your cervix and then the balloon is inflated. It stays in your cervix until your cervix dilates to around 3cm.
  • They may break your water manually. The process called amniotomy is among many other medical ways to bring on labor. It involves breaking the amniotic sac with the help of a sterile plastic hook. Your doctor will first monitor your baby's heart rate and ensure that everything else is fine before breaking the sac.
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