Things to Do to Prompt Baby Labor

By Melissa Gagnon
Red rasberry leaf tea is said to help ripen a woman's cervix in preparation for labor.
Red rasberry leaf tea is said to help ripen a woman's cervix in preparation for labor.

As you near the end of your pregnancy, or perhaps pass your due date and have no signs of labor, you may want to try some natural-induction methods to speed up the process. Although your labor won't begin until your body is ready, there are some things that you can do to ripen your cervix, move the baby into position and prepare your body for labor. Natural induction methods only work if your body is ready and your cervix is ripe. After receiving approval from your doctor, trying some of these methods will help prepare your body even it they don't immediately induce labor.

Move Around

Walking and being upright can put pressure on the cervix and help it dilate. Take an easy hike, bounce on a birthing ball while you watch TV or walk around the mall. Movements such as swinging and bouncing can help the baby drop into place, so take a trip to the park and swing on the swings or get in the car and take a bumpy ride. Simple yoga positions and stretches can also help prepare your body for labor. As long as light exercise is approved by your medical provider, this method will strengthen your muscles and loosen up your body in preparation for labor. Movement as a natural induction method only works if your baby is in position and is applying pressure on your cervix.

Be Intimate

Being intimate with your partner can induce labor. Nipple stimulation releases a natural oxytocin in your body, which causes the uterus to contract. You could also stimulate your own nipples or use a breast pump. Having intercourse releases prostaglandins that soften the cervix, and if you have an orgasm, the orgasm can start contractions. You may also choose to have an orgasm on your own, if sex is not possible or is uncomfortable for you. Please check with your doctor to be sure that having intercourse is safe for your pregnancy. Sex and orgasm is one of the most effective ways to naturally induce labor, but be advised, it doesn't always prompt labor immediately. If you don't have success, try again another day.

Spice up Your Diet

Spicy foods have been known to begin labor. Spicy foods stimulate the bowels, which may bring on contractions. Such teas as red raspberry leaf tea and cinnamon stick can both relax you (which may help induce labor) and ripen and tone your cervix in preparation for labor. Pineapple is also known to help ripen the cervix. Some mothers swear it was a certain food that induced their labor, but there is no scientific evidence to support their claims.

Herbs and Oils

Some natural herbs that are said to stimulate labor are black cohosh and blue cohosh. They are both known to strengthen contractions. Use caution when trying herbs to induce labor, it is advised to seek medical advice before use. Oils such as evening primrose and castor oil may help induce labor as well. Castor oil is a strong laxative and irritating the bowels can cause contractions. The use of castor oil is controversial as it may cause the baby to pass meconium in the amniotic sac, which can lead to infection. Evening primrose oil is to be applied to the cervix to ripen it.

About the Author

Melissa Gagnon began writing professionally in 2010. Her expertise in education, research and literature allows her to write knowledgeably for various websites. Gagnon graduated from Gordon College with a Bachelor of Science in English and education. She then attended Salem State College and completed a master's degree in teaching English as a second language.