Tips to Induce Labor at Home

If your child is beyond his expected due date, it can be tempting to try to induce labour by putting pressure on the child. Unnatural labour-inducing methods, however, can be dangerous to the mother and child, but there are several safe, natural ways to successfully induce labour at home.

Be Active

One of the best ways to induce labour naturally is to start doing more. During the last several weeks of pregnancy, many doctors recommend that mothers refrain from being too active. While still keeping this bit of advice, simple, slow-stress activities can stimulate the child and induce labour.

Start walking a little more than usual. This will not be too stressful on the child, and it can help move the child into the birthing position. Walking will naturally swing the hips from side to side, thus shifting the child in the womb. When he settles in the right position, he can then safely begin the birthing process.

If you're going to be active, why not have a little fun? Intercourse has also been known to stimulate the birthing process. During a female orgasm, hormones that aid in birthing are released. This can help stimulate childbirth. Also, semen contains a group of hormones called prostaglandins, which help soften and ripen the cervix. Therefore, a male's ejaculation will also help induce labour.

Herbs and Oils

Centuries before the advancement of medical science, people used various herbs to help induce labour. Note, however, that some herbs, such as aloe vera, bungleweed and pokerroot, can be dangerous to you or the child, so consult a doctor before self-medicating with herbs. Some herbs can result in premature contractions or birth defects. Other herbs, however, can be powerful in terms of inducing labour. Potent herbs include black and blue cohosh, red raspberry leaf and false unicorn root. These herbs release natural chemicals into the body that can stimulate the child and get him moving and positioned to begin the birthing process. These herbs can be can taken in capsules, teas or tinctures and should usually be consumed approximately 30 minutes before meals.

Primrose oil is used to induce labour. Similar to the effect that semen has on the cervix, primrose oil softens and ripens the cervix by releasing prostaglandins. Primrose oil is applied by placing the oil capsule into the vagina each evening. The vagina will absorb the oil and begin to prepare the cervix for the birthing process.

Castor oil is also used to induce labour. Take this each morning with a glass of orange or apple juice to disguise the unpleasant taste of the oil. The castor oil can cause small spasms in the intestines, and these spasms squeeze the uterus, which could induce labour. Never take more than 118ml. of the oil, though, because it could hurt the child. Any more and the mother might become ill, developing symptoms such as severe nausea, cramping, vomiting and diarrhoea. The stress on the mother's immune system will also begin to stress the child; this sort of stress can be quite damaging to the child, causing respiration problems at birth.

Other Methods

Acupressure is another proven method of inducing labour. A certified acupressure therapist can add pressure that will help dilate the cervix and prompt labour contractions.

Spicy foods have also been known to induce labour. Science has yet to back this one up, but some people claim that eating spicy food has helped induce labour. Be warned, though, that the spicy food can cause nausea.