A due date isn’t always as accurate as you’d like it to be – sometimes it can be way off. And when this happens, chances are you’ll be chomping at the bit for the big day to arrive already – isn’t there a way you can give Mother Nature a bit of a kick-start on your own? While it takes the touch of a medical profession to really make things happen, there are some tried and tested natural ways when it comes to how to induce labor. It’s vital to get the green light from your doctor before trying any of them of course, but if she or she is happy with the following tips, there’s no harm in giving them a go.

How to Induce Labor: 10 Effective Ways 

1. Walking

image001The natural swaying of your hips plus good-old gravity make simple walking one of the best approaches to encouraging labor along. And even if it doesn’t work exactly as you were hoping for, the extra exercise will still work wonders for your health and could even speed up your recovery process. Just don’t go overdoing it and exhausting yourself – take a buddy along to keep an eye on you.

2. Having Sex

image002There’s a good chance that by this point in time sex will be the last thing on your mind, but there’s plenty of evidence to suggest it really can help induce labor. Not only does the prostaglandins sperm contains help the cervix with its dilation, but orgasms have also been linked with the triggering of contractions and safe, natural labor. And of course, if it doesn’t have the desired effect you’ll still have had some fun trying!

3. Nipple Stimulation

image003Chances are you’re already having trouble keeping your hands busy while you’re sitting around and watching the hours tick by – why not put them to good use on your nipples? By gentle massaging and tweaking the nipples for a couple of hours or so each day, your body naturally releases more of a hormone that’s known to encourage labor – oxytocin. However, this isn’t an approach most medical professionals recommend as not only can it in some instance bring on dangerously long contractions, but it will also leave you with sore and achy nipples at a time when you could really do with them being soothed and ready for action.

4. Massage

Massage is another safe option for encouraging labor along as not only does it help with the creation of oxytocin, but is also breeds the kind of relaxation your body needs to get on with the job at hand! Watch the video to learn how to induce labor with massage:

5. Acupressure

Acupressure follows the same basic principles as acupuncture, though in this instance it’s all about putting pressure on various spots across the body as opposed to using needles. The biggest bonus of all is of course the fact that you can try this one at home without the risk of causing needle-related damage – it’s therefore a much cheaper option to try out. That being said, it’s not the kind of thing you should dive into without first seeking a little guidance and of course, that all-important green light from your doctor. Click here to learn common pressure points to induce labor.  And watch the follwoing video to learn how to induce labor with acupressure points:

6. Acupuncture

image004There a millions of acupuncture advocate the world over who insist that inserting acupuncture needles into certain pressure points across the body can give an unborn baby a nudge in the right direction. It’s considered to be one of the safest possible approaches to inducing labor and is also more pleasant than it looks. That being said, even the most dedicated advocates of acupuncture admit that if the baby isn’t good and ready to make an appearance, all the acupuncture in the world won’t make it happen. As such, it can be a pretty expensive option if you’re not pretty close to labor in the first place.

7. Pineapple

image005Can pineapple really encourage labor along? Apparently so, as this wonderfully sweet treat contains bromelain – an enzyme linked with the softening of the cervix and therefore a potential nudge in the right direction. Admittedly there’s no scientific evidence to back the idea, but come on…who doesn’t like pineapple, anyway?

8. Evening Primrose Oil

image006Here’s another simple and natural method of helping your cervix prep itself for labor – evening primrose oil. There’s evidence to suggest that taking the capsules on a regular basis, massaging the oil directly onto the cervix or even inserting capsules directly into the vagina can work wonders. Of course, the latter two should only be tried out after seeking advice from a doctor or midwife, while those with placenta previa shouldn’t use the supplement in any way, shape or form. Red raspberry leaf has shown promise as an alternative, but again you should seek advice before taking it.

9. Castor Oil

image007Some suggest having castor oil to induce labor. A tasting laxative in castor oil works by causing bowel spasms, which can then potentially irritate the uterus and ultimately spur contractions to begin. The only problem is that if it doesn’t work, there’s a strong chance that the only result will be one of rather unpleasant diarrhea and cramps. As such, this is one you should definitely think carefully about before taking and always check with your doctor first.

10. Spicy Food

image008What better excuse to indulge in a curry or any other spice food you’ve had your eye on? While there’s no specific scientific evidence to suggest that spicy food really does bring on labor, the theory persists that it works in exactly the same way as castor oil minus the guarantee of diarrhea. That being said, spicy food is notorious for triggering heartburn and indigestion which chances are you’re already a bit sick of by now. Still, if you’re a fan of the spicy stuff, now’s the time to indulge.