Induce Labor

Natural Ways to Induce Labor

There are a few natural ways to induce labor. For some women, this may be an alternative to invasive medical procedures. Certain procedures may carry possible risks and side effects to both the mother and unborn child.

An individual should not attempt any of these methods until after thirty-nine weeks gestation. While these methods are completely natural; it is a good idea to speak with your doctor before attempting any of the techniques mentioned.

According to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, there are several reasons why labor should be induced. These include :

  • Infection in the uterus
  • High blood pressure due to pregnancy
  • Post-term pregnancy
  • Placental abruption
  • Premature rupture of the membranes
  • Certain medical complications that could harm the mother or baby

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that twenty percent of labor is induced. Severe medical conditions and complications only account for three percent of labor inductions. As many as forty- four percent of women claim their doctor attempted to induce labor.

There are many cons to medical procedures that are used to induce labor. Not only are some of the methods invasive, but many force the woman into labor before she is truly ready. This may lead to a number of unnecessary medical interventions instead of just one.

When medical intervention is used, contractions are stronger and last for a longer amount of time. These lengthier contractions may limit the amount of oxygen to the baby and cause the fetus to become distressed.
Natural methods are not invasive and offer many benefits compared to medical procedures. Keep in mind that unless you are ready for labor and your cervix is ripe, none of these methods will work. Those who are ready for labor will find these techniques beneficial. All of the tips mentioned may help your cervix efface and dilate.

Sexual Intercourse

It is uncertain whether or not this method helps to induce labor. There simply isn’t enough information for a definite answer. While it may not induce labor, it does help to ripen the cervix. A man’s semen contains prostaglandins.

These prostaglandins help efface and dilate the cervix. Another reason why this method is thought to work is oxytocin. This hormone causes contractions. When a woman has an orgasm, her body releases this hormone. The more orgasms she has, the more oxytocin her body releases. Those who have certain medical conditions such as sciatica or pubic symphysis should look to other methods.

Nipple Stimulation

This method has been in practice for centuries. Many midwives recommend this approach if labor has stopped or if the woman is post-term. Nipple stimulation releases the hormone known as oxytocin. This method may be done manually or with a breast pump. In order to begin, you must start by massaging one breast at a time.

Hold the areola with your thumb and index finger and rub the area using a circular motion. Try to mimic this the way a baby would if it were feeding from your breast. Once a contraction starts, you need to stop this process and allow for approximately fifteen minutes to pass before repeating. Stop the stimulation altogether if the contractions last longer than one minute or are three minutes apart.


Acupressure is not only a comfortable and enjoyable experience, but can lead to uterine contractions as well. There are two main pressure points that can promote contractions in pregnant women. They are located just above the inside of your ankle and between your thumb and index finger.

To stimulate the area above your ankle, firmly press the area until it hurts just a little and rub the site in a circular motion. This should be done until you have a contraction. Once the contraction is over, begin the process all over again. The area between your thumb and forefinger may be stimulated by pinching the site for thirty to sixty seconds. Allow for a one to two minute break in-between contractions.

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