OMG…somebody get this baby out now!!!
Do you feel this way?? I’m pretty sure most women close or past their due date feel this too! I know I did!
When I was pregnant with my first, a few days before I hit my due date, I started trying some natural ways to get labor started. I can’t say for sure that they worked, but I did go into labor on my due date!
Should you try to induce labor naturally?
The first thing to keep in mind if you are trying to induce labor, is that you should be close to your due date when you try these tips. I know you’re probably super uncomfortable and you may want to get the process going early. However, if your baby is not considered full term, they won’t be ready to come out at that point.
The best place for your baby, (unless there are complications) is in your belly. There’s still maturing that is happening with your baby in those last weeks. Their lungs are still maturing, they are gaining weight, (I love me some baby rolls!) and preparing to live outside the womb.
In general, waiting until your body goes into labor on it’s own, is generally more favorable.
Some of the positive outcomes of waiting are:
You’re less likely to need medical interventions
Your labor and delivery is likely to be quicker
Your baby is less likely to have jaundice
Your baby is more likely to be healthy overall
Related: How To Have A Natural Birth
However, I completely get wanting to get the process going! I made sure to talk with my midwife about safe ways to try to induce labor naturally at home. She gave me the go ahead to start trying when I was around 39 ½ weeks and suggested some methods I could try.
Before you try to induce labor naturally, you will want to make sure your healthcare provider gives you the go ahead. Once you do, these are some tips you can try!
Related: 10 Early Signs Of Labor
Tips to induce labor naturally
Acupressure or acupuncture- Stimulation of certain areas through massage or needles can stimulate the body’s natural oxytocin production which can get contractions going.
Herbs- Evening primrose oil and red raspberry tea are beneficial for encouraging your body to go into labor.
I actually used raspberry leaf tea a few days before my due date to try to get labor going. I definitely felt Braxton Hicks right after I drank the tea but nothing else happened. I thought it was a failed attempt, but I did end up going into labor on my due date so it’s possible this helped!
Positive thinking/imagery- Sometimes you can be holding yourself back from going into labor because you have some mental blocks. For example, if you’re fearful, (perhaps you’re nervous about the pain during childbirth or maybe you’ve had a traumatic birth experience before and you’re scared it will happen again) that fear can be a mental block. If you have people around you that aren’t supportive of you or your labor and delivery choices, that can affect your body progressing.
When I was in labor with my son, I went into active labor so fast that the only person there was my midwife! I was told I was 8 centimeters with a bulging water bag so I was too scared to even move. I thought if I did, my water would break and my baby would be born with no one there.
I began texting people like crazy to make sure the people who were going to watch my daughter got there in time and that my doula made it.
Thankfully they got there, but I’m pretty sure I held myself back from allowing my labor to progress even more quickly than it did.
I didn’t move from the position I was in and I was very stressed that the people who were supposed to be there wouldn’t make it.
Stress hormones can hold you back from going into labor just like they can prevent you from progressing in labor.
Having relaxation techniques like positive imagery and positive thinking, will help you ease your mind and relax your body so you can go into labor.
Walking- This is the most effective way to get you into labor if you’re already having some contractions! Walking uses gravity to help your baby come down the birth canal. The contractions also help push your baby downwards so you’ve got two elements working together to help your baby come out faster!
Castor oil- This definitely wouldn’t be my first choice because an upset stomach when you’re super pregnant sounds awful, lol! But it is an option that some healthcare providers swear by. The thought behind this is irritating the stomach can sometimes irritate the uterus, which can cause it to start contracting.
Nipple stimulation/sex- These actions encourage the body to produce oxytocin, which can help trigger contractions. Also semen acts as a natural prostaglandin which helps to ripen the cervix.
I think there are two sides on this. Women who want nothing to do with this because they are just not feeling it, and women who want it ALL THE TIME!
If you want it all the time, get it girl!! It may help bring labor on!
If not, no worries! Don’t force this, try some of the other tips on this list!
Eating Dates- There have been studies that have shown that if you eat dates within the last month of your pregnancy, you are more likely to go into spontaneous labor and your labor will be shorter! (Source)
When you are ready to meet your baby and get labor started, make sure you double check with your healthcare provider that it’s safe for you to do so. If they tell you it’s ok, then try these tips to get labor started!
If you have questions on whether or not you’re ready to start trying to induce labor or what specific methods are safe for you to try, check with your healthcare provider 🙂