Many women would like to know how to bring on labor on their own at home. There are some things you can try, but the important thing is to be careful not to do anything that will jeopardize you or your baby. Discuss whatever method you are considering with your doctor or midwife before you try it. Remember that if your body and baby aren’t ready, nothing you do will get labor going. Be cautious with any method, particularly nipple stimulation and herbs. If the uterus becomes hyperstimulated, it won’t rest between contractions and the baby can become stressed, getting less oxygen and a slower heartbeat.
How to Make Yourself Go into Labor
It’s best to let nature take its course and allow the baby to come when it’s ready. However, we will take a look as some ways to make yourself go into labor.
1. Get Busy
Years ago doctors advised women not to have sexual intercourse in the later stages of pregnancy because oxytocin, the labor hormone, is released during a woman’s orgasm. But if you want the labor to come right away and it’s the right time, why not try it and have fun! Another factor in using sex to stimulate labor is that the semen contains prostaglandins, which are thought to aid the cervix to “ripen.”
2. Stripping of Membranes
This procedure done by your healthcare provider gently separates the bag of water from the uterus. Hormones are released at this time that may soften the cervix, preparing the uterus to contract. This can be done a little at a time, or all at once.
3. Dance Your Way Into Labor
This is one fun way to make yourself go into labor. The principle is active exercising, but you’ll have more fun than walking on a treadmill. You probably won’t be up to doing the Limbo, though.
4. Acupressure or Reflexology
There are a number of pressure points on the body that, rightly massaged, can induce labor. Acupressure is helpful, easy to learn, harmless, and has no side effects. Just one word of warning: do not use acupressure until after week 36 of pregnancy, as it can be very harmful to both mother and fetus. Below is an example and instructions to follow:
Acupressure Points to Induce Labor/ Natural Labor Induction: Leg and Foot points
5. Stimulate Your Nipples
How to make yourself go into labor easily? Just give your nipples some stimulation! This is another trick that can be used to make yourself go into labor. It works on the same principle as sex, as oxytocin is released which can start contractions.
6. Try Herbal Remedies
Some herbs that have been suggested to bring on labor include evening primrose oil, blue cohosh, and raspberry tea. Evening primrose oil can be taken in capsule form, or rubbed directly onto your cervix. Blue cohosh is also available in capsule form. Both can have undesired side effects, however, so be cautious. Raspberry tea appears safe but ineffective. American Indians historically used squaw root to induce labor. It can be taken as a tea, but it tastes terrible.
7. Eat Spicy Foods
Here’s a delicious way to make yourself go into labor: eat spicy foods. Spicy foods trigger the release of prostaglandins during digestion. These hormones may kickstart your uterus into contractions.
8. Get Out the Castor Oil
And you thought that castor oil was a punishment of the past! But it’s been used for decades to induce labor. Don’t overdo it, however, because castor oil is a laxative. It only works in about half of women who are full-term.
9. Go Joy-riding
How to make yourself go into labor? Sit in the car and take a ride! Many husbands have taken their pregnancy-weary wives for a ride in an old pickup truck on the most rutted road they can find. This is another old wives’ tale that pretty much doesn’t work. But you can have a nice outing anyway, if the bumpy road follows a scenic route.
10. Stay Active
Just because you’re pregnant doesn’t mean you need to lay around all day, unless you’re having serious issues, and your doctor has ordered bed rest. Otherwise, if everything is well with you and your baby, keep on with your usual activities: housework, exercises (which may be modified during pregnancy), moderate hiking, or other activities as approved by your doctor.
The use of an exercise ball can be effective in encouraging your baby to turn into the proper position for delivery and to move it down into the birth canal. Just sit on the exercise ball and bounce up and down gently. As with everything else, do this moderately.
11. Soak Them Out
Who doesn’t enjoy a nice long soak in a warm bath now and then, pregnant or not? It’s wonderful to just sink into a tubful of warm water with bubbles or a few drops of lavender oil. It’s the relaxation in this case, not the warm water that will encourage labor. Be sure to keep the water just warm, not hot. If the water is too hot, the baby will get too hot and be stressed.
“It’s not nice to fool Mother Nature! Your body will know when just the right time has come for your baby to come into the world. I gave birth early three times, at 29 and 33 weeks, and delivered perfectly healthy babies. My last baby delivered at 37 weeks and had so many problems. You can’t compare one pregnancy, birth, or baby to another, as each one is unique.”
“When I was pregnant with my first daughter, my mom talked me into drinking castor oil, so I did. The contractions began and I went to the hospital, but it was a false alarm. I tried bouncing on the exercise ball, had sex with my husband, but nothing worked. So I drank the castor oil again, and this time it worked. My labor lasted 12 hours, and I had severe diarrhea. The castor oil will only work when the baby is ready. I’m pregnant again, but this time I will trust my body.”