Are you ready to finally give birth but labor is just not approaching?
Keep reading and find out how I naturally induced my labor at home!
Just let me tell you, once your labor started, there is no way back! So please make sure to be prepared for your labor and delivery. In case you are having a hospital birth, have your bags packed and ready to just grab and go. If you are having a home birth, make sure your home is prepared and your midwife knows about the possible early delivery.
Even if you are not having a home birth, your doctor or midwife needs to know about your plans and they should approve them. Please, don’t start trying to induce your labor before you are full-term and your baby is ready to be born. I know you are excited to meet your baby, trust me, but think about how you would feel if your baby wasn’t ready yet and had to stay in the NICU.
So, once you are full-term, your doctor or midwife approved and you are ready for labor, you can start trying the following methods.
Please keep in mind, all those methods are just things you can try, there is no guarantee that they will actually work. Some women swear by it, other women tried them all and none of them worked. Even if you do all of these and your labor actually starts does not mean it wouldn’t have started in the first place anyway, even without doing these things.
Today I will share the 5 Labor Inducing Methods I tried to naturally induce my labor at home.
I know, I know… Who wants to do exercise in the last few weeks of pregnancy. Probably no one! But let me tell you, once you are as desperate as I was, you are willing to do whatever it takes!
So I bounced on my exercise/yoga ball for at least two hours a day. Every day, after dinner, my husband and I went out for a walk. I even went to the gym a couple of times for some lightweight lifting. Did it induce my labor? Maybe, but it for sure helped with my energy and strength during the actual labor and pushing part.
2. Pineapple & Dates
As far as I know, Pineapple, especially the core, contains the enzyme bromelain. The theory is that the bromelain makes its way to your cervix to soften it, which may stimulate labor.
The same goes for the dates. Eating around 60-80 grams a day may increase the ripening of your cervix.
So here I was. Eating a whole pineapple and a bag of dates a day. Let me warn you, not as easy and delicious as it sounds. I don’t know if it helped with my labor or cervix, but I for sure had a comparable short first labor and only pushed for 30 minutes. For your information: Baby girl came out with 10 lbs 7 oz. (Maybe because of all the dates I ate? Who knows…)
3. Red Rasberry Leaf Tea
The tea is not directly known for inducing labor, but for making the delivery part easier. Many women claim that this tea also helps to shorten labor. The fragrance compound in it is known to help tone and tighten muscles in the pelvic area, including the walls of your uterus.
Around 37 weeks of my pregnancy, I started drinking tea every day. So obviously, it didn’t induce my labor right away, but I do believe it helped my uterus to prepare for delivery.
My first contraction started at 11 am and the baby girl was born at 10:45 pm the same day. Keep in mind, I am a first-time mom, so it probably really helped with shorter labor.
My midwife recommended this one to me. Honestly, probably my least favorite method. Having sex this pregnant was definitely not fun for me. To be accurate, I hated it!
But, here’s the deal: Sexual intercourse is known to help induce labor for different reasons. First of all, sex triggers the release of oxytocin, a hormone that helps your uterus to contract. Second, semen can help to soften your cervix, so it can open easier once your labor starts.
Doesn’t sound too bad anymore, am I right?
We did (try to) have sex a few times during the last two weeks of my pregnancy. Yep.. that desperate. It did cause contractions every time, but sadly they stopped after a few hours.
5. Midwives Brew / Castor Oil
This one is super controversial and I have to tell you again
- Don’t try this until you are at least 39 weeks, better even over your due date.
- Talk to your doctor or midwife before you try this.
I did inform my midwife and she gave me a green light but was not convinced about the effect at all.
So here’s the deal with Castor oil:
Castor Oil is a laxative that can not only cause you to have some bad diarrhea but there can also be some nausea and vomiting happening as well. The oil causes some distress around your tummy area which will probably cause your uterus to contract.
Sounds good? Well, the only problem here: Because of all the pooping that will be happening, you are probably gonna get dehydrated. Did you know that dehydration is known to be the number one cause of painful, false contractions?
That’s one of the reasons a lot of women don’t want to use castor oil by itself to induce their labor. Another reason is probably the chapstick taste.
You probably heard about the midwives brew before, right? The main ingredient here is actually castor oil. The other ingredients like almond butter, lemon verbena tea, and apricot nectar apparently compensate for the negative effect of castor oil.
If you want to know more about the midwife’s brew and an accurate recipe, there are a ton of articles and blog posts about it out there. You should do some research on that topic and decide for yourself if it would be a possible labor-inducing method that you want to try. (Of course, after talking to your provider)
Did I try it? Yes! Did It work? Kind of.
I did try the midwife’s brew one week before I went into labor. So I was around 39 weeks pregnant already. The mixture did cause some very painful contractions that mainly happened in my lower back. We drove to the hospital at 10 pm, around three hours after they started, only to find out those were false contractions and I was not dilated or effaced at all. They sent me home with some painkillers and I was awake all night until they finally stopped around 7 am.
After that experience, I swore I would never try the brew again. Well… a week later, so Thursday the 29th of August, I decided to give the castor oil itself a try. Again, I was very desperate and miserable and really wanted to go into labor. Do I recommend it? Probably not. Did it work? It for sure did!
So around 8 pm, I took about two tablespoons of castor oil and drank a ton of orange juice and water afterward. Around 11 pm, some noticeable contractions started and they got stronger every hour until they suddenly stopped around 8 am the next morning.
I was so frustrated that it all happened exactly like the last time I tried it. So after I shed a few tears, I decided to get some sleep and laid down at around 10:45 am. All of a sudden, at 11 am, my first REAL contraction started. We immediately drove to the hospital and the baby girl was born the same day at 10:45 pm.
So, that was pretty much it. I tried all of these methods and it at least made me feel I could do something instead of just sitting around and waiting for the unknown.
Like I already mentioned a couple of times, I don’t know for sure if any of the mentioned methods actually worked. The castor oil definitely caused some contractions right after I took it, but as I said, they stopped and my real contractions started two hours later. Maybe they would have started anyway. Maybe the castor oil was the reason for it. I guess I will never know.
If you decided to try any of these methods and experience some labor signs but don’t know if it’s the real deal: Make sure to check out my blog about „10 Signs You Are About To Go Into Labor“
I wish all of you the best and I hope you will meet your healthy, beautiful baby very soon! Just let me warn you, once your baby is born, time is gonna fly and you wish you could go back to being pregnant and relive the experience all over again.