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Updated June 2018
These are all well-known ways to encourage contractions to start and induce labor naturally. You shouldn’t try to induce labor until your baby is full-term. These techniques won’t work unless your body is ready. The information I offer here is for informational purposes only and should not take the place of medical advice from your doctor or midwife.
eat spicy food to get contractions started
Why it works: anything that gets your digestive system humming can also stimulate the uterus since they’re right next to each other. The spicier the better–mexican, thai, chinese. There’s even a famous Eggplant Parmigiana available at Scalini’s Italian Restaurant in Georgia that is “guaranteed” to bring forth a baby within 48 hours or mom-to-be will get a gift certificate for another meal. Over 300 moms have had babies after eating the parmigiana. They’ve even made their recipe available for you to make at home. I’ve made it a couple times and it is super yummy, yet quite time consuming to make.
walk to encourage labor contractions to start
Why walking works: Braxton hicks contractions usually start when you’re walking. The more you have, the more prepared your cervix will be when labor starts. Walk often. Walk fast. If it’s too hot or cold to walk outside, and you don’t have a gym membership, go to the mall or other indoor building where you can walk safely and comfortably.
make love to help labor start
Why sex works: The prostaglandins in semen help to soften the cervix, the vital first step in the cervix getting ready for labor, before the cervix even starts dilating. Oxytocin, one of the hormones that is involved in labor, is released during a woman’s orgasm. Oxytocin is known as the love hormone. (As a side note, pitocin is the synthetic for of oxytocin used in hospital inductions.)
stimulate nipples to start contractions
Why it works: the same reason as above; oxytocin is released. You can either use a breast pump or have your partner do the nipple stimulation. This can be tedious; it must be done for hours to induce labor. However, doing it for just a few minutes can be beneficial if combined with other techniques. Alternately, you can get in a deep tub of water and let the water stimulate your nipples.
find the acupressure points for labor
If you can’t get to a professional massage therapist, you can find the points at home. You’ll know you have the point right when you find a tender spot that hurts. Apply pressure for about a minute at a time. Apply as much pressure as is comfortable. It might sting a little.
- The first one is about 3-4 fingers above the inside of your ankle bone.
- The next point is on the webbing of your hand in between your thumb and index finger.
- Another acupressure point is on the roof of your mouth. You can either suck on your thumb or a lollipop.
get an induction massage to encourage contractions
Go to your favorite massage therapist or find one who specializes in pregnancy and induction massage. It will feel good. Your therapist will help you to relax as well as stimulate the uterine points. It’s best to think about going into labor during the massage. If your body is ready for labor, an induction massage might just work for you.