10 Ways to Induce Labor at Home

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Your due date is here, is your baby still in your womb? Or maybe you're feeling uncomfortable or excited and ready to have a baby in the outside world.

Whatever the reason, you may feel like you're ready to take things into your own hands and make things happen. If this is you, here are 10 ways to induce labor at home:

1. Raspberry Tea:

This tea may be recommended to you in the weeks leading up to labor to induce labor and to condition the uterus. However, no studies have been conducted to determine the safety of this tea. Make sure you seek advice from your doctor first.

2. Exercise:

Exercise, especially walking, is a great way to induce labor naturally. Swinging your arms and gravity can help your baby get into your pelvis when he's ready.

3. Castor Oil:

This is an old woman's story that you should discuss first with your midwife, doula or doctor. But drinking 1-2 ounces of castor oil is said to stimulate the release of prostaglandins, which help to ripen the cervix and induce labor.

4. Gender:

Research on the subject has been mixed, but what we do know is that semen contains fats called prostaglandins that soften the cervix. In addition, a woman's orgasm causes the body to contract the uterus. So it might be worth a try.

5. Nipple stimulation:

Breast stimulation is a great way to get your body to release the oxytocin hormone. Oxytocin is the hormone responsible for the penetration of your milk. Unfortunately, this hormone can also give you cramps when breastfeeding your newborn.

6. Evening Primrose Oil:

This herb is said to help prepare for labor because it thins the cervix and helps it dilate. Be sure to consult your midwife, doula or doctor before use. Also note that women with placenta previa should not use this option.

7. Spicy food:

Spicy foods, such as castor oil, are thought to induce labor by causing the uterus to contract. Most doctors do not recommend this option, arguing that it will only cause stomach irritation.

8. Acupuncture and Shiatsu:

If you decide to use acupressure yourself, make sure you get proper training from a professional first. This is a great way to relieve labor pain even if your labor doesn't start.

In TCM, acupuncture should only be performed by licensed professionals. It is thought to stimulate hormonal changes in the body and nervous system, and promote cervical ripening.

9. Massage:

Massage can increase the body's oxytocin levels, which can induce labor. Some believe that focusing on specific pressure points during massage stimulates labor. If you plan to have a massage, consult your doctor first.

10. Meal dates:

Research suggests that eating dates in the last few weeks of pregnancy may increase cervical ripening and dilation during labor. Dates can reduce the need for oxytocin, a natural hormone that causes uterine contractions, during labor.

When you reach term and feel uncomfortable, it's no wonder you want to start labor. However, there are some good reasons to wait until your body is naturally ready. The longer your baby is in the womb, the better the chance your body will recover faster after birth. It also means your baby has more time to build muscle and strength, and better nutrition after birth.

If possible, allow your body to rest and enjoy downtime. Once your joy is born, there isn't much time for anything else.