A healthy pregnancy typically lasts 38-42 weeks. After this time, the baby is at risk of complications and may be induced in hospital. However, the course of this procedure can be very uncomfortable and many women opt for home induction of labour. If this is your case, try our tips on how to induce labour naturally.
Induction or inducing labour in hospital
Before listing how to induce labour at home, it is also appropriate to specify the procedure for inducing labour in hospital. In practice, you may encounter three types of solutions: the use of a drug, hormone tablets or the application of a Hamiltonian hold.
The Hamiltonian hold is performed when the pathways are ready for delivery. In this situation, the obstetrician inserts a finger into the vagina and in a circular motion loosens the lower part of the amniotic sacs and releases prostaglandins – hormones that relax the uterus. This method of inducing labour is often accompanied by pinching, burning or even pain and many women therefore try to avoid it.
Outside of transfer, these methods of inducing labor are applied when a fetus is suspected to be damaged or when amniotic fluid is drained at the end of pregnancy.
13 tips to induce labor
To begin, it is important to point out that none of the ways to induce labor at home are 100% effective and won’t work until your body and fetus are ready for the whole act of labor. So be patient and don’t throw in the towel right away. You can also try combining tips to increase your chances of success.
Flaxseed helps soften stools and thus the bowels, which can then more easily clear the birth canal,which can help your baby into the world. Grind the flaxseed in a blender. It is recommended for use from the 34th week of pregnancy onwards.
#2 Raspberry Tea
The other option is to sip tea from a raspberry. This way to induce labor is recommended from the 35th week of pregnancy. However, you can’t go wrong even if you take it from the first week. This will help your organs prepare for childbirth. Preparing raspberry tea is simple:
- Prepare a quart of water.
- Prepare a tablespoon of raspberries.
- Let it infuse for 15 minutes.
You can consume raspberry tea up to three times a day to induce labor.
#3 Bean Oil
A common solution when trying to induce labor at home is to consume evening primrose oil. Evening primrose oil helps soften the cervix and is recommended from the 36th week of pregnancy onwards. You should take one teaspoon in the morning and one in the evening, and you can also choose the tablet form, which can be purchased in a regular drugstore.
#4 Hot Bath
A hot bath can also have a positive effect on inducing labour, as it has the property of starting or calming contractions. The water should be no more than 40°C and you can supplement the bath itself with a shower to massage the abdomen. Warming the abdomen has a similar effect.
#5 Nipple stimulation
You can combine nipple stimulation with hot water. That is, 2-3 minutes of rubbing or massaging at an hourly frequency. So you should take some time off between each “round”. Nipple stimulation releases the hormone oxytocin in the body and can thus help induce labour considerably. It is recommended to practice from the 39th week of pregnancy onwards.
#6 Dietary modification
Specific foods can also help induce labour, including pineapple or pineapple juice, which accelerates cervical ripening. Then natural licorice without unnecessary sugar, which you can also get in tablet form. Liquorice has proliferative effects and causes cramps which again can induce labour.
Another tip to induce labor is eating garlic. This also stimulates bowel activity and can help move the baby closer to the cervix.
#7 Squats and other exercises to induce labour
Probably the oldest answer to the question of how to induce labor is physical exertion. It doesn’t matter so much whether you choose to mop the floor on all fours, dance, swing on a balloon, squat or walk up stairs. You might as well go for a walk, for example; the important thing is movement.
The only thing you should avoid is washing windows or carrying heavy things. So don’t choose something unnecessarily heavy. The short walk or stair climbing mentioned above will suffice.
#8 Spicy food
Another way to irritate the bowels and speed up labor is by eating spicy food. So you can add a little chilli to your dinner or perhaps order food from an Indian restaurant.
#9 Red wine and mulled wine
Outside of food, then, drinks can also be included among the tips to induce labor. Specifically, red wine and mulled wine. You can also add cinnamon to your brew for added effectiveness.
#10 Spiced vervain drink
Spicy vervain drink can be consumed throughout the day. Make it by boiling 10-12 cloves, adding two cinnamon sticks, a teaspoon of black ginger and a tablespoon of vervain. Let the mixture boil for a while and then simmer for half an hour.
#11 Castor oil
A means of inducing labor at home may be castor oil mixed with a shot of slivovitz, vodka or other alcohol. You pour it into a deciliter of castor oil and top it up with, for example, apricot juice to taste.
#12 Sexual intercourse
As one of the most common tips to induce labor, you’re likely to hear intercourse. That’s because semen contains prostaglandin, which is also used in hospitals to induce labor. Sex can thus be considered as preparation for childbirth. Besides semen, orgasm has a positive effect on inducing labour.
The last tip for inducing labor is massage. This can be a massage of basically anything. The important thing is to relax and unwind. Maybe a little calm into the stress will do you some good and then the baby will sign itself up for a way out. An extra dose of comfort and relaxation definitely doesn’t hurt during this busy time, does it?