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Natural ways to induce labour

October 26, 2010

I’m still here folks!

Well now I’m over my expected due date, it’s time to try some old wives’ tales of inducing labour naturally. Some of my friends swear by these methods but I’m a bit skeptical given that there isn’t any hard scientific evidence to prove that these techniques are proven to work and if they were due anyway, how are they sure it was because of the long walk that bought it on?

I’m willing to give some of these methods a shot given that I want to avoid an artificial induction. I’m off to see my obstetrician tomorrow and I know he is going to bring up the topic of induction – something I want to avoid for at least 10 days.

Induction can be life-saving with high-risk pregnancies but with uncomplicated pregnancies (like mine) I feel that it cause other problems which will lead to more interventions.

Artificial inductions bring upon more stronger and painful contractions and since you will need to be hooked up to an IV needle continuously it will restrict my movements to manage the pain effectively. Artificial inductions are also more likely to cause foetal distress so I hope I my baby isn’t overdue for that much longer – not good for her or me!

Anyway here are some ‘natural methods I have investigated…

Castor oil

Indigenous people all over the world apparently have used castor oil to induce labour for centuries. It is thought that it acts as a laxative to stimulate the digestive tract and uterus to start labour. Or possibly the pulsating effect of emptying the bowel will stimulate the production of prostaglandin, the hormone that thins the cervix.

You take 1/2 a teaspoon usually with orange juice every half an hour for three doses. However, it can cause nausea and diarrhoea which can you make you dehydrated.

My verdict – I don’t think I’m going to try this method as don’t like the sound of dehydration!

Raspberry tea leaf

Raspberry leaf tea is believed to prepare the uterine muscles for labour. It is recommended to take up to 4 cups a day when you are overdue.

My verdict – I’m already drinking this tea and it hasn’t done anything yet…


The explanation appears to be the pressure of the baby’s head pressing down on the cervix (as you walk) to stimulate the release of oxytocin to bring on labour. Being upright also allows gravity to encourage the baby to move lower.

My verdict – I’m definitely going to try this method but to not go overboard as I need to reserve the energy for labour

Eating curry

Thought to stir up the digestive processes in your body to stir your uterus into action.

My verdict – I’m already eat pretty spicy food so have increased the spiciness but don’t think this is working. Plus I don’t want to get any heartburn so not going to increase the spiciness even more.

Eating pineapple

Pineapple contains the enzyme bromelain which is though to soften the cervix and thus bring on labour.

My verdict – I’m already eating fresh pineapple (coincidentally!!) but apparently you need to eat up to seven to have any effect! Not possible for me!


Acupuncture according to Chinese philsophy can stimulate the energy within the body to act on a specific organ (i.e. uterus/cervix).

My verdict – There hasn’t been any negative effects reported so I might do some more research to find a well regarded and qualifed practioner.


Semen contains prostaglandin to ripen and soften the cervix.  Sex is also thought to stiumlate the uterus though orgasms and can trigger the release of oxytocin. Not recommended if your waters have broken due to risk of infection.

My verdict – Definitely worth trying even if positions will be awkward and uncomfortable.

Nipple stimulation

Nipple stimulation also releases oxytocin to start uterus surges. However prolonged stimulation is not advised as it can have adverse effect on your baby by creating hyperstimulation.

My verdict -Definitely going to try this one (most likely with sex).


A warm bath to provide relaxation. A relaxed attitude can work wonders to bring on a natural labour.

My verdict – Another one worth trying as it does no harm right?

Finally, people are telling me not to be too stressed and to be totally relaxed as tension can translate to preventing the flow of natural relaxants to start labour.

I’m trying to just take it easy for now and to take it one day at a time – so this is the one method I’ll definitely take on board…’relax and the baby will come!’.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. November 9, 2010 7:32 am

    That is one of the cutest and roundest bumps I’ve seen!

    Maria @

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