5 Natural Ways to Induce Labor
Safe and Natural Ways to Induce Labor at Home
Before we starting talking about ways to induce labor, I want to remind you that once you’re in labor, you’re IN LABOR. I know you’re at the end of your pregnancy, you’re ready to meet your baby, and you’re SO READY to be done being pregnant, but once it’s go time, it’s go time! I was so focused on getting my baby out that I didn’t actually do any research on what labor and delivery was going to be like. I figured I’d know when I was in labor, I’d go to the hospital, and I’d push a baby out. Boy, was I wrong. I didn’t actually know that I was in labor (my water didn’t break dramatically like you always think it will and I didn’t have crazy contractions until I was almost 6 cm). I didn’t know what to expect when I got to the hospital, what my options were for pain management, or what the actual act of pushing was going to be like.
If you’re at the end of your pregnancy, I highly recommend you check out Birth it Up, an online labor and delivery course! The course covers topics like how your body preps for labor, contractions, labor positions, pushing tips, and more. I took it before I had my second baby and it relieved my anxiety and made me feel so much more comfortable on the big day.
Now, on to the fun stuff!
When I was pregnant, I had this irrational fear of going into labor early. I was terrified at that thought of having a premature little one who had to stay behind in the hospital long after I went home. Luckily, my fears never came to fruition. In fact, I ended up going into labor at 41 weeks. Let me tell you, those last 5 weeks were the longest weeks of my life. I was in a ton of pain, couldn’t walk, couldn’t sleep, and was so anxious to meet my baby. I wanted to do everything I could to avoid being induced, but by the time my due date rolled around, I was willing to try any natural ways to induce labor that the internet had to offer. Here’s what I did.
Labor Inducing Cookies
I was scrolling Pinterest for natural ways to induce labor when I found a recipe for labor inducing cookies. I remember reading the comments with new moms raving about how good the cookies were and how they went into labor hours later. I waddled into my kitchen, baked up the cookies, and ate more of them than I’d like to admit. Guess what happened! Nothing… other than a stomach ache from sugar overload. Even though these cookies didn’t help me meet my baby, they are delicious and I’ve made them twice since. You might have better luck than I did. You can read lots of success stories right below the recipe!
Red Raspberry Leaf Tea
I had a friend that was due a week before me she posted a picture on Instagram about her drinking this red raspberry leaf tea as a natural way to induce labor. I high tailed it to the grocery store and searched the tea isle for this magical potion. To be honest, I never actually found “red raspberry leaf tea” but I found a raspberry tea and hoped for the best. Again, nothing. Since having Weston, I’ve found this third trimester tea on Amazon. After reading the reviews, I’m thinking I should have ordered a ton of this stuff.
This one still makes me laugh. Per my doctor’s advice on natural ways to induce labor,, I pulled out my giant yoga ball (one of these guys) and bounced on it in my living room for what felt like hours (it was more like one episode of House Hunters with a few breaks during commercials). Once I became bored with that, I had my husband tie up my tennis shoes and I went to the gym. I walked into that place looking like I had a beach ball shoved up my shirt and made a bee line for the treadmill. I will never forget the looks I got. Other women looked at me with empathy. Employees looked at me with the fear that they might have to deliver a baby. Men looked at me like I was just plain crazy. And I was. I was driving myself crazy. I waddled two miles and went home to wait. For nothing.
I don’t want to share too much, but again, this was my doctor’s recommendation. All I can say about this labor inducing strategy is don’t. Just don’t.
I read that pineapple contains some enzyme that thins out your cervix so I ate a ton of fresh pineapple. I think I ate three in one week. My mouth hurt from eating so much pineapple. Apparently the enzymes that thin out your cervix also have an effect on the inside of your mouth. I wish I could tell you this was the magical remedy that naturally induced labor, but it wasn’t. Nothing happened.
Finally, I gave up and gave in to the fact that my baby would come when he wanted to. We had an appointment on my due date and measured the baby and my fluid levels. Baby boy was getting big and my doctor decided that she didn’t want me to go any further than 41 weeks. I was scheduled to be induced at 7:30am on November 22. I went into labor naturally and checked into the hospital at noon on November 21. Weston was born 9 minutes after his scheduled induction weighing in 9 pounds, 12 ounces and measuring 22 inches long. While at times I thought the wait was going to kill me, he was worth every minute.
Update: During my 39th week of pregnancy with my second baby, I had a membrane sweep performed by my doctor. I can’t say for certain that it sent me into labor, but I started having contractions about 24 hours later and was holding by baby within 48 hours!
If you’re at the end of your pregnancy and going just a little crazy, I feel you girl. I could tell you that “the baby will come when it’s ready” or “your body knows what it’s doing, just be patient.” But, those were the last things I wanted to hear as my due date came and went. My only true words of wisdom are to try your best to avoid the allure of induction. Labor is quicker and less painful if your body does things on its own and going into labor naturally decreases your chances of having a c-section. Stay strong momma, you got this!
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- 10 Ways to Prepare for Labor and Delivery
- Labor and Delivery – 20+ Women Share what they Wish they would have Known
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