It is only in our modern age that medicines have been used to help induce labor after 40 weeks of pregnancy. Historically, women have sought after natural ways to work with their bodies to ensure a safe and healthy birth and delivery. Working with midwives who are passing down this wisdom from our elders, we have learned many different ways to help the body have a natural birth when the time is right. Here are my top 11 suggestions to try if you find yourself needing to start labor as soon as possible in your 9th month of pregnancy or later (not in any particular order).
Sexual Intercourse/Orgasms: Having sex with your partner and even having an orgasm can promote contractions and help to ripen the cervix.
Breast Stimulation: Stimulating the nipples is a great way to stimulate the uterus and get the body going into labor.
Castor Oil: Drinking 4 tablespoons of Castor Oil in a smoothie on an empty stomach at 40 or 41 weeks can act like a laxative as well as a stimulator for labor to induce.
Dates: Dates are an excellent food to help soften the cervix and decrease the time of the first stage of labor. It is recommended to eat 6 dates a day for a month before the actual due date. If you don't start until later in the pregnancy, it can be used to start or speed up labor.
Pineapple: The core of a pineapple contains an enzyme called bromelain that breaks down proteins as well as the tissue of the cervix to soften and stimulate labor.
Evening Primrose Oil: There are essential fatty acids that can help to soften and prepare the cervix for labor. At 37-38 weeks, take 500mg orally two times a day and/or insert one gelcap filled with the oil deep into the vagina while you sleep at night.
Enemas: An enema is sometimes recommended before giving birth to help clear the colon, but it can also be used to stimulate labor to begin at 40 weeks.
Walking: It is advised to walk 5 miles a day in order to get the body to go into labor. Walking throughout the pregnancy will help with endurance when it is needed as well.
Acupuncture/Acupressure: Some women have had a lot of success with getting labor started by using acupuncture. There are points that can be stimulated to help induce labor by applying pressure as well.
Herbs, Tinctures, & Supplements: Talk to a professional for the right plan before trying to use these natural remedies, as nature is powerful and can support women in activating labor when used properly.
Bath Time: Warm water can relax the muscles, and for some mothers, be a great way to start labor.