Remedies for Inducing Labor

Updated on September 12, 2011
E.M. asks from Mesa, AZ
18 answers

My cousin was due yesterday and is showing no signs of labor anytime soon. However my Aunt is coming in from out of town Friday and I am wondering if anyone has any suggestions on inducing labor that actually worked and wasn't a complete nightmare. The doctor will induce but not until after a week of being overdue! I am no help because I had two c-sections, I never went into labor. But I feel so bad for her. Any help would be wonderful. This is her first baby.

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answers from Provo on

The baby will come when the baby is ready. Don't try to induce just because family is coming. The baby needs time to fully finish developing. This is the time that the lungs get fully developed. And as another mom said that the due date is just an estimate. Not a fixed point in time. It's ok to go a week off the EDD.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Nipple stimulation worked 3x for me...but she's got to do it right. Hold nipples like you are going to pinch them, then roll them gently back and forth between pointer finger and thumb for 2 min, then rest 3 min. Then stimulate 2 min, then rest 3 min. Do this 2 more times (takes 20 min all togther). Contractions should start, she can try again if they don't or do it again if contractions slow down or don't continue to increase in intensity. It won't work if her body isn't ready, but if she's ready to go it can jump start it.
Good Luck.

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answers from Spokane on

Babies come when they are ready, not when grandma is ready. I really think the safest thing is to either delay or extend your aunt's trip, or tell her to get ready to be disappointed.
The health of the baby is more important than the cost of a trip or anyone's feelings. My daughter was four days "late" and luckily she was born just before my 42 week doctor's appt; because my doctor was not going to be very happy when I refused his suggestion to induce!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

I know it's hard to wait. However, the due date is really an estimation and most first time moms will go past their due date by at least a few days. 38-42 weeks is a normal full term gestation. My suggestions for her (I've had 4 babies and I'm a doula and birth educator) is to be patient. Tell her to use these last few days or week to do other things she'd like to get done, prepare food to be frozen for those busy postpartum weeks, work out any emotional fears she's having, and to REST. Her body and baby will go into labor when it's time. Labor isn't something to be rushed. If she is a healthy low-risk mamma and her baby is healthy, there is a 98% chance of her going into labor without needing inductions. Don't worry about the 2% chance of inducing. If it comes to that, then that's what needs to be done. However, I do STRONGLY encourage her to NOT get induced in the hospital unless absolutely necessary, and going into her 41st week isn't absolutely necessary. Some natural ways, sex (if her water hasnt' broken...and when it does she'll either be in labor or going into labor soon:) Walking, nipple stimulation (there is a strong connection between our nipples and our uterus, that's why breast feeding is so great postpartum to help uterus go back down to prebaby shape). Accupunture or accupressure. Just google it and you will get info on accupressure points for augmenting labor. It's all in the feet. If she tries this now, it may or may not work because she is only one day over her ESTIMATED due date. Honestly, the best thing she can do for herself is to be patient and enjoy (I know it's hard because we can get tired of being pregnant!) but really, get the most out of this strong amazing connection between her and her baby. ALLOW her body and baby to do the work it needs to do. The best thing you can do for her is to not feel sad or bad for her. Encourage her, rub her feet, help her cook some postpartum meals, help her organize those last few baby items. Tell her how strong she is and she can do this. It seems that you love her very much and are concerned about her well being. I understand. But she needs support not saving.
All the best to your cousin on her labor, birth, and parenting journey.

A. Vostrejs
Birthing From Within Mentor and Doula

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Spokane on

Baby will come when it's ready. Sorry. And about 50% of first babies are 'late'.

She could try a warm bath, sex, spicy food, raspberry leaf tea, long walks, dancing, accupressure (webbing between thumb and finger), or castor oil....but there's no guarantee any of that will work.

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answers from Dayton on

Castor oil worked for me 2x!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

tweak the nipples, have sex......

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

The baby will come when it is ready! :)



answers from Utica on

I went 5 days overdue and was SOOOOO ready to have my baby. My doctor had said that she would induce if I didnt have her by a certain date and when I went for an appt with her after my due date she striped my membranes. I was in labour naturally in less than 24 hrs after that. Apparently sex does the same thing so if she can manage that and the baby is actually ready I'd say she has a good chance of going into labour. But if her body isnt ready I say there isnt much you can do without inducing at this point
Good Luck



answers from Phoenix on

The Right time will come for your cousin and her baby. Sometimes the baby just wants to stay where it is nice and warm. Sometimes the dr's do not know the right day that God has planned for the baby to be born.

With one of my children I was taken up and down stairs to help my labor get a jump start.

Should she need to be induced, she and the baby should be ok with the inducing of the labor. I had two of my children that had to be induced.


answers from Los Angeles on

I've heard of nipple stimulation, walking, and sex. I heard something about eggplant awhile back. To the person that mentioned accupressure, pls take no offense. But the accupressure you are mentioning is for detoxing body and I've read to not do this when preggers. I am not an expert, but have read this a couple of times in several books.


answers from Boca Raton on

My doctor broke my mucus plug and told me to go home and have sex.. He said the semem (sorry if it's TMI) would help... I went into labor that night!



answers from Santa Fe on

Labor will start naturally when her body and her baby are ready. The "due date" is an artificial construction and has little to no basis in reality. Only about 5% of babies are actually born on their due dates, and most first-time moms go into labor at 41 weeks 1 day (8 days past their *guess* date). While it can be frustrating not having the baby yet, the fact that she hasn't gone into labor likely means that the baby will benefit from the perfect in-utero environment longer; forcing a baby to be born before s/he's ready (in the absence of any medical necessity) is really making the baby premature. Sure, the baby is considered term and will likely be fine even with an elective induction, but nature's way is the best way.

As far as "natural" ways to induce labor -- if her body is ready, they'll work, and if not, they won't. She can try every trick in the book [look up "Labor Inducing Eggplant Parmesan"], but if her body isn't ready, it won't work. However, I've read many stories from women who did force their body into labor "naturally" and ended up with much longer, drawn-out labors than is typical, so that's another thing your cousin needs to consider -- if she tries to force it, she may not be speeding anything up, but just compounding her pain and the length of her labor.

A better suggestion is for her to find other things to do to try to take her mind of things or to make the time pass more quickly -- go to a museum or zoo, get her hair or nails done, go to a fancy restaurant, etc. -- things that she won't be able to do (or won't want to do) for some time as she recovers and tends to a newborn.


answers from New York on

Hi! A good friend of mine who happens to be an ND, LAc recently had twins (first pregnancy at age 40). She owns /practices at Revive Wellness Center, 867 Whalley Ave, New Haven, Connecticut ###-###-#### and they print a monthly newsletter. I am probably violating copyright laws here, but I am going to share the article she recently wrote in the 9/1/11 newsletter. I couldn't put a link because it was in email format.

A personal experience with using Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine for Pregnancy, Induction of Labor, and birth
by Artemis Morris, ND, L.Ac.
As a licensed Acupuncturist myself, I knew the power of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine to help with fertility, pregnancy issues, induction of labor, turning the baby with breech birth, easing labor pains, treating postpartum depression and more from a practitioner's standpoint, however, my personal experience reaffirmed my faith in the medicine.

I was 38 weeks into my pregnancy, which means that I was one week "overdue" because I was carrying twins (37 weeks is considered full term for twins). In addition, my ultrasound showed that the babies needed to come out soon. My midwife and ultrasound doctor agreed that if I did not go into labor on my own by Friday, they would admit me to the hospital and I would be induced into labor. Since my pregnancy was going so well up until that point due to eating right, getting Acupuncture, taking a good quality prenatal vitamin, purified fish oils, probiotics, and exercising, I was weary of getting induced and what that would entail for my birth plan. You see, like many women, my birth plan included natural childbirth and I was using hypnobabies daily to create natural anesthesia during the birthing time ( "induced", in my mind, with drugs or other means meant that it could effect my ability to have a natural childbirth.
So I did the only thing I knew to do to help get labor going as naturally and safely as possible, I went to see my colleague Dr. Bert Schwarz at Revive Wellness Center for Acupuncture and Chinese Herbs to induce labor naturally. I saw Dr. Schwarz on a Thursday at 11 am when he gave me Acupuncture with electrostimulation and sent me home with Chinese Herbs to take every hour of so to start contractions. Well, by 3pm that same day I was relieved to be having light contractions that became stronger and more regular, every 2-3 minutes apart for at least an hour, by 7 pm that night- thank you Dr. Schwarz! Thank you Chinese Medicine!

After Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine was successful in inducing labor naturally, my midwife had me check into the hospital that night. An hour into Saturday and after 24 hours of labor (including 4 hours of pushing) without any pain medication using homeopathic medicines (chamomilla 30C and 200C), herbal medicine, hypnobabies, Acupuncture and acupressure, and every bit of strength and willpower I had during the grueling Pitocin-stimulated contractions, my little boy and little girl twins were born, 5 minutes apart. Hallelujah!

What a miracle it is to have had this experience and have these two healthy and beautiful babies. I am so grateful to my midwives at Women's Health Associates in New Haven, my friend and midwife Dr. Pimental, husband, all the nurses, doctors, and staff at Yale New Haven Hospital for their help with the whole experience and for taking such great care of my daughter, and Dr. Schwarz for helping me get through the most difficult thing I have ever done in my life- more difficult than medical school, for sure.

There is nothing like a personal experience to bring renewed faith and trust in the power of nature and all the wonderful tools medicine has to offer to bring forth life in all of its glory.

Many blessings and admiration to all the women who have gone through the pain, suffering, sacrifice and beauty of childbirth and are to thank for all the people who exist in this world.

Many blessings to all women with a desire to dedicate themselves to new life- anything is possible especially with the help of natural medicine.


answers from Phoenix on

With all the "tricks" one can do...the baby will come when ready. Period. Believe me...
My first was induced on my due date not for medical reasons (10 years ago Drs were more open to do this now, Drs and hospitals will not induce until you are at least a week past due).
My second was induced a week early FOR medical reasons (6yrs ago).
I just delivered my 3rd in June. I tried EVERYTHING try to get my body to go into labor. Nothing worked. Finally on the morning that I was scheduled to be induced, I was 9 days past due, I went into labor. I was in labor from beginning to end for 2 hours. I never made it to the hospital for the birth and delivered my baby on my bedroom floor with the help of the Phx Fire Department.
Babies will come when they are ready to come.



answers from Phoenix on

There are a lot of places on the feet that might help. Have her get a pedicure. But seriously, I have heard of many inductions that end up being c sections because the baby wasn't ready. And if she is flying, she can always change her flight. She is not the issue here! I was a week late with my first and I loved every minute of my last days of being with my husband alone....


answers from Columbia on


Okay, so this is her first.

Well, she's only one day late. Mother nature makes us miserable in the end so that it isn't so scary. We just want the baby to come! And baby ALWAYS comes. He's just not done cooking yet.

I very much suggest lots of walking and SEX!

I was a full week late with my first, had sex, the next morning my water broke...but no contractions! So I went in and did end up being induced. It sucked because it is not "natural labor" and nothing you do can make it natural from that point.

Just be sure to let her know that being induced WILL change her birth plan. It is HARD. She should definitely talk to anesthesia about pain management options (etrathecal/epidural) if she does not go into labor naturally. I wished (after 18 hours) that I'd given in sooner (I *thought* I wanted natural). The second baby was a much more enjoyable experience.

Don't worry her and good luck!



answers from Topeka on

Good for the Dr. who will not induce till she is overdue KUDDOS to this doc.Yes tell her to get her butt up & walk walk walk keep hydrated & the baby will come when baby is ready to come due dates are only estimated no baby is hardly ever born on their told due date so tell her to relax go out to dinner,get last minute things together while she still has time to do them.If you really want to massage her feet....

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