Natural ways to encourage labour

If you are full term and in danger of being medically induced you may like to try some natural methods to trigger an overdue labour. 

Home treatments

  1. Nipple stimulation - twiddling the nipples for 15 minutes or more stimulates the release of oxytocin, the hormone responsible for uterine contractions.

  2. Sex -  Semen is rich in prostaglandin which ripens the cervix. Midwives often use a prostin pessery containing prostaglandin to medically induce labour. Also an orgasm will often start labour spontaneously.

  3. Spicy curry - This is a purgative and will stimulate the digestive system. Have as hot a curry as you can stand.

  4. Eat dates - about 8 per day.

  5. Evening primrose oil - use gel capsules, take 3 x daily orally.

  6. Blowing up balloons - builds up intra-abdominal pressure and can put more pressure on the cervix to move things along.

  7. Eat pineapple - There seems to be general agreement that pineapple and its bromelain components do have a fibrolytic action, perhaps helping to soften the connective tissue of the cervix.

  8. Exercise - walking, swimming, bouncing on a birthing ball, yoga, swimming and climbing stairs. Also curb walking, I know it sounds funny, but I've women who swear by it! Walk along a curb, one leg up on the curb and one in the gutter, then turn around and go the other way.