If you find that you are over due in your pregnancy, you may want to consider
natural labor inductions. Before I go over these, I implore you to seek the
advice of your healthcare provider first. Make sure that you and your baby are
healthy enough to attempt a natural labor induction.
What constitutes “over due”? A due date is calculated according to the last
menstrual period. An assumption is that you ovulate on day 14 of your cycle, and
thus your “due date” is established. If you are one that ovulates much later, it
can actually mean that you are due several days to even weeks later. Keep this
in mind when determining your due date and whether or not you are over due.
Natural methods include:
Castor Oil – this is one of the oldest methods around. Castor oil was
given regularly by physicians many years ago for its ability to clean out the
body. It causes the bowels to clean out and it’s thought to cause the onset of
labor as well. Extreme caution should be used with this method, as it’s been
found that some babies born to mothers who took castor oil had meconium in the
amniotic fluid. Probably because the castor oil also crossed the placenta and
cleaned out the baby’s bowels too.
Enemas – Some hospitals routinely perform an enema on a laboring mother to
help clean out the bowels in preparation for birth. It also helps to
Fasting and dehydration – these methods work in a way that the body will
try to get rid of anything that’s taking up resources (food and water). When a
pregnant mom fasts and with-holds water, the body will go into labor. Many
moms suffering from pre-term labor will find that dehydration is what caused
it. Simple re-hydration will halt the process. Again, this is a dangerous
method and should only be used with care from your healthcare provider.
Herbs – these have been used by midwives for years to induce labor. Herbs
such as black and blue cohosh, borage oil, evening primrose oil, goldenseal,
mugwort and yarrow help to induce labor. Evening primrose oil has
prostaglandins and when applied directly to the cervix will help it to thin
Intercourse – While having sex during pregnancy normally does not bring on
labor – if the cervix is ripe and ready – the prostaglandins in semen can
cause the cervix to thin (efface) and dilate. Having an orgasm at this point
can help to bring on contractions! This is probably one of the most fun ways
of inducing labor.
Nipple Stimulation – stimulating the nipples causes the hormone oxytocin
to be released. Oxytocin helps to get the uterus to contract. Normally this is
done by “rolling” the nipples between the thumb and forefinger for about 20
minutes each every hour until labor is established.
Swinging – it’s a wives tale that swinging can bring on labor. Might be
something about the back and forth motion. When I was 30 weeks pregnant I went
swinging at the park and went into labor that night – I’m sure it’s really not
“why” but it may have helped.
There are also medical inductions such as the application of prostaglandin
gel to the cervix , breaking the bag of waters (if the cervix is dilated
enough), IV drip of Pitocin (which works much the same as oxytocin), and the
stripping of the membranes.
Before you try any of the natural labor induction methods listed above, please
seek the advice of your healthcare provider first. Doing any of these if there’s
a problem with you or the baby could be very dangerous. Always use great