Before investigating ways to induce labor yourself, you should consider whether this is the right time to induce labor. Are you in week 39 or your pregnancy or earlier? Are you later than 39 weeks? Later than 40? If you try to induce labor yourself before 39 weeks, your baby could be born underdeveloped and in immediate danger. Unfortunately many women these days in the United States think that they need to induce labor early, whether for their convenience or out of trepidation, and frequently these women try to induce labor too soon.
Wait until 39 weeks at least before trying to induce labor yourself. Week 40 is an even better time, and if you’ve passed the end of your 41st week, you should think very seriously about inducing labor. This is the point at which your practitioner will probably recommend it.
What are some ways to induce labor yourself? Most labor induction methods fall under four categories: food and herbs, exercise, sex, and acupressure and related arts.
Foods and herbs you can take include cumin, evening primrose oil, ginger root, black and blue cohosh, and raspberry leaf (herbs), balsamic vinegar, eggplant, spicy items, and pineapple (more foods). All of these foods are perfectly safe to take under your own discretion. The herbs are safe for most people, but you should still consult with a practitioner first. Note that if you overdose on any of the herbs, the consequences can be severe.
Exercises to induce labor should always be conservative in nature. You don’t want to drain all your energy (and thus your baby’s as well) by overdoing it. You also need to keep in mind that your balance while pregnant is far from perfect, so only go on walks on flat terrain. Walks should be limited to 30 minutes a day at a light pace. Other exercises you can include are squats and stair exercises, and workouts performed with a birthing ball. Birthing ball workouts consist of simple stretches or sitting on the ball and bouncing up and down gently.
Anytime you have an orgasm, your body releases Oxytocin, so sexual activity is recommended to induce labor. Intercourse also results in prostaglandins released through the man’s ejaculation, which can stimulate contractions.
One of the most reliable ways to induce labor yourself is acupressure, which you can do using some instructions or diagrams to introduce you to the pressure points on your body and how to stimulate them. This can cleanse your energy field and stimulate the release of certain chemicals from glands which can induce contractions. In conjunction with herbs or exercises or by itself, acupressure is a dependable way to induce labor yourself!