Here are a few non-medical methods for getting labor going.
[Note: Always consult your health care provider before attempting any labor-inducing practice.]
- Sex. Orgasm makes the body release prostaglandin and oxytocin, both hormones that cause your uterus to contract. (Semen also contains prostaglandin.) A pregnant woman can have sex right up until her baby is born, unless she has been advised not to because of bleeding or other concerns.
- Nipple stimulation. Similar to intercourse, pinching, rubbing or otherwise manipulating the nipples releases oxytocin and promotes uterine contraction.
- Physical activity. Exercise like riding a stationary bike or swimming can help baby get in position for birth. By walking, squatting and doing lunges, the body can open up and settle baby down into the pelvis.
- Castor oil. One of the more unpleasant options, drinking castor oil dehydrates your body and makes your intestines contract (often causing painful diarrhea), which releases prostaglandin.
- Acupressure. If your body is close to labor, certain pressure points in the body can be pressed or rubbedto bring about contractions.