Ways to Induce Child Labor

by Maggie McCormick

You may be ready for your baby to come out and meet you, but sometimes he just doesn't seem to agree. As long as you're past your due date, you can turn to various methods that you can use to induce labor. Not all methods work for all women, but they're worth a try.

Medical Induction

If you're well past your due date or your doctor is noticing some potential problems with your baby, she may suggest medically inducing your labor. One way to do this is to give you a medicine that imitates the hormones that start labor through an IV needle. She may also "strip your membranes," which means separating the amniotic sack from the uterus, which can stimulate natural labor. If you're getting close to labor -- your cervix is dilated and the baby's head has dropped into the pelvis -- the doctor may break your water, which can make you go into labor.

Sex

The prostaglandins in semen can thin the cervix and help start contractions. Female orgasms also stimulate contractions of the uterus. Though it might the thing furthest from your mind right now, a little lovemaking may start your labor. It also gives you time to be sexual with your partner, something you won't be able to experience for several weeks after the baby is born.

Spicy Foods

Though there hasn't been conclusive evidence to prove this, some people believe that eating spicy foods will help you to go into labor. Eat small amounts, as you won't want to throw up while you're having a baby.

Walking

Though walking doesn't necessarily stimulate contractions, it can help you prepare your body for labor by using gravity and movement to get your baby into the right position. This works well when you are having contractions but aren't officially in labor yet.

Castor Oil

Castor oil tastes bad but is often effective. Drink a tablespoon or two -- add it to juice to help make the taste slightly more palatable -- and you'll soon feel intestinal cramping. This isn't uterine cramping, but because the intestines are so close, they do sometimes start uterine cramping as well.

About the Author

Maggie McCormick is a freelance writer. She lived in Japan for three years teaching preschool to young children and currently lives in Honolulu with her family. She received a B.A. in women's studies from Wellesley College.

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