10 top techniques to safely induce labour

10 top techniques to safely induce labour

You are leaving the hospital, holding with loving arms the little one that spent all those months inside you, bonding through the road back home, finally meeting those soft delicate features and falling in love all over again. I bet you have ran this scenario — or a similar one — through your head more times than you can count on and want to get things moving along.

There are countless articles on inducing labour, and these might look appealing to you but the truth is that if they do work you should only do it under doctor’s recommendations or even supervision.

We share with you ten top tips recommended to safely induce labour.

1. sex

Sex releases prostaglandins, a substance that can cause contractions and is completely safe to do it through the whole pregnancy, nonetheless research hasn’t proved if it actually works into inducing birth. Is important to keep in mind that contractions don’t always mean labour.

2. exercise

This is another activity that your doctor might have had already advised on your term, and is a great way to produce endorphins which helps to relieve stress and also keep you fit. Nonetheless just like sex, there are no studies to back up that this would help your delivery to happen faster.

3. castor oil

Drinking this particular oil does increase the chances of inducing labour, studies prove that it can help initiate labour within 24 hours. It should be done under medical instructions and supervision, according to Langen, “drinking mineral oil or castor oil can cause stronger contractions than you’d have normally, and with each contraction, blood flow to the uterus slows down a bit so the baby doesn’t get as much oxygen, which could be dangerous.”

4. spicy foods

If you are planning to go on Grandma’s advice you might want to reconsider, since again, there is no proof that this links to induction. Actually, doctors advise to stick to your diet to avoid irritation or any related discomfort in the pregnancy.

5. red raspberry leaf tea

Drinking tea is another harmless and natural way to try getting earlier into birth, there are both studies that say it works and it doesn’t. But it is proven that this tea helps in the health of the uterus, is linked to fertility and improves strength of the uterus to prevent miscarriages.

6. dates

Known as the sugary fruit commonly consumed in the middle east, a study concluded by Jordan University of Science and Technology, that “Spontaneous labour occurred in 96% of those who consumed dates, compared with 79% women in the non-date fruit consumers.” It also brings others benefits such as “Significantly higher mean cervical dilatation and a significantly higher proportion of intact membranes.”

7. acupuncture

It's not completely certain that acupuncture actually helps to induce labour, but it is definitely worth trying since studies made by University of Western Sydney concluded that “improved cervical maturation and the length of labour was shorter.”

8. nipple stimulation

Stimulating your nipples is a very effective way into getting strong contractions, but this should be done under medical supervision, just like with the castor oil, it is effective but you should only do it when a doctor is monitoring the baby.

9. Evening primrose oil

This oils effectiveness is based on the prostaglandins that it contains but there is not enough scientific data that proves that it works, and just like with Castor Oil you must be very careful into consuming this as it is usually recommended as last resource and only under medical care.

10. membrane stripping

This is a common and safe procedure that your doctor or midwife can apply to you while they do a cervical examination at around 40-41 weeks. It doesn’t bring any complications for labour but it might cause discomfort like irregular contractions or some bleeding or discharge afterwards. The benefit of having a membrane sweep is that it reduces the chance that you will need to have your labour induced. It the sweep is successful, you will usually go into labour within 48 hours.

We advise to consult your doctor if you intend to try any of these recommendations.

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