Induce Labor Naturally: 8 Old Wive’s Tales Put to the Test

When I was pregnant with my son, I was determined to induce labor naturally. I was almost 41 weeks and MISERABLE. My doctor had told me that if I did not go into labor on my own, I would have to have a repeat C-Section. Since I was utterly determined to have the VBAC that I so desperately wanted, I decided to look into old wive’s tales for bringing on labor at home. I tried so many of them because I just wanted my little man out. Finally, I did go into labor on my own. See my full VBAC story click here. I do accredited some of the wives tales for helping bring on my labor. So if you are looking for ways to help ease your body into natural labor, then keep on reading!

Tried and true tips to help bring on labor at home!

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8 Old Wive’s Tales to Induce Labor Put to the Test

1. Yoga Ball

I invested in a yoga ball during my pregnancy because I was told it would help make sure baby was in the correct position and it would help bring on labor. As someone who had a prior C-section due to breech positioning, I was willing to try anything. So at 40 weeks plus, I was bouncing on this ball most of the day. No more sitting on the couch to watch a movie, it was the yoga ball for me! Once I did go into labor, this ball was a life saver! I had terrible back labor, and the only comfortable position was on my knees, arms on the ball, rolling back and forth. For anyone who wants to induce labor at home, this is one item I would highly recommend purchasing.

Bounce on a yoga ball to bring on labor

2. Walking

This is one that I am sure everybody knows. I was told to walk the baby out. So walk I did. At times I felt like my legs had turned to jello, but I kept walking. At over 40 weeks pregnant and determined to get this baby out without a c-section, I walked my little heart out. It is said that walking helps force the baby down into position from the constant movement. As we all know, I did go into labor on my own so I would say this one is a win! Walking is never bad for you really, even if it doesn’t induce labor, you are still getting some good exercise.

Walk the baby out

3. Raspberry Leaf Tea

I love a good sweet tea, so I thought this one would be no big deal. While it did taste good, I was so over tea after about a week or two. I would literally drink this and water, all day long! I used the Traditional Medicinals Organic Pregnancy Tea. It tasted like normal tea, no raspberry flavor really and it was good iced with some honey in it. Now, I drank so much of this that I could probably float away. Still, I am not sure if it assisted with putting me into labor. It claims to help strengthen the uterus and assist with contractions. These are just a fraction of the health benefits that are claimed. Personally, I would tell a friend to pick some of this tea up while pregnant. It tasted good, there are a ton of studies about the health benefits, and there were no bad side effects.

 

Drink raspberry leaf tea4. Evening Primrose Oil

This was one that I really wasn’t sure about. It is an oil that comes from the primrose plant. it allegedly has a ton of health benefits, and among them is assisting with the softening of the cervix. Evening Primrose Oil (EPO), can be taken orally or can also be inserted vaginally. When used vaginally you need to first rupture the capsule and insert just the oil into your vagina and up onto your cervix. . I personally only used it orally. I took about 2,600 MG a day. Did this help? Honestly, I have no idea. It didn’t hurt though. I actually still have some capsules that I am staking and I do feel like they really have helped with my postpartum skin issues. So if you have the extra few dollars to spend, there is no harm in trying this method.

 

Evening primrose oil can help soften the cervix5. Sex

You heard me right, sex is supposed to induce labor. Your husband will probably be thrilled when you suggest trying this method. Trust me, I know that feeling sexy is the farthest thing from our minds in that last few weeks, but hear me out. Studies have shown that orgasms can help bring on contractions (so a win win right ladies). It has also been shown that semen contains high levels of prostaglandins which are beneficial in helping soften the cervix. It is important though that you do NOT have sex after your water has broken though due to an increased chance of infection. My verdict? This is a fun one. It gives you some intimate time with your hubby before the baby arrives and it can help bring on labor! I did notice strengthening of contractions after we did the deed, so i truly think this one works! Find a comfortable position (doggy style works well with a preggo belly) and get intimate!

What got it in, can get it out!

6. Spicy Foods

I really think this one is a joke. Near the end people kept telling me about all these different foods that would induce labor. Now, I love spicy foods. Mexican food is what i craved my entire pregnancy. The last week or so I ate everything as spicy as possible and I do not think it had any effect on my labor situation. It was delicious and worth a try, but not helpful. If anything, it made my heartburn terrible!

Spicy foods are said to help induce labor

7. Full Moon

My son was born on September 17, 2016 in the wee hours of the morning. The night I went into labor, the 16th, was a full harvest moon. I was told by so many people that I would end up in labor that day because of the full moon, and they were right. Some people believe that since the moon controls the tides, that it can also affect women at full term pregnancy since our bodies are 80% water.  I have also heard that it has something to do with the barometric pressure that causes a woman to go into labor. So if you are full term and there is a full moon coming up close to your due date, you might just be going to the hospital that day!

The full mom can bring on labor

8. Castor Oil

Out of all off the old wive’s tales, this is the only one i flat out refused to try. I heard too many stories of women getting sick and dehydrated due to consuming castor oil. Some women swear by it, but I was not going to risk it. Castor oil is a laxative that can cause contractions in the bowels which can in turn bring on uterine contractions. So yes, it can bring on labor but can also cause massive bouts of diarrhea.

Don't Drink the Castor Oil.

I am not a doctor, and do not want you to take this as medical advice. Your baby is going to come whenever he/she is ready. The methods mentioned above were tried by me and some of them seemed to work, but I was also almost 41 weeks pregnant so take that into consideration. So, if you are full term and want to maybe speed things a long a little bit then go for a walk, bounce on a yoga ball, have sex, and drink some pregnancy tea!

8 ways to induce labor at hom!

 

Now that you know what I tried, I want to know what worked, or didn’t work, for you! Let me know in the comments below! and don’t forget to subscribe to the newsletter so you never miss out on any of the fun!

 

64 comments

    • admin says:

      I totally agree. While some of them can help with certain things, nothing is going to force labor before you are ready. I was 41 weeks and ready to try almost anything so I wouldn’t have a c-section lol.

  1. CouponingAround says:

    With my 2nd baby, I tired several of these and it seemed to work. She was born 1 day before her due date. I walked at night, I live in Florida and the heat during the day was unbearable!, I got a yoga ball and had lots of sex lol, and she was borning the next day. With my first my water broke nautrally during sex at 37 weeks 3 days (that was an interesting finish to say the least). I never did try the teas or oils, but I fully agree with walking and sex to get labor going!

  2. Kate says:

    My first baby came two weeks early, so I assumed my second would too – my due date came and went with no baby. I was so miserable, I think I tried everything on this list! My doctor also recommended pineapple, and I swear I have never eaten as much pineapple in my life! Walking was finally what did it in my case!

  3. Stephanie Lee says:

    I loved reading this! Congrats on getting your VBAC! I’ve heard horrible things about women drinking castor oil. Glad you skipped that one. I’ve never heard of that tea but i think I’ll try it just for fun!

    • admin says:

      Thank you 🙂 I didnt want to risk the castor oil…but the tea is actually really good. Not sure how helpful it was, but it tastes good.

  4. jentheodore says:

    Fun ideas, I think some definitely have a benefit. As a labor and delivery nurse, we encourage women to use a birthing ball to open your pelvis and bring baby down in to the birth canal, we encourage walking as the pressure of your heavy uterus can help your cervix dilate and we often suggest having sex for the reasons you mentioned. In the end, what is important is a healthy baby and mommy. Sometimes birth plans don’t go as planned and it doesn’t indicate failure, it simply means your body and baby had different ideas. Try to be open going in and you’ll have a much more fulfilling experience.

  5. gloriousmomblog says:

    I had back labor with my first! It was the worst! You really cannot fully understand until you experience it. By the way, do you use the Adobe Spark Post app in designing your graphics? I swear I thought I was the only one.

    • admin says:

      Back labor is no joke! It was terrible…and yes I do use adobe spark post! I love it…I use canva some but adobe is much more simple to me

  6. Drivel Of A Hot Mess says:

    With my second baby I did not want to to be induced. I wanted everything to be natural. It was two days before my due date and I was in agony! My pelvis was out of place almost the entire pregnancy and I was pretty crippled up. My doctor said “I know that you are adamant about not being induced and I respect that. Hear me out though. Let’s schedule the induction for tomorrow morning. You can always cancel it. You do not want to be induced so badly that I bet your body will go into labor on its own. I have seen it before with determined people like you before”. Guess what? It worked!

  7. Christina says:

    There were a few in here I’ve never even heard of! With my first I walked around the neighborhood and I felt it did help! My second came 4 weeks early so I was surprised!

  8. Candace @ Fullest Mom says:

    I never heard of the raspberry leaf tea. I was very fortunate that all three kids had a very short, and early labor. However, the yoga ball during pregnancy is amazing!! Thanks for the post, I will share it with a few of my prego friends.

  9. jacquimessymombun says:

    Both of my babies came early at 38 weeks. I never got to try any of these. I did use red raspberry leaf tea from 30+ weeks, but that wasn’t for inducing my labor. Fun read.

  10. Tina says:

    I bounced on my yoga ball the night before I went to labor. Raspberry leaf tea and evening primrose oil as well which aided in a pretty quick and progressive labor. I was in labor for about 10 hours. Sex and walking didn’t help for me lol.

  11. sadelee says:

    Thank you so much for sharing, all of this would of helped me, 3 years ago when i was trying to bring on labour with my first child. it ended it a failed attempt and a semi forced c-section on my gynaes part (very long story) but too this day i feel shattered that i never got to experience natural labour. If i have another child, I will definitely do my best to achieve a VBAC (going to head over and read your story) p.s. I tried the castor oil… never again… ever. LOL Thank you

    • Jessi says:

      Read the vbac story and let it give you hope … It wasn’t simple but I was able to get what I wanted the second time around.

  12. SAHM Plus... (@sahmplusblog) says:

    Hey Jessi!

    I’ve tried everything except Castor Oil and a full moon (because I can’t control the moon lol). I couldn’t say anything in particular helped with inducing labor naturally, however, baby’s position is a BIG factor! If his/her head isn’t engaged, it’s not putting pressure on the cervix to start the process. I know how important this is because my second baby was 13 days late because he lodged his head on a bone in my pelvis. I couldn’t go into labor until I dislodged him, but the morning after I got him moved, I went into labor and missed induction by a day! TOTALLY made me a believer in how important baby’s position is. Great post!

    Ivy

  13. Kaylee says:

    Great tips! I will defiently try these with my next pregnancy. I will be scheduled for a c-section so I, sure I will be itching to induce labor early!!

    • Jessi says:

      Are you trying to have a VBAC? I had one with my second and they said I could wait until 42 weeks before I had to have a c-section

  14. Janel says:

    I can somewhat relate. So glad you were able to make it work, my babies also like to stay past due and have to get evicted. Unfortunately my last baby had complications & had to be induced but I was able to successfully have a VBAC!

  15. Catherine says:

    My daughter came on her actual due date! My son however was a few days late. These are all great tips. I’ve heard los of people say sex really does work and honestly that sounds the most fun 😉

  16. melissa says:

    These are such great tips! As someone who was very overdue I took a really long hike and then even though the last thing I felt was romantic- I took one for the team had sex and my water broke almost immediately!

  17. Sarah says:

    I think the biggest thing that helped me was sitting on an exercise/birth ball. I had weeks of false labor, and I sat on that thing everyday until finally I was really in labor. Ha!

  18. Rachel @ Kitchen Cents says:

    Haha… I love this list. I was over due with my first two and tried all of these except the full moon and Castor oil. I don’t know if I could say any one of them caused the labor but I think they helped me progress faster.

  19. Ashley @ Far Beyond Love says:

    I’ve never had children so I can’t relate but the castor oil advice always did crack me up! I mean, everyone knows it’s normal to poop during labor and you’re going to drink castor oil to give yourself diarrhea too? LOL. Just always struck me as odd.

  20. Kiwi says:

    Great advice and honesty! So many women I know get ansty towards the end…we have here a place that sells Egglant Parmesean that has been putting women in labor in Atlanta for a long time. My friend was determined and a day after she ate at the spot she went into labor. I believe some natural ways to induce labor work!

  21. Jessica says:

    I have heard about a few of these mainly the walking one and the spicy food. The sex one I haven’t heard but it makes sense that orgasms would help. Also I love the pic you put with that one

  22. Angela Ricardo says:

    As a military wife who could barely handle her busy schedule I am truly glad I came across your post. Wow those tips are very informative and helpful. If ever I’ll be pregnant this year (crossing fingers) I will definitely check this out again. Especially the Sex part, lol

  23. Robin Rue says:

    They definitely make you walk and also bounce on a ball at the hospital if things are not moving. I have not tried any of the others.

  24. Jeanine Macintosh says:

    All but one of my kids came early. #3 came the day before my due date the rest 1-6 weeks before on their own. With baby #7 I was induced at 38 weeks for GD and they tried to get me to do all these things before hand, nope she wanted to stay put!

  25. toughcookiemommy says:

    My body induced my labor naturally with my first son because I was actually scheduled to be induced later that week. It was certainly a surprise.

    • Jessi says:

      Yes, that would be fine. Just link back to the site and original article on my page and give me credit. 🙂 I am really glad you enjoyed the article.

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