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!
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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.
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.
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.
4. 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.
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!
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!
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!
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.
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!
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!