Induce Labor Naturally?

Induce Labor Naturally

Looking to get labor started? Are there any natural ways to induce labor?

There is a LOT of misinformation out there (thanks a lot, Dr. Google!) about DIY ways to kick start childbirth. But do they actually work?

  • Acupuncture? Little evidence that it induces labor, little evidence that it can cause harm. So, maybe?
  • Red Raspberry Leaf Tea? Almost no evidence at all on this one – probably won’t cause any harm… probably won’t start labor.
  • Black/Blue Cohosh? Evidence does show it can induce labor, but there is also a lot of evidence that it can be very dangerous. Best to avoid.
  • Eating Dates? Eating 60-80 grams of dates a day may increase cervical dilation, but not start labor. Also best to avoid if you have gestational diabetes mellitus.
  • Breast/Nipple Stimulation? Evidence does show it can ripen cervix and start labor, but also may cause uterine hyperstimulation. Best to only do under medical advice and avoid if you’re high-risk.
  • Castor Oil? Probably effective at inducing labor, probably effective at making you nauseated or throw up.
  • Membrane Strip/Sweep? Evidence is mixed on this – if done at 41 weeks or beyond, most likely won’t still be pregnant by 42 weeks. Increased chance of bleeding, cramping and artificial rupture of membranes (water breaking.)
In conclusion – there is a lot of mixed information out there – either most “natural” labor induction techniques don’t work or are considered risky/negative, unwanted side effects. Discuss ANY of these options with your medical care provider before attempting.
For more information on the research mentioned above, check out Evidence-Based Birth.

About Christie Collbran

Christie believes in helping women recognize their own inner wisdom, strength and power. Having served as President of the Tampa Bay Birth Network for six years and with ten years serving families as a birth doula, she has a reputation for leadership, dedication and compassion. A childbirth educator, certified lactation counselor as well as a certified doula, she makes a point of ensuring mothers and their partners understand all their birthing options and what to expect on their journey.> keep reading

Leave a Comment