Natural Induction Methods to Go Into Labour

Safe ways to try kick labour off naturally.

If you’re overdue already, you’ve probably been inundated with suggestions from well-meaning friends and whānau for natural induction methods to start your labour ASAP. Some might sound appealing, while others (like taking castor oil) are discouraged. There’s limited scientific evidence on natural induction methods being effective at starting labour.

Some of these common ones (that are regarded as safe) might be worth a try if you’re desperate to get things moving:

  • Nipple stimulation can encourage the release of oxytocin which is an essential hormone during labour. It can also stimulate stronger contractions once labour has begun. Hand expressing colostrum is an example of nipple stimulation.
  • Sex may help to start labour as semen is a natural source of prostaglandins, which are what help to soften and prepare the cervix for labour.
  • Acupuncture or acupressure is used by some pregnant people to induce their labour. There are certain points in the body that are said to stimulate the cervix to soften and dilate.
  • Relaxing is the key to a manageable labour and is thought to be especially helpful for getting it initiated. Sounds like a great excuse for a massage!
  • Going for a walk may help to get things started. Movement and gravity can be encouraging for your baby to descend into the pelvis and engage for labour.