Overdue? Try These Top 9 Tips to Induce Labor

Overdue? Try These Top 9 Tips to Induce Labor

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It can be absolutely miserable to get through the last few weeks of a pregnancy. Let’s face it, you can’t sleep, you have to pee every five seconds, and every single part of your body hurts. When a pregnancy is nearing its end, most women are just completely over it.

It’s also not uncommon for women to go over their due date, especially during their first pregnancies. There comes a time and a place that women are simply ready to have their babies. There are many old wives tales and different “tips” that women can do to bring on labor and induce labor when they are overdue and simply just done being pregnant and ready to hold their baby boy or girl in their arms.

Will they work? Some women say they are just myths and wives tales, but there are other women out there who swear by these methods of inducing labor. We are going to go over some of the most popular ways to induce labor when overdue, and you can see for yourself!


Tip #1 – Have Sex To Induce Labor

This is one that just about all of us have heard at one point or another. Having sex is always near the top of the list when it comes to ways that people know to induce labor. It all comes down to a substance called prostaglandins. These prostaglandins are actually responsible for helping the cervix to dilate and become effaced, in order to help to prepare for labor.

Prostaglandins are produced by sperm, so it is important that the man orgasms during sex. Also, female orgasm can produce prostaglandins too, so make sure that you get an orgasm as well.

Have Sex To Induce Labor

Please, also keep in mind that sex does not “cause” a woman to go into labor. Sex can help a woman’s body prepare for labor, but it doesn’t actually cause it on it’s own. Besides, after birth, it will be some time before you can get back into business, so do it while you can!


Tip #2 – Spice It Up To Induce Labor

This is another very popular one that we have all heard before. Eating spicy food has long been said to induce labor in women who are nearing their due dates. But, why does this work?

Well, it comes down to the poop, even though that doesn’t sound very glamorous. Spicy foods can stimulate the colon, and cause diarrhea. The cramping associated with this, can spread to the uterus, and can cause labor related contractions to come on as well.

Yes, it sounds a little crazy, and a little yucky, but there are tons of women out their who swear that it works!


Tip #3 – Move Around To Induce Labor

We are also sure that this has been one that you have heard about before when it comes to inducing labor for pregnancy women. It all comes down to working gravity in your favor!

Some women swear by jumping on a trampoline at the end of their pregnancies, some women head to the playground and swing on the swings, and come on, how often have we heard to get up and walk when you are wanting to bring on labor?

Walking stairs and doing squats can also be super duper helpful when it comes to helping to start labor in pregnant women. But, why is this? It’s all because of good old gravity!

When you exercise or do other physical activity, it helps to push the baby’s head down into position, and that in turn can help to dilate the cervix to help bring on labor.

Although getting up, getting out, and exercising might be the very LAST thing that you would want to do during the end of your pregnancy, do it anyways, and you will find that it can really help to bring on labor!


Tip #4 – Nipple Stimulation To Induce Labor

We realize it might sound a little bit wacky, but seriously, nipple stimulation is one of the most popular and reliable methods out there to induce labor in women. This method all comes down to oxytocin.

Oxytocin is known as the “love” hormone and is the hormone that is responsible for helping us feel happy and in love. Oxytocin also helps the uterus to contract, which can bring on labor. This is a really effective method for bringing on labor, so it should never be done before a woman has passed her due date.

To practice nipple stimulation, it’s actually pretty simple, although it does take some getting used to in this case. To do this, you gently roll or rub your nipples between your fingers. The point of this is to simulate the suckling of a baby, which can cause contractions, so it’s important to do one breast at a time, then take a break for a few minutes, and then start with the next breast. This can really bring on contractions very well, and very quickly in some cases.

A breast pump can sometimes be used to stimulate nipples during late pregnancy, but many women find this to be too painful, so instead they choose to stimulate their own nipples or to have their partner stimulate their nipples for them.

It’s also really important to remember to only practice nipple stimulation once you have passed your due date, since it is actually a really powerful way to bring on ovulation.

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Tip #5 – Castor Oil To Induce Labor

Chances are, you have probably heard stories, whether they be success stories or horror stories, about women going into labor after taking castor oil.

Castor Oil To Induce Labor

Castor oil stimulates the bowels directly, which, much like spicy foods, can lead to contractions in the uterus as well. Many doctors, however, have said that they do not recommend their patients take castor oil, since it can cause very bad diarrhea, which can lead to dehydration in some women.

However, if you do decide to take castor oil, please make sure that you are very careful taking it. Make sure to increase fluid intake to ward off potential dehydration, and make sure to only start off with a very small amount, and only after 38 weeks of pregnancy.


Tip #6 – Evening Primrose Oil To Induce Labor

Evening Primrose Oil, is a very powerful herbal supplement that many women take during the end parts of their pregnancy. Evening Primrose Oil is powerful because the body converts it into prostaglandins, which we have already discussed can bring on labor.

Many doctors, again, do not recommend this method of bringing on labor, but some doctors do want their patients to use this in order to help bring on labor in the end stages of pregnancy.

You can rub a small amount of Evening Primrose Oil directly onto your cervix, usually before bedtime. The Evening Primrose Oil can actually help to soften the cervix and prepare the body for labor.

Taking an actual Evening Primrose Oil capsule is also an option. This is a great natural way to bring on labor, but it is one of those things that you need to be very careful of and that you need to be fully educated on before you actually do it.


Tip #7 – Acupuncture and Acupressure To Induce Labor

Another really great way to induce labor is by utilizing acupuncture and/or acupressure to bring on labor. Acupuncture and acupressure are great because they help the body to release oxytocin, which we have already talked about, can really help to bring on labor.

Acupuncture and Acupressure To Induce Labor

This can be very helpful, and can also help to alleviate pains and problems during pregnancy. It is very important, however, to make sure that you are utilizing a very experienced and knowledgeable provider when you are opting to have these treatments performed.

Many women actually swear by acupressure or acupuncture treatments to bring on labor, and truth be told, these treatments can be exceptionally helpful during the entire duration of pregnancy, and even when trying to conceive as well.


Tip #8 – Red Raspberry Leaf Tea To Induce Labor

Our next tip to induce labor is another herbal treatment remedy. Red Raspberry Leaf tea has been long known to help with induction of labor, and it does it naturally. This herbal tea is suggested for helping to make for a shorter labor, and it can also help to bring on uterine contractions and can also help to make the uterine contractions stronger.

There have actually been other studies that show that women who drink red raspberry leaf tea are less likely to have to have a cesarean section, and are less likely to have to have their water broken at the doctor’s office.

Some experts suggest that you start drinking red raspberry leaf tea during the last few weeks of their pregnancies, and then they can start to “build up” the tea in their system, which will help when it is time to give birth.

Some experts also even suggest that red raspberry leaf tea can be exceptionally helpful to women who are having a vaginal birth after c section. This is because the tea can strengthen the uterus, which can help for a more successful labor and birth. Also, as a side note, red raspberry leaf tea can actually help to bring on breast milk after birth, and can also balance hormones postpartum, which is super important for all women after they give birth.


Tip #9 – Membrane Stripping To Induce Labor

Now, this next tip doesn’t sound like a whole lot of fun, and that’s because, well, it’s not a whole lot of fun. This one involves a trip to the doctor’s office, where a doctor can use a gloved finger to “sweep” the membranes between a woman’s uterus and the amniotic sac.

Membrane Stripping To Induce Labor

This can kind of “get the party started” so to speak, and get things moving in the right direction when it comes to labor. The point of membrane stripping is that it actually helps to separate the amniotic sac from the uterus, which can produce, you guessed it, prostaglandins. We have already learned that prostaglandins can help to bring on labor.

Of course, this method isn’t always sunshine, rainbows, and contractions.

Having your membranes stripped will require a trip to the doctor’s office, and it can sometimes result in some discomfort. Many women experience cramping, and some light spotting or bleeding after having this done.

However, some doctors don’t think that membrane stripping really does help, and might not recommend it. Other doctors don’t see any problem with the procedure, and will usually do it for a woman if she is already nearing or past her due date and would like to have it done.



As you can see, there are many different ways out there for women to induce labor naturally on their own. Of course, it’s not always a good idea to do this unless you are pretty far past your due date.

Most of the time, it’s a good idea to just let your baby keep on “baking” in there until he or she is done, so that you know everything is good and they are ready to come out on their own.

Of course, this can be a little bit frustrating as you near the end of your pregnancy and start to get very uncomfortable, and we do understand that.

Some of the methods listed above are perfectly natural, safe and easy for all women to try at home on their own. However, some of them require a knowledgeable professional’s help, so make sure that you don’t try to do things like membrane sweeping or acupuncture treatment without someone there who knows what they are doing!

There are also really no proven ways to make a woman go into labor, so keep in mind that these things might help you along, but probably will not “kickstart” labor for you. If anything, these methods of bringing on labor can really help to pass the time, which we all know is one of the hardest parts of pregnancy!

Just keep these things in mind, and we are sure that you will be on your way to the fun and exciting world of active labor in no time flat!

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Dr. Prabha Sahgal, MD
Dr. Prabha Sahgal, MD | ConceiveEasy
Dr. Prabha Sahgal MD, is board certified in obstetrics and gynecology and subspecialty board certified in reproductive endocrinology and infertility. Dr. Sahgal holds a B.S. degree from MIT in molecular biology and currently serves on the ConceiveEasy board of directors.