How To Start Labor
Want to know how to start labor naturally? Well you're not alone. I find that moms frequently ask this question during the last, few, uncomfortable weeks of pregnancy. Babies gain about a half pound per week during the last month, and mom's growing belly can become...well...rather uncomfortable.
Thankfully, there are a few things that are known to naturally start labor if the body is ready. Sometimes the body just needs a little prompting to get going, and then labor kicks in.
How To Start Labor Naturally
Making Love - Having sex is a really good way to start labor naturally, if the body is ready. When the semen covers the cervix, it acts as a protaglanadin to ripen it.
Our 3rd baby was due April 2nd, and our insurance was changing April 1st. We wanted to try to hold off on baby's arrival until after our insurance changed because we would have better coverage. My husband and I made sure not to make love until the evening of March 31st, but as soon as we did, my contractions got stronger. We made love again a couple of days later, and then I started prodromal labor the next day (April 3rd). I had prodromal labor for 3 days, but when labor finally kicked in, everything went very fast! In fact, when my midwife arrived and checked me, she said that the baby would be there within the hour. An hour later I started pushing.
With our 5th baby, she was due 11 days before Labor Day, but my husband said he wanted me to labor on labor day, and he was in no hurry for me to have the baby. Finally, the day before Labor day, we made love, and that evening I went into labor. Baby was born a few hours labor...on labor day. My husband had the pleasure of being able to tell his co-workers that I had, indeed, labored on Labor Day. I was just happy to have my baby in my arms.
Orgasm - Some women have gone right into labor after having an orgasm during sex, so a combination of semen on the cervix and orgasm for the woman can start labor naturally. This worked for me with baby #5.
Laughing - Some women have found that laughing hysterically helped them go into labor, and they suggest watching a really funny movie. I didn't try that one.
Walking - Walking has been known to start contractions. I knew a mom who went to San Francisco and walked up and down those hills all day. The next day, she had her baby girl. Walking only worked for me once my contractions started. During the first walk I went on, my contractions stopped. I returned home and had some lunch, and then after lunch, I had my daughter do some acupressure on a certain area just above my ankle, and my contractions started again. I went for another walk, and the contractions continued, so I knew I was in labor. If you have contractions while you're sitting or laying, and then get up to walk around and the contractions stop, it's an indication that you may not be in real labor, and your body is just warming up. You're getting closer, though.
Nipple Stimulation - Nipple stimulation works for some, but it didn't work for me. I tried with a breast pump, and manually.
Castor Oil - My midwife suggested taking castor oil to start labor naturally, but this will only help if your body truly is ready to go into labor. If not, it will just give you a bad case of diarrhea (at least that's what my midwife told me). I didn't try that one.
Enemas - Enemas used to be a routine hospital preparation before birth, but - thankfully - not any more. However giving yourself an enema can help to start labor naturally if you're body is ready. With my 3rd baby (the one that I had 3 days of prodromal labor with), I decided to try the enema instead of the castor oil. The enema didn't do any good, but it also didn't give me diarrhea like the castor oil would have. I thought I was going into labor and that's why I tried it, but it ended up that my body just needed 3 days of "warming up" before labor truly kicked in (and woke me up at 4:30 AM).
Herbs - Blue Cohosh and Black Cohosh are used by midwives to start labor in women who are overdue.
Accupressure - With my 4th baby, I had signs of labor in the morning, so I knew my body was preparing to go into labor. In order to get things going, I had my daughter use acupressure on a certain place on my ankles (must be the right place, or it won't work). You can read my whole birth story here.
I recently ran across a great eBook written by Dr. Lena Leino which discusses maternity acupressure and other ways of naturally inducing labor. The name of the book is The Easier, Shorter And Safer Birth Book. This book discusses how to use acupressure (not acupuncture, just gentle pressure) to start labor, turn a posterior baby, get effective labor pain relief, calm anxiety and nervousness, remove tension and relax, stop nausea and vomiting (I had this during 2 of my labors), strengthen contractions and dilate faster.
Acupressure is something you can do at home and in the hospital. It's completely natural. For more information click here!
To learn what you can do to prepare for a fast birth, and for a list of things to look for so that you will know when you're close to going into labor, see these pages:
Childbirth Tips for a Fast Labor
Signs of Labor - How to know when you're in labor.
Knowing how to start labor naturally can help you get labor started, if your body is ready.
To Childbirth page from How To Start Labor Naturally page.