When I entered the 36 week mark of my pregnancy, ideas about how to send my body into labor started rolling in. Everyone from strangers at the grocery store to my well meaning relatives were passing on their helpful hints for inducing labor, each of them claiming that if I only believed, I would be headed to the hospital in no time. Although some of these ideas seemed to make sense, there were definitely more weird ways to induce labor that people claim work. But as long as your pregnancy hasn't been high-risk, and you're under no restrictions from your doctor, trying different methods of induction might help send the message to your baby that it's time for eviction.
I'm not going to lie, I tend to credit the last things I did before going into labor with flipping the switch for my body. During my first pregnancy, I ate a giant plate of spicy tacos for lunch, and I was in the delivery room by midnight. After a taking a long walk when pregnant with my second, I felt the contractions start as soon as I sat down to catch my breath. I'm not saying that tacos and exercise are the sole reasons I went into labor, but if I did, I wouldn't be the only one. Plenty of women swear that these 11 weird ways to induce labor are the reason they had their babies when they did.
1. Drink Castor Oil
If you're someone who could win a bizarre eating challenge on a reality show, than this trick may be for you. Pinch your nose if you need to while you try a spoon full of castor oil to induce labor, as Very Well's website suggested. My grandmother swore this was the magic ingredient for all three of her deliveries, as do many other women who've tried this induction concoction. But if you're going to try this method, you should note that that What To Expect's website reported that drinking castor oil can cause diarrhea and dehydration.
2. Take A Walk
It may seem odd that a simple daily act could bring on childbirth, but taking a walk could set things in motion. According to the website for What To Expect, walking is a great way to start labor process. While walking, gravity does you a solid by lining up your baby with your pelvis, moving the baby into position for delivery.
3. Get Spicy
Satisfy those late pregnancy cravings and get labor moving at the same time. Although professionals still aren't sure why, there are a few theories suggesting eating spicy foods can stimulate a woman's body into labor, according to Pregnancy magazine. So sprinkle a little hot sauce on your rice or toss a hot pepper into your soup and see if contractions begin.
4. Go For A Bumpy Drive
Maybe all you need to send your body into labor is a little off-road adventure. As Healthline pointed out, "this popular idea is circulated on birth boards and makes its way around town via word-of-mouth." So as long as you buckle up and don't get to crazy, it may be worth taking a bumpy ride.
5. Stimulate Your Nipples
According to Mayo Clinic, once the hormone oxytocin is released, it can stimulate uterine contractions, and one fun way to get it flowing is my stimulating your nipples. However, it's going to take more than one quick squeeze to get the hormones flowing, so you'll have to keep at this one if you want to see results.
6. Work Out
Have the energy for a low key workout? That might be just the motivation your body needs to start labor. The Bump suggested some exercises that prime the body for labor. Trying doing a few sets of deep squats and gentle hip circles on a pilates ball to prepare your body to for childbirth.
7. Sip Some Red Raspberry Leaf Tea
For an herbal remedy, try a cup of red raspberry leaf tea to induce labor. "The remedy works best if you allow several weeks for it to build up in your body," as Baby Center recommended. Start sipping around 32 weeks to get the most benefits.
8. Chow On Pineapple
Pineapple lovers rejoice — this tropical fruit may be the reason your contractions begin. It’s believed that when pregnant women eat pineapple, bromelain softens the connective tissue of the cervix, bringing on labour, according to Today Parents. Keep in mind, you may have to consume more than just one pineapple for the bromelian to be effective.
9. Enjoy Some Acupressure
At the very least, this method may feel like a little massage, while at best it will bring on labor. But Healthline suggested applying pressure to certain points may trigger a pregnant woman's body into labor.
10. Insert A Foley Catheter
Hold steady, because this one sounds a little like a science project in your vagina. However, it is one used by doctors and medically proven for results. As Baby Center explained, the catheter and balloon are inserted, then the balloon is filled with water to put pressure on your cervix, encouraging labor to start.
11. Strip The Membranes
For such an awful name, this method has a stellar outcome. As Mayo Clinic reported, "with this technique, your health care provider inserts his or her gloved finger beyond the cervical opening and rotates it to separate the amniotic sac from the wall of your uterus." This is just the type of gentle encouragement your uterus needs to get the party started.