When you've been pregnant for what feels like forever, you're willing to do just about anything to move things along. Once you've tried all the recipes for labor-inducing eggplant parmesan, walked until you feel like your legs are going to fall off, and chugged that tea that your great aunt told you will surely bring on labor, you're desperate. Time to pull out the big guns and get naked. You've heard that having sex can induce labor, but what works best? While there's no golden bullet, it's possible that these sex positions can soften your cervix and help you reach your goal — or at least reach your O.
But it's worth noting that there is not a lot of scientific evidence available that supports the idea that certain sex positions will work better than others to ripen your cervix and induce labor. However, there is a lot of anecdotal evidence and passed information around the practice. The Academy of American Family Physicians (AAFP) research found that "if the cervix is unfavorable, a successful vaginal birth is less likely." But they also noted that while it's uncertain if it actually works, there is a reason to be hopeful that having sex could possibly help induce labor during the late stages of pregnancy. Apparently the stimulatory aspects of sex "result in a local release of prostaglandins. Female orgasms have been shown to include uterine contractions, and human semen contains prostaglandins, which are responsible for cervical ripening." So, if it's going to work, these sex positions to soften your cervix will be the ones that stimulate the most and deliver the semen to the cervix — oral sex is clearly not the winner in this scenario.
1. Sofa Sex
According to the AAFP, it's all about combined stimulation. And they're not just referring to talking dirty and watching porn before you get it on (although you do you). They're talking about sex with penetration, orgasm, and plenty of nipple stimulation.
In order to meet those goals, you have to get creative with how you maneuver, and with a big belly and boobs for days, it can be really uncomfortable. However, when you're straddling your partner on the sofa, not only do you have the comfort of the springs for your knees, but you can also hold onto the back of the sofa for support. Because your partner is also sitting, they're more able to play with your breasts freely with their hands or mouths, because they're right there — and hopefully your keys to labor.
Having your partner cozy up behind you and literally do all of the work is a pregnant woman's dream come true. Your partner can reach around your body and stimulate your nipples, or delve lower and massage your clitoris from under your belly, all while you're comfortably supported with maximum pillows and your breasts aren't sliding away into your armpits. It's a slow and easy sort of position, but it gets the job done. The New Kids Center noted that this is actually the best position to induce labor.
With you on top, your partner has full access to your body, and you are the one in control of the depth of penetration, so go as far as you are comfortable with. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists noted that sex is safe and healthy during pregnancy, but that you shouldn't do it if you're uncomfortable. Being in charge gives you all the power, so you can make the mechanical decisions. Also it leaves your partner's hands free to roam your body at will, making you release all that pent-up oxytocin.
4. Reverse Cowgirl
All the fun of cowgirl, but deeper penetration. Sex toy company, Lelo, wrote that reverse cowgirl is one of the best positions to achieve a g-spot orgasm, so if your nipples are extra sensitive, and you just don't want them played with, this might be your best bet at achieving climax and the associated rush of hormones that accompany it. Your partner likely won't complain either.
5. Assisted From Behind
When I'm not pregnant, doggy style is one of my favorites. It feels great, and it doesn't require me to do a lot of the work. However, when I'm pregnant, it just feels really vulnerable, and I didn't enjoy it as much. Plus you don't get to control the depth or power of the strokes. Assisted doggy style, where your partner sits on a chair and then you back down onto their lap, allows for the same depth of penetration, but also adds control. Beyond that, it's easy on the knees, and for a runner like me, that's key.