Try these sexual positions to induce labor
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6 Sex Positions To Try To Induce Labor

There's no real science that it will necessarily work, but it could still be fun.

by Sarah Hosseini
Originally Published: 

Spicy food. Walking laps. Making a little love. As you near your due date (or watch it pass by), it’s natural to wonder if there’s anything you can do to get your new baby here already. You may want to know some sex positions for inducing labor, since getting frisky sounds like an easy (and maybe more enjoyable than eating a jar of jalapeños) way to kickstart your baby’s birth. But does it even work?

Before delving into how intercourse may induce labor, experts want parents-to-be to know that it has not been medically proven that sex or certain positions actually work to make your baby come out. “It’s not necessarily true that it will induce labor; however, human sperm contains a high amount of prostaglandins, which is a substance that helps to ripen the cervix and helps labor to start,” Jessica Shepherd M.D., OB-GYN and partner with wellness brand Happy V, tells Romper.

Even if this old wives’ tale may hold some truth, there’s not much data behind it. “It’s not something proven or guaranteed, but there are some people who swear by it,” says Leah Millheiser, M.D., director of the Female Sexual Medicine Program at Stanford Health Care. “When you orgasm, you release oxytocin, which is the same thing as pitocin. Sex doesn’t put you into labor, but if you are about to go into or are in early labor, could it give it a little kickstart? Maybe. We also don’t know how often in those early stages of labor you’d need to orgasm.”

Millheiser adds that there are no specific positions that are more effective at getting your labor started than others, so if you’re feeling like a romp in the bedroom, just stick to what feels comfortable. “Unless there’s some complication that precludes you from having intercourse, just focus on positions where you’re comfortable and not flat on your back,” she recommends.

Here are six sex positions that tend to work well for expectant parents.



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Being on top gives you control over pacing and depth of penetration. “[Cowgirl] may be easiest for you since you can be in complete control,” board-certified OB-GYN Dr. Sherry Ross, M.D., tells Romper. This makes it a great option for stages of pregnancy that be uncomfortable, like the second trimester and beyond. Your belly won't be squished, and it gives your partner access to your breasts. Your boobs will most likely be extremely sensitive thanks to a surge in estrogen, which could result in an increased level of pleasure and higher chance of orgasm. There is also some science that nipple stimulation could help induce labor, and this position gives you and your partner great access to try.


Reverse Cowgirl

“Ultimately the best sex positions are whatever is most comfortable for you and your partner and gives you the best control,” Ross tells Romper. Reverse cowgirl, she says, has pretty much the same benefits of control and comfort as regular cowgirl. But it also comes with the added bonus of increased clitoral stimulation. If you're a person who orgasms more easily or better with clitoral stimulation, this might be the position that gets those uterine contractions going.



This one is done with both partners laying down, and the penetrating partner enters from the side. “The best sexual position for a pregnant woman is often lying on your right or left side,” Ross says. This takes the pressure off of your back and uterus. It also doesn't allow for super deep penetration, which can get uncomfortable for some people as their pregnancy progresses.


Doggy style

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You can do this on all fours, leaning on a chair or couch, or sitting on your partner's lap facing away. “Doggy style can be a very comfortable position,” notes Ross. Any position with penetration from behind might be more comfortable with a ballooning belly.


Hovering Butterfly

If you have a bit of balance and can use your headboard or back of a couch for support, the hovering butterfly — which has you on the edge while your partner kneels or stands in front of you — is good for pregnant people overall. It's also a way of receiving oral sex without being on your back. “Lying flat on your back for an extended period of time is not recommended since it can cause dizziness and a decrease [in] blood flow to the baby,” Ross explains.


Side-By-Side Masturbation

If your doctor says it's OK to have orgasms, side-by-side masturbation is a good way to pleasure yourself and your partner without getting too physical. “During pregnancy, a majority of pregnant women prefer the intimacy and closeness of cuddling and kissing with their partners over sexual intercourse,” Ross tells Romper. You might be more comfortable with masturbation than intercourse with your partner. You could even do it alone and see if it leads to labor induction.

The most important thing to remember is that sex during pregnancy at any stage should be comfortable and enjoyable. “As with any sexual encounter, good communication and respect for emotional and psychological boundaries has to be a priority for you and your partner,” Ross says.

“Having sexual intercourse is safe in pregnancy,” notes Shepherd. “Be cautious that any bleeding during sex is a sign you should stop. If the bleeding occurred during penetrative sex, wait for it to stop before having sex again. If it doesn't stop or is heavy for multiple days, see a doctor right away.”

As long as your OB-GYN has given you the green light and you’re in the mood for sex, feel free to try it out as a potential method to induce labor. “Sexual activity is important to continue during pregnancy as a way to release tension and for intimacy for the couple, and that’s what the focus should be,” says Millheiser. Even if it doesn’t help your baby come out sooner, it will definitely be fun.


Leah Millheiser, M.D., FACOG, director of the Female Sexual Medicine Program at Stanford Health Care

Jessica Shepherd M.D., OB-GYN and partner with Happy V

Dr. Sherry Ross, M.D., board-certified OB-GYN, author of She-ology, and Co-Founder of URJA Intimates skin care

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