Q: Grandma, I am due to give birth soon, but I am afraid my contractions are not strong enough to put me in active labor. Can you please recommend some home remedies for inducing labor?
A: Dear S, there are natural ways of inducing labor for pregnant women who are already one or two weeks delayed their due date after 42 weeks of gestation. Labor induction may also be required in the presence of health issues concerning the baby or the mother like diabetes, hypertension and heart ailment. There are several home remedies to help in stimulating the uterus to contract.
NATURAL HOME REMEDIES FOR INDUCING LABOR
1. Nipple stimulation – Rub both nipples gently for ten minutes until a contraction is felt. Avoid overdoing to prevent strong contractions.
2. Bath salt – Add some bath salts in the water to be used for bathing. Stay immersed in the salted water longer than usual to get rid of stress that deters labor. If preferred, listen to relaxing music.
3. Exercising – Do brisk walking or other less strenuous exercises like climbing the stairs or leaning over the fence to encourage labor.
4. Sexual intercourse – Engage in sexual intercourse while the water bag has not yet broken. In case the sex act is not feasible, manual stimulation of the clitoris can be done to promote orgasm releasing oxytocin that can initiate uterine contractions.
5. Essential oils – Add two or three drops of any essential oil to neutral carrier oil such as olive or almond oil as aromatherapy scent during labor-induction massage.
6. Bowel stimulation – Eat spicy foods or drink six oz of orange juice with 1-4 oz of castor oil to cause intestinal and digestive contractions that can in turn lead to uterus contraction.
7. Evening primrose oil – Take one capsule every day. Another method is to inset the capsule inside the vagina to dilate the cervix.
8. Acupressure – Gently rub the inside of the leg over the ankle for 15 minutes. Observe the frequency of contraction.
9. Spicy foods – Consume spicy foods to gain from their labor inducing properties.
10. Fresh pineapple – Consume adequate dosage of fresh pineapple to soften, stretch and relax ultimately leading to contractions.
11. Basil and oregano – Add fresh basil and oregano leaves to the pregnant woman’s diet so leading to uterine contractions.
12. Licorice – Eat food items made from real licorice root. In large amount, licorice can trigger diarrhoea and stomach upset that can potentially cause labor contractions.
13. Visualization – Imagine the cervix opening and the uterus contracting to visualize the coming of the baby.
14. Warm bath – Get into a warm relaxing bath using water that is not too hot. Add two drops of lavender oil to achieve a calm emotional state that can aid in inducing labor.
15. Reflexology – This method requires a qualified reflexologist to perform the application of acupressure points on the hands or feet of the pregnant woman. The pressure can bring labor contractions anywhere between 24 to 48 hours.