Inducing Labor

When natural labor does not occur on time, doctors can speed up the process by inducing labor with medication. Ask questions here about the methods and techniques of inducing labor.

1,936 Questions

Are there natural ways to bring on labor?

One of the few natural ways to stimulate labor that actually works is sexual intercourse. Seminal fluid contains prostaglandins, the same hormonal substances used by doctors to for cervical preparation and stimulation of contractions.

Sexual intercourse should be avoided if the membranes are ruptures (bag of waters has broken) or if there has been a problem with bleeding in pregnancy (placenta previa, etc.). If you are not sure if it is safe, ask your doctor or midwife.

Folk remedies should probably be avoided. Castor oil generally just causes diarrhea and abdominal pain without actually bringing on labor. It can also cause dehydration, which is not good for either other or baby. **Actually, while castor oil causes all of the symptoms above, they have been used by mid-wives for decades and are effective. The castor oil stimulates the intestines to contract which stimulates the uterus to contract as well.**

Packaged herbal supplements are not regulated by any agency, and one never knows what is in them. Sоme have been shown to contain the wrong herbs, dangerous herbs, different concentrations than those listed, and (especially those from China) heavy metal and pesticide contamination.

Other folk remedies/suggestions include walking (not been shown to be effective, but useful as a comfort measure), nipple stimulation (minimal data, generally does not support, but may be helpful), and acupuncture (no data). They're all probably safe alternatives, although not necessarily effective.

Does castor oil induce labor?

Women have used castor oil to help induce labor, but it should only be used under the direction of your doctor. It can provide good results if you are already in early labor. It is believed to work by causing spasms in the intestines, which surround the uterus toward the end of pregnancy. These spasms, in turn, cause the uterus to cramp, which might result in labor. There has been much debate over whether taking castor oil to induce labor will cause the baby to have its first bowel movement in the womb before birth. This pre-birth bowel movement, called meconium, can be dangerous, because if baby inhales some of it it can cause pneumonia in the lungs. Meconium is also a widely-held signal that the baby is in some sort of distress. Most professionals with any experience with castor oil inductions agree that this is untrue. They have found that there is no increased occurrence of meconium in castor oil induced labors over spontaneous labors.

Personal experiences and information:

  • When I was 37 weeks and had been in early labor for 2 weeks, I tried castor oil. Twice. It worked great for my friend but not so well for myself. All I did was throw up and have the runs....really, really badly. I think it all depends on your body, not how well others swear by it because your body can have a different reaction to chemicals and oils versus other people's bodies.
  • You should always use Castor Oil only under the supervision of your midwife or doctor. It's also good to know that Castor Oil should be used only when your cervix is already well dilated (if not, use Maternity Acupressure method to help your cervix to dilate first!) Remember that Castor Oil is a strong laxative and you will be at the toilet a lot. Thus, drink enough fluids to prevent dehydration due to diarrhea.
  • You can go into false labor, have horrible runs, and just get sick. You should make sure you are willing to deal with this if it doesn't promote labor.

What can you take or do to induce labor when you are full-term or overdue?

Remember, that anything before 38 weeks is preterm labor, and the baby may not be ready! Early birth can mean immature lungs, jaundice, and other problems. It is better to be patient, and let your body go into labor on its own. If there is something wrong, or some reason that the doctor feels labor should be induced, (s)he will let you know, and schedule an appointment. It will then be done in a controlled environment, with medications that are known to work. This will reduce the chances of harm coming to you, or your baby.

What would happen if you take castor oil and you are 34 weeks going on 35 weeks?

more than likely nothing it will just make you poop,because your body is not ready to have the baby yet,and you will cramp really bad don't try it

Will jasmine tea make a woman go into labor?

I've never heard of inducing labor through tea, but... who knows, I guess that since there are certain chemicals that can induce labor (i.e. Castor oil, or natural oxytocin) but I think that only rose-hip tea has castor, and only sexual means (usually via intercourse or nipple stimulation) causes oxytocin releases... My guess is that jasmine tea'd be fine, but one would need to consult their doctor (OB-GYN, family dr, etc...) first.

There are certain herbs that should be avoided during pregnancy but jasmine is not one. Raspberry leaf tea is traditionally drank to help contractions but it does not induce labor in itself.

Castor oil works by stimulating the bowel by causing diarrhea, the motions of which can stimulate the cervix into contracting.

How do you induce labor in a goat?

It depends on why you are wishing to induce labour and on whether the kid will be viable ot not. The drugs which can induce labour can only be prescribed by a veterinarian and need to be handled carefully as some of them will induce abdominal cramps in women and can set off asthma attacks. The drugs most commonly used include prostaglandins, corticosteroids or oestradiol benzoate.

Is it safe to use castor oil to induce labor at 38 weeks?

I used castor oil when i was 39 weeks and it did nothing but make me vomit severly and pee in my pants and cause my stomache to cramp realy bad but no labor. just give it time the baby will come .oh ya sex helps and walking helps!

Can ginger tea help induce labor?

It really worked for me! Within a week I was thinned and had contractions 3 minutes apart! I was 37 weeks and had a 7lb 15oz healthy little boy with no complications at all! My labor pains were minimal. I believe that the raspberry leaf tea that I had throughout the pregnancy played a part of that as well. Heather Barnes

How can you bring on labor at home if you're in so much pain and is it true a glass of wine will do it?

I have had 2 childred, both of my sisters have had 5 combined and our experience, Nothing Helps... Sorry.

AnswerWell I only have one child and I do not know of anything either. All I can say is breathe and bear with it. It will soon be over and you will forget all about it when your precious baby is here. Sorry, good luck and congratulations! Oh and Tip: Drinking alcohol is not advised while pregnant, even in small amounts it could be harmful to the baby. AnswerBecause of insufficent studies, it is unknown how much alcohol will cause a baby to seize in utero. Therefore you could cause Fetal Alcohol Syndrome by drinking. However there are tons of doctors that say a glass of red wine from time to time will not hurt an unborn. I am not sure if I would risk this though. I do know that there are much more effective and safe ways to promote labor naturally. Some of those would be: sex, black and blue cohosh, castor oil, exercise, jumping jacks, stationary bike riding, and walking to name a few. Some are not as safe as others so I will only recommend sex. The prostaglandins present in semen naturally soften the cervix. And think of it this way, you'll be too sore after childbirth to have it for a time so why not get out all of the urges while you can? AnswerI'm expecting my first, am four days late, and miserable! However, my Lamaze teacher says a 4 oz glass of wine can relax the muscles and help determine if labor is the real thing of not. So if you're trying to bring it on, it appears alcohol would do the opposite. Walk, walk, walk, walk, walk. That's what I've been doing. Here's to hoping the little one arrives soon! AnswerFetal alcohol syndrome appears to be caused by drinking at least 3 drinks per week throughout a pregnancy. One glass of wine will certainly NOT cause it. Go for a long romantic walk, then have a glass of wine and have SEX! It worked for my parents having me, and it worked for my cousin (who happens to be a doctor and swears by it). Semen contains prostaglandins, which are the same hormones in smaller doses that they use to ripen your cervix during induction. If that baby's ready, labor could start 24 hours after having sex!

Wine will actually relax the uterus and prolong labor and/or stop it. It will not induce it. I know because the nurse told me (while on bed rest to stop labor) to take a warm bath and have half a glass of wine. It was the remedy they used to supress labor in the old times have changed.

Does cod liver oil bring on labor?

Usually what it does from what I understand is it brings on diarhea and it could feel like you are in labor from the abdominal pains it can cause.

The above answer is referring to CASTOR oil, not cod liver oil.

One week before i was due my mother tried everything to put me in labor, from moving furniture to cod liver oil. nothing worked. About 8 hours befor i went into labor i had sex, and i think that may have contributed. ( i was 1 week over due) Try that or you will just have to play the waiting game. good luck

If you are 35 weeks' pregnant and 1 cm dilated and about 40 percent effaced and having strong contractions would taking castor oil help move things along?

At 35 weeks why would you want to hurry things along? You will birth a preemie with complications if you deliver now. It is unsafe to induce or encourage labor before 39 weeks unless you have specific medical complications that make continuing the pregnancy unsafe.

Is there a foot massage protocol to induce labor?

Go to a search site and search reflexology for inducing labour. there is a spot they say about four fingers above the inside ankle bone that can help induce labour and a spot in the webbing between the thumb and index finger. I hope that helps anyone.

What would make a doctor induce labor?


Having given birth twice by induction, I can tell you what they did for me.

There are two main ways to induce labor; pitocin given by injection and/or punturing the membrane, also called "breaking the waters". When this is done, surgical utensil shaped like a crochet needle is inserted into the cervix via vaginal canal and tears a small hole in the amniotic sac. This causes the "water to break" and usually induces labor shortly thereafter.

The amniotic sac can and usually does rupture by itself when the fetus is fully grown, but this method was used on me because I was at full-term and any more growth may have resulted in health problems for the baby and I.

Word of advice: If you plan on having an epidural during labor, ask your doctor/midwife/anesthesiologist to get that going BEFORE they induce your labor. When my labor was induced, I went immediately into hard labor (also called 3rd phase) after my membrane sac was ruptured. I was only 4 centimeters dialated and fully effaced. I went from 4 to 8 centimeters within 1 very painful hour. This can be very traumatizing for anyone in their first labor, especially if they had planned on getting an epidural.

I never needed to use pitocin, so you may want to ask your doctor how this process works.


If you are wanting to be induced before your due date then there is a risk that the baby would be born prematurely. Dates and even ultrasound can sometimes be a little 'off' with accurately dating the age of a pregnancy and/ or baby. 37 weeks is usually the 'official' cut- off point for a pre- term labor but one baby may be mature at this age while another may be immature.It may risk his/her health and even their life if they were induced. It is usually so much better to wait unless there is a good medical reason to induce. Once I was in hospital with a woman who had insisted on an induction because she was so depressed with being pregnant, but she later regretted it. She was more depressed than before and now had an infant in special care as well.
As for full- term inductions, I would heartily second what the first contributor said. Artificially induced labors are so much more difficult to cope with. Most labors are painful but somehow the pain is more vicious and difficult to get on top of. It lacks the rhythm of the natural process. At least, it did for me.

I was induced with both of my children. My first pregnancy went so smoothly that I couldn't wait to do it again before I had even left the hospital. I had gestational diabetes with both children. Though I didn't have it, high blood pressure may also be another cause to induce labor. With my son, I had low amniotic fluid which the doctor's monitored 2 or more times a week. If it reaches and remains below a certain point, they may induce labor for that reason. It is always safest to push the pregnancy out as close to the due date as possible, but if it becomes medically necessary doctor's may choose to induce. There are many reasons why doctor's would choose to induce labor. If they think the child, or mother's, life or health may be at risk, then they will induce. Inducing labor is not much different from natural labor in that progress can happen in any stage and at any rate. I had two very different outcomes with induction so it varies from person to person and birth to birth.

What can you take or do to induce labor?

Natural way just helping at hand, it wont work if your body isnt ready. Recommended if you already at 38 weeks, before that it will do nothing or will not work. You must do your own way before trying it, to know the risk and taking correct ammount and not to overstrain yourself with labor inducing activity. There are about 40 natural ways of inducing labor. I will explan some that most exciting, for the rest, you can search on the internet. 1. Bouncing your body at birth or exercise ball-spreadi ng you legs and move up down will help your baby move down. 2. Bumpy car ride- sometimes your baby need jiggle. 3. Dancing - but dont do too drastic. 4. Massage - find therapist that qualified with pregnant woman. many of them know the good spot to induce labor. 5. Nipple stimulation - needs to be done about an hour at a time. 6. Orgasm - orgasm cause contraction for your uterus. in some parts it feels so good. you can do it by having sex or anyway safe. many women prefer this way :D 7. Spicy food - it is a very well known labor starter. 8. Sperm - not to eat! you can having sex and let the sperm moving to help ripen and dilate your servix. This is very good starts toward getting ready for labor. That just the common enjoyable way of inducing labor. There are another way like accupressur, castor oil, rasberry leaf and etc that worth to try. But dont worry if natural ways not give any effect. at the end your doctor will do it chemically or mechanically for you :)

Will castor oil help induce labor naturally?

it is dangerous, you need to let nature take its course. The baby needs a little more time for the lungs to develop and to gain weight. Also if you are not ready "term" 37 weeks to 40 it WILL NOT work. I did it with my first. You have never had a stomach ache like this will cause!!!! Yuck. It will cause you to expell all your food. Think 2 pounds at least soooooooo not worth it. On the up side labor wont feel so awful once you have had this kind of pain xP

What is the quickest way to dilate?

Wait. My son was born at 32 weeks and he had breathing problems. We thought I was more pregnant, so just wait, you have your whole life to enjoy him. Plus they are easier on the inside then out :)

Can castor oil induce labor at 28 weeks?

no... its only going to work around your due date if your baby is ready to be born anyway, they dont recomend it as it will give you the runs and who wants to try deal with labour and the runs... very unlikely to work at your due date let alone that early on. do not try and induce labour at 28 weeks as your baby is not delvoloped and maynot survive!

Do raspberry leaf tea capsules work to induce labor?

It doesn't induce labor, it just causes contractions. And it's anything with real raspberry in it. The contractions won't necessarily put you into labor, but you'll get the pain still.

AnswerIt actually ripens your cervix getting it ready for the birth. I have been taking it for a few weeks now and nothing has happened yet. I am 39 weeks and 3 days. Everyone is different. Answeri was wondering if you mixed the raspberry thing and the castor stuff together would that induce labor earlier. i am a mother of three with another on the way and i cant stand being pregnant anymore. i just feel awful. by the way i am 36 weeks along. and my youngest is only nine months old. please let me know if that would do anything AnswerI would not advise you to try and go into labor at 36 weeks as your baby will be too premature to go home immediately so you will either have to stay in hospital with it or make daily trips, both difficult with three others.

From 37 weeks an infusion of raspberry leaf tea will not make you go into labour but when labour does start it makes it more efficient.


I have PCOS which means I don't have my periods regularly, about 3 times a YEAR...and so therefore I am no ovulating. I had my first daughter in 2002, it then took me 6 years to have my second child in 2008! I had started taking red raspberry in the pill form, and after the first two weeks I started having a period. Then I found the liquid form, and had two squirts each morning ( in a cup of OJ) It taste horrible! But 3 months later I was pregnant! So yes it works. In fact I stopped taking it cause I am not yet ready for another baby. But once in awhile I will take it to bring on a period to "cleanse" myself.

I did not have any side effects that were bad, just helps with your hormones in a natural way. I had a period, ovulated, and I also got acne, but that is because it brought on my hormones. I recommend the liquid form, you can find it in the natural section of a grocery store, they are about $10 for a bottle.

It's good to take throughout the pregnancy ( helps form the uterus walls and get ready for labor) it helps after giving birth to heal. It is basically a wonder NATURAL drug for women. If your having heavy periods, no periods, painful periods, you should take this. I am NOT a doctor, I speak from experience for when I use it and my sister-in-law uses it.

Good luck!

How long can you wait to go into labor after you have had your membrains stripped?

Having your membranes stripped does not always work. I had mine scraped and never went into labor. They may have to do it more than once or just break your water to make you go into labor.

At 34 weeks pregnant can you take castor oil to help have the baby now?

Need to correct the above answer. At 37weeks your baby is not considered premature. At 37 weeks you are considered full-term!

AnswerAt 34 weeks pregnant, Your baby has not fully developed his/her lungs. That will not be developed til 37 weeks and will still be considered premature at that age. If your just tired of being pregnant, as alot of us probably were, You just have to wait it out. That's the best thing to do, no matter how tired you are. your doctors will let you know if your in trouble and they will do what they have to do.

How do you naturally move along labor?

Nipple stimulation sometimes helps. (Nice if you and your partner enjoy it) Keep mobile, walking about etc. Rock in a rocking chair. If baby is 'back to back' with you, going onto hands and knees helps. Good Luck Walking is very good. It is very beneficial to change positions throughout the labor process. An upright position allows gravity to speed the labor process along. Familiarize yourself with the [ Best Positions for Active Labor] in advance.