Naturally Inducing Labor

It's important to note that none of these methods for inducing labor at home will work if your cervix is not ripe. These methods may help ripen your cervix-making it soften, efface and dilate. Before attempting any of these methods, review the true reasons to induce labor. Also included is a guide to help you determine your Bishop's Score, a measure of whether you are a candidate for natural labor induction and what conditions prohibit induction of any kind.


You've heard it said before, but at nine months pregnant, you might not be as excited at the prospect as the man in your life. So, let's answer that question for you and the father-to-be: Read More.


OK, now that we've tackled the big question, let's discuss something much easier to accomplish. I'm sure that at some point you've probably heard of this way as well. But are there really foods that induce labor?

Nipple Stimulation

This is one of the natural ways to induce labor that you may never have run across. Oddly enough, it is one of the most effective. Check here for the scoop on using nipple stimulation to induce labor.


Historically, the next topic on our list has been used worldwide by pregnant women. Before things like pitocin and cervidil were invented, midwives knew that certain herbs induce labor.

Castor Oil

Along the same lines as herbs, many oils can be used for inducing labor naturally. Some are taken in pill form whereas others are applied topically or swallowed in liquid form. Foremost among these is the practice of using castor oil to induce labor.


As we work down our list, this next method is by far the most relaxing, comfortable one to try. If it doesn't work, you'll still be glad you tried! Here is your guide to using acupressure to induce labor.

The last idea I'd like to mention is a method that you are using every day without realizing it. Every time you walk, you are using one of the natural ways to induce labor. Yes, that's right. Walking is a time-honored method of speeding labor. It uses the forces of gravity to aid in ripening the cervix to prepare for the birth of your new baby. With every step you take to the bathroom, remember you're one step closer to labor!


American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Induction of labor. Practice bulletin no. 10. Washington, D.C.: ACOG, 1999.

Edwards RK, Richards DS. Preinduction cervical assessment. Clin Obstet Gynecol 2000;43:440-6.

Adair CD. Nonpharmacologic approaches to cervical priming and labor induction. Clin Obstet Gynecol 2000;43:447-54.

Hadi H. Cervical ripening and labor induction: clinical guidelines. Clin Obstet Gynecol 2000;43:524-36.

Foong LC, Vanaja K, Tan G, Chua S. Membrane sweeping in conjunction with labor induction. Obstet Gynecol 2000;96:539-42.

Zeeman GG, Khan-Dawood FS, Dawood MY. Oxytocin and its receptor in pregnancy and parturition: current concepts and clinical implications. Obstet Gynecol 1997;89(5 pt 2):873-83.
Stubbs TM, Oxytocin for labor induction. Clin Obstet Gynecol 2000;43:489-94.