Natural ways to induce labour

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Natural ways to induce labour

Sick and tired of being the size of a house? If you've gone past your due date and can't wait any longer to see your new baby, why not try some of these ways to help speed things up and bring on labour.

These natural methods aren't scientifically proven, but have helped mums-to-be in the past. You shouldn't even think about trying to induce labour unless you've gone full term or are overdue. The last few weeks of pregnancy are essential for your baby to learn to breathe on its own, so try to let them come out in their own time.

To be extra safe, talk to your doctor or midwife before you try to induce labour with any of these methods, particularly if you've had any complications during your pregnancy.


How to induce labour: Swimming

Both the gentle movement and the water is thought to be good for inducing labour. In fact, it's what the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, has been seen doing in the lead up to the birth of her second child. Of course, she does have the luxury of nipping to Buckingham Palace for the use of their pool, rather than having to waddle self-consciously through your local changing rooms.


How to induce labour: Have sex


At 40 weeks pregnant, chances are you won't be feeling especially sexy but getting intimate has been known to get labour started. Some studies say his semen can help to stimulate contractions or that the movement may get the uterus working and ready for labour.

Note: Don't have sex after your waters have broken because it can increase your risk of infection.

Try our easy sex positions, for fun, bedroom ideas.

How to induce labour: Eat curry


Love a vindaloo? Then get dialling and order in your favourite spicy dish because it could mean you'll be holding your baby that bit sooner. There's no scientific evidence to prove that this actually works, but the theory is that it stimulates the gut and bowel which gets the womb moving as a result.

Some mums swear by it but bear in mind, going into labour with a full stomach might not be the best of ideas - especially if you're not usually good with spicy food! If you don't want to risk a takeaway, try some of our homemade curry recipes - they're healthier too.

How to induce labour: Walking

Going for a walk can help to produce labour-inducing chemicals, which can really speed things up.

Walking also increases the pressure the baby's head puts on the cervix and helps to get it into the right position for labour. This is one of the safest methods to try - there's no harm in having a gentle stroll, but make sure you take a mobile phone or have someone with you in case it works!

How to induce labour: Eating pineapple


Forget the canned stuff or juice, but fresh pineapple could help you go into labour. It contains the chemical bromelain which has the power to soften the cervix and speed things up. You might have to eat a lot to feel the effects, but it could well do the trick.

Try our ideas for pineapple recipes if you don't want to eat it on its own.

How to induce labour: Bouncing around

Taking a bumpy car ride has been known to start contractions. Corrie's Tina O'Brien reported that bouncing on a trampoline helped bring on labour for her or you could try gently bouncing up and down on your birth or gym ball.

How to induce labour: Drink raspberry leaf tea

Raspberry leaf tea is different from normal raspberry flavoured tea and some people think it can help induce labour.

Another school of thought says that while raspberry leaf tea doesn't actually help to speed things along, it does help prepare the muscles of your womb for labour. One study found that women who drank raspberry leaf tea in the last few weeks of their pregnancy had a faster second stage of labour than those who didn't.

If you can't stand the taste, raspberry leaf can also be bought in capsule form.

Where to next?

- Follow Anna's week-by-week pregnancy diary
- The insider's guide to labour, birth and recovery
- How to register your baby's birth
- 20 ways to have an easier labour

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