Authored by Rodney Southern in Pregnancy
Published on 01-15-2009
If you’re in the thirteenth week of your third trimester you may be wondering how to induce labor. While some doctors will prescribe Pitocin (a drug that causes labor) to get things started, many will tell you just to wait. If patience isn’t your strongest virtue, there are some ways to learn how to induce labor on your own that work with varying effectiveness.
Light exercise like walking is one of the best ways how to induce labor. Of course, it’s necessary to check with your doctor before beginning any exercise program during pregnancy and the end of the third trimester probably isn’t the best time to start one, but if you’re already used to walking, adding some walking may help induce labor.
Another one of the natural ways how to induce labor is sexual intercourse. Intercourse can release hormones known as prostaglandins which cause the cervix to dilate, an important first step in starting labor. Semen also contains prostaglandins so sexual intercourse is an important step if you want to know how to induce labor.
Nipple stimulation is also known to induce labor, but this actually should not be done without supervision from your doctor or midwife, because it can cause very strong contractions. When you ask how to induce labor, presumably you want safe answers as well as effective answers, and nipple stimulation can actually be dangerous in the third trimester if overused.
Acupressure is another one of the answers if you ask natural health practitioners how to induce labor. This must be done be a professional and it’s best to consult with your doctor or midwife to get recommendations for the right practitioner. Inadvertently stimulating the wrong pressure points can cause unwanted effects, so even though there are instructions on the internet on how to do this yourself, you shouldn’t follow them.
No essay on how to induce labor would be complete without mentioning herbal remedies. Some herbs that are known to induce labor include Red Raspberry Leaf, Black Cohosh, Blue Cohosh, Unicorn Root and Evening Primrose Oil. Herbal remedies can have unintended affects on your pregnancy or baby, though, so their use is not recommended unless you are under medical supervision and get permissions from your doctor or midwife.
Old wives’ tales provide some answers to the question how to induce labor that are primarily useful for amusement but don’t actually work. These include eating spicy foods, eating eggplant, eating pineapple, riding in a hayride, listening to music with fast drumbeats, and talking to the baby and trying to convince him or he that it’s time to be born. The truth is, if you’ve tried some of the natural methods for how to induce labor above and they haven’t worked, you’re best off relaxing and realizing that the baby will come in his or her own time.