While there is no guaranteed at-home remedy for encouraging and inviting labor, the following suggestions are safe and potentially effective. You should always double-check with your doctor before you go for it.
- Castor Oil — This works as a laxative, which stimulates the bowels and may cause contractions. Given the lack of proof on this one, we aren't sure the after-effects of the laxative are worth it. The last thing you want to be doing during labor is having diarrhea, and given that having a bowel movement during labor is already relatively common, we see no need to encourage it any further.
- Spicy Foods — Might work, might not. If you aren't a big fan of spicy food or fear possible indigestion, it might not be worth it. However, if you love spicy food and think you will tolerate it well, it probably won't hurt and might just cause the baby to look for an exit strategy.
- Sexual Intercourse — Both semen's prostaglandins and an orgasm can help stimulate contractions and get the labor ball rolling. Plus, you won't be having sex for a while after baby's birth, so as long as you are comfortable, why not have fun?
- Nipple Stimulation — This one might be a bit tricky, and some practitioners feel it can overstimulate the uterus, so only try this one if you are being monitored to ensure baby's response is a healthy one.
Once labor does start, don't be surprised if it hurts more than you anticipated or your ability to cope with the pain is less than you hoped. It is your body, and every woman is different; there is no shame in altering your birth plan. This moment is the time for an epidural so if you want one, be sure to ask a, there is a stage of labor where it will be too late, so be sure to ask about one now, or you'll be on your own at later stages.
- American Pregnancy Association - Week 40