Labor Induction Methods
by Jessica Hudson
Oil to Bring on Labor
let me just say that I do not recommend this method.
That is because I used it with my second child and
it was just about the most horrible mistake I could
have made (other than maybe getting another epidural,
theory behind this induction method is that the
castor oil causes diarrhea and the diarrheal cramps
cause sympathetic cramping in your uterus, another
smooth muscle. This is another of the methods that
"won't work if you're not already ready anyway",
as the sympathetic cramping will be ineffectual
if all conditions are not already optimal for labor.
In my case, my contractions began 10 minutes after
my first dose of oil, hours before the diarrhea
began. Therefore, it could not have been the castor
oil that brought on labor in my case, and I caused
myself all that trouble for nothing.
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.
real danger lies in the mother when using castor
oil for labor induction. With the severity of the
diarrhea, a laboring woman can quickly become dehydrated.
Especially in a typically highly managed hospital
birth where a woman is allowed few fluids. Dehydration
makes one tired and less able to endure through
physical activity. Plus, not only does this endanger
breastfeeding (proper hydration is necessary to
make adequate milk), but a dehydrated uterus is
an aggravated uterus, and an aggravated uterus causes
more pain for the mother. More pain makes a woman
less able to handle natural child birth and puts
her and the baby at increased risk for a snowball
Nipple Stimulation to Self-induce
is a practice often recommended by midwives when
a woman is long past due or when labor is stalled.
Nipple stimulation causes the release of oxytocin,
the same hormone that causes uterine contractions.
Many women report, however, that the contractions
produced from this method are much stronger and
more painful than natural labor, but are not any
more effective. Please note: In order to use this
method for induction, you must stimulate the nipples
for long periods of time. The usual recommendation
is 15 minutes of continual stimulation on each nipple
each hour for several hours. So, the amount of stimulation
you may experience during intimacy, while nursing
an older child, or while pumping your breasts while
pregnant will not cause you to go into labor. The
general recommendation on these activities is to
abstain from them when your condition warrants doctor
recommended pelvic rest. Please check with your
practitioner before trying this.
Acupressure/Acupuncture for Inducing or Augmenting
are two points on your body that will cause uterine
contractions. They are always warned against during
pregnancy, though they are widely believed to be
another labor inducing method that will not work
if you are not already ready to deliver. These points
are about four finger-widths above the inner ankle
on your calf, and in the webbing between your thumb
and forefinger. You will know when you've found
the spot because it will be very sore. You rub your
calf, or pinch the webbing on your hand, in a circular
motion for 30-60 second at a time, taking 1-2 minute
breaks in between.
is a procedure your doctor or midwife can perform
or "sweeping" your membranes. The
healthcare professional will insert their finger(s)
into your cervix and sweep from side to side, pulling
the membranes (bag of water) away from the mouth
of the cervix and the lower uterus, and in the process
stretching and irritating your cervix. Sometimes
this will generate local production of prostaglandins
and enough of the necessary hormones to start labor.
Sometimes it takes 3 or 4 attempts to begin labor.
Many women find this to be a very uncomfortable,
if not painful, procedure. This is a medical intervention
and should be taken as seriously as any medical
Herbs and Homeopathic Remedies
substances that would fall in this category, such
as Blue and Black Cohosh are general considered
to be as unsafe as medical interventions, and if
they are to be used must be used only under the
recommendation and supervision of your doctor or
for more Natural Labor Induction Methods...
to other women to see what worked for them!
Jessica Hudson is owner of Eva Lillian Maternity
& Nursing Boutique. She is not medically trained
and is not recommending any of the above. She has
compiled this information from many different authoritative
sources, and provides the above for informational
purposes only. To read more such articles, please