Do Natural Induction Methods Work?

Do Natural Induction Methods Work?


Ready for that baby to come out? I get it. I’ve been there, twice, and am currently feeling the same again! Let’s spend a minute talking about natural induction methods. Is there science in any of this? Is all of this anecdotal? What questions should I be asking my provider? Does any of it even work?

Let’s briefly talk about a few of the commonly chatted about (or utilized) methods to naturally induce or start labor and why some believe it may be helpful.

> SEX: Sexual activity, especially with orgasm, leads to oxytocin release (and may cause uterine contractions). There are also prostaglandins in semen that might ripen the woman’s cervix.

> RASPBERRY LEAF TEA: Long a part of midwifery care, leaf tea is thought to strengthen and tone the uterus.

> NIPPLE STIMULATION: This too causes oxytocin production. There is research behind this that shows nipple stimulation can induce/augment labor, help avoid medical induction, or reduce chance of postpartum hemorrhage.

> ACUPUNCTURE: Some research says that acupuncture’s main benefit is cervical ripening. However, there are no clear conclusions on its effect on labor length, inductions, or need for Pitocin.

> PRIMROSE OIL: There is hardly any evidence on this one. Most reports of it helping with labor or cervical ripening are entirely anecdotal.

I’m going to try and hit all of this and more in stories (castor oil, pineapple, dates, stripping your membranes, spicy foods, etc) visit @thelabormama instagram stories!

And please, KNOW THIS – you absolutely should speak about any of this with your provider. There are many different recommendations for who, when, and if these are appropriate for different pregnancies and different women. Get learned, get informed, and then take that information to an appointment and ask about best next steps.

I’d love to know your thoughts or experiences here – and/or go join our conversation over in stories. It seems like many of us have some sort of story to tell!”

This post is by @thelabormama

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