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Stimulate labor: You can do that

by Josephine Andrews
Published: Last Updated on 328 views

How can you encourage labor yourself ? Many pregnant women ask themselves this question as they wait impatiently for their baby. The list of seemingly effective home remedies and tricks to stimulate labor is long. Because good experiences are passed on from generation to generation. But what actually promotes labor? Regular nipple pinching, a contraction cocktail or something else? Read more about different methods to induce labor here!

The baby takes its time

Does your child still not want to be born even though the due date has passed? First of all: This is nothing unusual, hardly any child is born “in time” – i.e. at the calculated due date. Some come early, some after the actual due date. In very few cases is there cause for concern, especially since you are under constant medical supervision.

However, if the induction of labor is actually necessary for medical reasons, doctors usually know the right time. The birth is then initiated on the ward with medication or mechanical aids (such as balloon catheters) . This can take several days.

What triggers labor?

Folk medicine knows numerous home remedies and methods of how to promote contractions yourself and how to help your child along the way. The crux of the matter: With a heavily pregnant woman, contractions can naturally start at any moment. If the pregnant woman started a few days earlier, for example, to drink a contraction cocktail or to climb stairs, this home remedy is often attributed to the birth that has finally begun. The whole thing is passed on – to the daughter, cousin, niece – and the belief in its effectiveness is strengthened over generations.

Nothing speaks against good experiences. In alternative and complementary medicine, many years of experience sometimes flow into scientific results. However, when it comes to means to promote labour, the empirical values ​​have little significance: the birth happens one way or the other. In addition, there are usually no scientific studies that research the actual benefits according to strict criteria.

Feel free to try it

Despite the lack of studies, in very few cases does something speak against tried-and-tested home remedies to promote labour. Faith can also move mountains! Only herbal preparations should be used by pregnant women, at least with caution. Like chemical agents, herbal active ingredients regulate cellular processes and can sometimes trigger unfavorable side effects. Therefore, consult your doctor or midwife before taking it.

Contraction Cocktail, Raspberry Leaf Tea & Blue Ranunculus

A number of herbal preparations are said to induce labor, including castor oil in the so-called labor cocktail, raspberry leaf tea, blue buttercup, and ginger . Blue ranunculus, raspberry leaf tea and ginger do appear to have an effect, although severe side effects for the child have been reported for blue ranunculus. As a general rule, always check with your doctor or midwife first before taking any product to induce labour. This is especially true for the labor cocktail – it has its pitfalls.

Rather avoid contractions

The contraction cocktail contains castor oil, which stimulates the intestines and thus contractions. However, it cannot be ruled out that the oil leads to severe intestinal colic, increased contractions and vomiting and also gets into the child’s bloodstream . The unborn child could empty its intestines (meconium) prematurely, which is not without risk. Castor oil should therefore be taken in low doses and only after consulting a doctor.

Sex, breast massage & acupuncture

If you want to start your birth naturally, you can have acupuncture, for example. Acupuncture appears to both induce labor and shorten the duration of labor and thus delivery. Shiatsu (manual bodywork originating from traditional Chinese and Japanese health teachings) can also promote contractions without side effects and is therefore recommended.

There are also no concerns about regular sexual intercourse around the time of birth, gentle massages, nipple stimulation, climbing stairs or homeopathic remedies – even if an effect has not yet been described (massage, stimulation, climbing stairs homeopathy) or is not fully clarified (e.g for sexual intercourse).

Not necessarily promoting labor

The entire pregnancy is a test of patience for women: is the baby developing well, is it healthy, am I eating a balanced and healthy diet? Therefore, do not lose patience towards the end of pregnancy or when the due date is overdue by specifically trying to encourage contractions . As a rule, the baby comes as soon as it is ready. Give him the time! 

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