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Old Wives Tales ~ Part 2
How to Get Labor Started

What's the best (and safest!!) way to start labor once you're full-term? Check out our other OWT surveys on guessing gender and craziest tales.

Please remember that these tips are for interest only. They are not intended to substitute for appropriate medical care and do not claim to be the final or definitive word. Information offered here are not necessarily the views or opinions the moderator and are offered to the viewer as just another source of information or opinion.

From Patti . . . My first baby was due on my birthday. and I was determined not to be in labor on MY birthday so I decided that she was coming early. What worked for me was two or three deep knee bends every few hours during the day. Sure enough I went into labor that night. I am now pregnant with my second! We'll wait and see what happens this time.

From Enigma . . .With my first, I didn't have time to worry about starting labor -- he came a week early. My second was due on Christmas Day, and we tried EVERYTHING we could to get him to come before that (how awful it is to have your B-Day on Christmas, we thought). During the two weeks prior to the due date, I walked, we had LOTS of sex, I drank tea, got foot rubs, took warm baths, castor oil, etc. One book I read suggested stimulating the woman's nipples for an hour at a time, going on the fact that after birth, a breastfeeding infant's sucking action makes the uterus contract. Well, he ended up coming the day AFTER Christmas, after labor was induced . . . Can't win, can we?

From Erica . . . I was told to walk up and down some stairs, go on a bumpy ride, and to get up in the middle of the night during one of the many pee breaks we all take and start mopping the kitchen floor. Haven't tried it yet, but who knows it may work.

From Sheri . . . My doctor told me that it is not the act of having sex but the actual sperm that causes you to go into labor if it is the right time. With my first son, I did Castor Oil (YUKKK) and went on a walk, then had sex with my husband. I went into labor within a half hour. With my second son, nothing worked. I was induced a week late. I'm not pregnant with my third and I'm not going to try anything. With two young boys already here, I hope this baby takes its time.

From Llabarbera . . . As a practicing labor and delivery nurse for more years than I will admit to, here are a few of the most common rituals my clients have used:

Castor oil ~ messy, can be painful, but can work. Problems occur if the action from the castor oil cause the membranes to rupture before the cervix and uterus are ready, then you can be buying a C-Section or pitocin augmentation.

Hot Buffalo Wings ~ same as above, but a little milder.

Sex! Yes, the same thing that got you here can get you out of it too! Semen contains a natural prostaglandin that helps the cervix to mature, and orgasm stimulates rhythmic contractions of the uterus. Warning - if your midwife or doctor said no sex, it could be that this is not an option for you, ask them to explain. Prolonged orgasms are not thought to be especially healthy for the baby, but multiple small ones are probably ok. Have fun!

From Karen . . . I have heard that real raspberry tea will induce labor. My childbirth educator swears by the tea.

From SixCoynes . . . Take some mineral oil. It's natural, it brings on bowel movements, which can help to bring on labor.

From CudBunny . . . Someone told me to have my husband make mac' & cheese and put 57 sauce on it, than eat it. I don't know if it works. I went into labor before he could make it.

From Lilss . . . When I was pregnant with my first, I was told to eat Mexican food, and that it would induce my labor. It worked, but unfortunately, my daughter was turned wrong, so I didn't deliver until two weeks later, but I will try it again on my next one.

From Mary . . . A few years ago, I sent away for a salad with a salad dressing that was supposed to start labor if you were close to being ready. The important ingredient in it was balsalmic vinegar. I guess it didn't taste so good, but my sister started labor within 24 hours!!! So I guess it worked??? I'm not sure of the name of the restaurant I ordered it from; I ordered it by phone and had it express shipped to her! I imagine anyone could make a oil and vinegar dressing, with the balsalmic vinegar.

From Lisa . . . I was always told that having sex would start your labor....didn't work for me!! My mother-in-law swears by the castor oil trick. I never was desperate enough to try that ~ first child came right on his due date and second was 1 day over due!! Those are the only two I've ever heard.

From Sugarsham . . . I got this advice from my hubby's seventy year old grandma----The big O (as in orgasm) stimulates labor. Could be, but oh boy! how embarrassing to hear THAT from HER! :)

From Emily . . . With my last baby, I was so anxious to get him here that I tried everything from mowing the lawn to taking long walks around our neighborhood to castor oil. I even got my husband involved by engaging in "vigorous sex." But alas, the only thing that got labor started was the doctor stripping my membranes, and my water spontaneously breaking five hours later, followed by a good old-fashioned dose of pitocin.

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