How to Naturally Speed Up Labor at Home

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Talk with your doctor before trying to speed up labor yourself.
Talk with your doctor before trying to speed up labor yourself. (Image: Jupiterimages/Creatas/Getty Images)

After waiting approximately 40 weeks to meet your unborn baby, you likely want to speed up the labor process as much as possible once the contractions start. Moving past the painful contractions is a great reason to try to speed things up. If you are at the hospital or birthing center, medications can be given to help your labor along; however, these aren't usually an option if you are still at home. Before using any methods to speed up your labor, speak to your prenatal care professional to ensure you don't have any contraindications for speeding up labor.

Walk if your contractions aren't bad enough to make walking difficult. Gravity may make the baby drop lower. This puts gentle pressure on your cervix and may help you to dilate faster.

Have intercourse. Semen contains prostaglandins that help the cervix to ripen so it can dilate, notes "What to Expect." Additionally, if you orgasm, your body releases oxytocin, which is a natural chemical that helps to speed labor up by making contractions stronger and more frequent.

Use pressure points to stimulate contractions. These points are located in the arch of the foot, the center of the thumb, inside the heel of the foot, and just below the spot where your big toe and second toe join. These pressure points will be very tender while you are in labor. Press on your chosen pressure point for one to three minutes using a small circular motion. Take a break for at least one minute before pressing on any pressure point.

Pressure points on your feet can help labor.
Pressure points on your feet can help labor. (Image: Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images)

Stimulate your nipples using a breast pump or by manually massaging your breasts to produce oxytocin. Massage or use the breast pump until you have a contraction, and then stop for at least 15 minutes. This method shouldn't be used if your contractions are closer than three minutes apart or if your contractions are extremely uncomfortable, as hyperstimulation of the uterus may occur, which can cause uterine rupture.

Tips & Warnings

  • Castor oil and herbs are sometimes used to speed up labor, however these options should only be used if you are being supervised by a midwife, doctor or other medical professional.

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