What Can Induce Labor?

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Things that can help induce labor include walking, eating particular foods, having intercourse and taking Castor oil. Experiment with various methods of inducing labor, only when the due date is overdue, with helpful information from a certified nurse-midwife in this free video on pregnancy.

Part of the Video Series: Pregnancy Information
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Video Transcript

So you're really getting tired of this whole pregnancy thing and you're ready to do whatever you can at home to get this baby out. This is Mavis Schorn, nurse midwife and professor at Vanderbilt University School of Nursing and I'm going to talk to you about a few possible suggestions. First of all know that pregnancy will end on it's own and the biggest advice I have for you is to be patient, but if you are getting overdue, you're past your due date or your provider is starting to talk to you about an induction, you may want to do a few things to try to stimulate labor before that big induction date. Some things you'll hear about work, some things have been shown to work, some things haven't so we'll just run them out and run through some of the common ones. One is walking. Walking is always good for you, I don't know that it necessarily puts you into labor, but it may help you in coping with a few contractions that you're having, early labor walking is good. Another item that comes up frequently is eating and you will hear all kinds of suggestions on what you should eat and usually include some kind of spicy thing. And you know, if it works, go for it, go try the eggplant Parmesan or whatever it is that someone's told you absolutely put them into labor, it might, but nothing particularly has been shown so just make that sort of a fun thing. Now one thing that has some real legitimate factors to it is actually having sex. This may be the last thing you feel like doing now at the end of pregnancy, but prostaglandin and there's natural prostaglandin in semen and we use synthetic prostaglandin for women to help ripen their cervixes so it makes sense that if you introduce the natural stuff through having sex that that may, whether it puts you into labor, will help to soften and ready your cervix. If your body's not ready for labor, it's not going to do that but it's something that can help. Then you'll start hearing things about herbs and there are some herbs, some common ones are blue and black cohosh, I would not recommend you take those on your own, you need to see somebody or talk with somebody, one of your, a provider that you have that is familiar with using it and can help guide you through that. There are some side effects to those that make us a little bit concerned about their use on a regular basis. Now another one that's probably been talked about is castor oil And castor oil, your grandmother is right or whoever mentioned it that sometimes that can work and all it is is it's a stimulus to your gut and all that intestinal activity also tends to stimulate your uterus. So it can work, now one is you need to be at least full term, your cervix needs to be ready. So if your provider, if your midwife or doctor has said oh you're walking around three or four centimeters and it can happen any day, it's really ready, this is something that actually might work. Again you may want to talk to them before you do it, but it can work. What you want to do is take about a one, they come in one ounce bottles and mix it with a juice or that you do like because you won't like it again and drink it down, I recommend doing it very early in the morning rather than at night otherwise you'll be up all night long, so do it early in the morning and maybe even go back to bed. Now four hours later if you don't have diarrhea yet, you can repeat it again. Again, one ounce in a glass of juice. It will eventually make you have diarrhea, no question. Now whether it will put into labor is a whole other thing. If you are so desperate and so ready to try to make something happen you can give it a try but you need to know that you can very dehydrated so you need to drink quite a bit at the same time as you're doing that. And at the end of the day, you just may have had a rip roaring case of diarrhea and no labor, no baby yet, but it's up to you to try.

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