A list of ways to kick start labour. Old wives' tales, scientific facts and the ridiculous welcome.

(65 Posts)
TimeyWimeyStuff Thu 10-Jan-13 19:31:28

Please add anything you've heard of or believe works. I have:

Fresh pineapple
Laxatives shock

There must be more? smile

DD2 arrived bang on her due date, despite DD1 having been 10 days late. I am convinced it was because DH and I had sex. Contractions started 2hrs after.

Has to be worth a go, no? grin

MrsHBaby3 Thu 10-Jan-13 19:37:13

hot curries?
rasberry leaf tea?
castor oil?

Jayne266 Thu 10-Jan-13 19:38:34

Cod liver oil and orange
A greasy tea did it for me lol KFC

The only thing that worked for me the second time was the threat of induction again!

Arrange to go out for one last meal before the baby arrives. Worked both times for me. With DS I actually got to finish my meal (contractions started as we were leaving for the restaurant), but with DD I didn't make it out of the house, as they started a couple of hours beforehand.

Get booked in for induction. DS arrived 5 hours before I was due at the hospital to be induced.

I ate curry three nights in the week before dd arrived

cassell Fri 11-Jan-13 00:32:33

My mw told me sex and driving over speed bumps fast hmm presumably not at the same time grin

inadreamworld Fri 11-Jan-13 09:32:50

Whispers I am booked for induction on 22nd when I will be 40+12. I was induced last time (pessary and drip) because waters began leaking at 40+8 and I didn't go into labour naturally. Although it wasn't too bad compared to the horror stories (12 hr labour, epidural, baby born naturally, 2nd degree tear, post partum bleed but recovered quickly) I would rather avoid it this time.

Has anyone tried acupuncture to start things off? Do they do it on the NHS? What about raspberry leaf tea? Anything else!!!???

inadreamworld Fri 11-Jan-13 09:33:29

I meant to add Whispers that maybe the threat of induction again will do the trick!

TimeyWimeyStuff Fri 11-Jan-13 09:33:59

grin To sex on speed bumps. Maybe it's something to do with the shock/adrenaline rush you'd get when arrested wink

Saving all this up for two weeks' time. Just read an interesting debate about whether penetrative or oral sex is better for getting semen prostaglandins into the mother's system. With suggestions that oral is better, but if you don't like to swallow the normal way, perhaps mix it up like a cocktail. wine Think I'll pass.

inadreamworld Fri 11-Jan-13 09:36:16

Timey YUCK!! I would rather be induced.....smile

jaggythistle Fri 11-Jan-13 09:42:54

Have my MIL come and visit you for lunch, worked both times for me within 24 hours...

TimeyWimeyStuff Fri 11-Jan-13 09:43:41

Dream, i'm afraid raspberry leaf won't get you started, it's just supposed to tone your uterus and made it more efficient. I'm drinking a cup a day at the moment - quite like the flavour anyway.

inadreamworld Fri 11-Jan-13 09:44:35

jaggy I think having my MIL over would work too as fortunately she lives far away! The stress of her visit would likely start things off!!

TimeyWimeyStuff Fri 11-Jan-13 09:47:16

Ooh Jaggy, my MIL is coming next weekend... Quite bizarre really, because DD was prem and I'm in a state with SPD etc, they are coming to "babysit" me and DD while DH works all weekend. I'm not massively keen but it will be a Godsend if anything happens.

TimeyWimeyStuff Fri 11-Jan-13 09:51:17

Ha ha, just read this on a website:

"There is a vegetable oil called CASTOR Oil, which is sometimes used to get labor going or for other medicinal purposes. There is a petroleum product, i.e. motor oil, called Castrol Oil, which could be toxic. Please do not confuse them!"

Are people really that stupid or desperate?

Flisspaps Fri 11-Jan-13 09:52:08

Nothing works.

If it did, no-one would ever be induced.


TimeyWimeyStuff Fri 11-Jan-13 09:55:44

Still interesting to hear about suggested methods fliss, if only to pass the time while waiting.

Here's a DIY reflexology tip I just found:

"Reflexology or acupuncture. Point in the roof of the mouth that stimulates the uterus. The technique seems to work best if the client has at least reached 3cm. Carol recommended using "dum dum" (brand name, spherical) lollipops. They fit perfectly into that spot in the roof of the mouth! One other bit of information- this should speed up contractions within 30 minutes... if it doesn't the body is probably not ready."

Could do wonders for Chupa Chup sales wink

scissy Fri 11-Jan-13 11:23:25

I was warned (by midwives, pregnancy books and NCT) NOT to use castor oil, because although it might help induce labour, it's very likely to make you sick & give you diarrhoea + it tastes horrible - think I prefer pineapple!

Flisspaps Fri 11-Jan-13 16:21:33

The other issue with castor oil is it can cause the baby to pass meconium, which is why it isn't recommended.

MoonHare Fri 11-Jan-13 17:48:18

Clary sage oil is supposed to work, there have been threads on it in the past - only try it after your due date. Didn't work for me though.

I agree with flisspaps nothing works, anything that does is coincidence.

peanutMD Fri 11-Jan-13 17:51:30

Blowing up balloons grin

Have tried:

1. Sex - no result
2. Speed bumps (not together - no result)
3. Swallowing (worked after two hours with #1, not with 2 or 3, haven't yet tried with current @ 37+5)
4. Ate a whole pineapple (strange allergic reaction in tongue and lips but no labour sad)
5. Laxatives (no result - not even what u would expect)
6. Walking (no result other than to aggravate my spd)
7. Stairs (see walking)
8. Walking with one foot on, one foot off kerb (got strange looks)
9. Blowing up balloons (nada)
10. Curries/chilli/other spicy food (bad heartburn and reflux, otherwise nada)
11. Threat of induction (worked with #1, combined with aforementioned swallowing grin, also worked with #2, both times went into labour 12 hrs before induction scheduled)
12. Birthing ball (possibly helped #3 along after about 4 days solid)

Currently desperate but only really want to try 1, 3, and 12 again due to ineffectiveness and unpleasant side effects of the rest!

Any further suggestions welcome!

adagio Mon 14-Jan-13 03:30:48

In addition to those mentioned already:
1) evening primrose oil capsules - both swallowed and taken up your ahem fanjo as a pessary (found this one on baby and bump forum)
2) clary sage and lavender essential oils in a fairly hot bath, once or ideally twice a day (clearly only possible after mat leave has started!)

PFB baby born 20/12/2012 at 40w plus 3 days, into hospital 10.30am baby arrived by 4pm - was also drinking copious amounts of raspberry leaf tea, eating chilli hotter than the gates of hell and having lots of sex - not sure which of the methods (if any) actually bought things on!

So, the evening primrose oil capsules - what do they do? And (stupid question) do they dissolve up the ahem fanjo? grin

Congrats btw!

adagio Mon 14-Jan-13 03:55:47

Thanks :-)

Allegedly they help soften your cervix to bring things along, and are also prostglandin (sp?) like.

They dissolve up there, but I suggest putting in at night to increase the probability of some of it staying in roughly the right place.

I bought the cheapest possible ones in boots (99p I think) then re read the forum and discovered it was meant to be mega dose ones so shoved two in at a time. No idea if it actually helped to be honest! Clary sage and lavender bath every morning too (TMI felt the need for additional bathing what with all the sex and oily capsules!)

I had what I thought was period pain cramps it seemed pretty much constantly for about a week, and on the day I woke up early (6am), had my usual hot bath and then a really bad tummy, noted the cramps getting worse and then at about 8am clocked they might actually be coming and going … ahh these could be contractions … fished hubby out of bed (he was off work) and lobbed him in the shower and timed a few and realised they might in fact be every 3 or 4 minutes for 50 seconds or so - yikes.

ProtegeMoi Mon 14-Jan-13 04:10:34

I have been induced 3 times for being overdue and have tried every thing listed on this thread. Nothing at all worked for me.

My favorite was trampolining, you can only begin to imagine how funny that looks at 2 weeks overdue!

I don't have a bath sad. I've been cramping and uncomfy for a week or so now but have been told I've had an irritable uterus from 28 weeks or so so I don't suppose it means much.

Well I've just got dh to bring in evening primrose oil capsules on way home from work (I'm in Aus) and necked two, lol. Unfortunately my 7yr old overheard me telling dh that they need to go in both ends blush, so won't stop sniggering that mummy's going to stick tablets up her bottom!!

Oh well, I'm at karate class now so fingers crossed!! :-)

I think if I went on a trampoline it might just kill me!!

MrsHoarder Mon 14-Jan-13 06:51:57

Serotonin drip grin

I suggest you stop trying to start labour and get ask the jobs done/read a good book whilst you can.

TimeyWimeyStuff Mon 14-Jan-13 08:13:21

fair point, but that all wears thin when you've already been signed off for weeks and have an older child to entertain. As i said upthread, I am just trying to have an interesting discussion about some of the things people think work. smile

melliebobs Mon 14-Jan-13 08:15:18

The ONLY thing that worked was 'threat of induction'

17 days late. Tried everything. Induction appointment for 10:30am. Went into labour at 2am waters broke at 11am in assessment bay grin 2 fingers to that

TimeyWimeyStuff Mon 14-Jan-13 08:17:00

blonde, i hope karate does the trick! my irritable ute became apparent at 29 weeks. Wears a bit thin, doesn't it, especially when you can't use it to get things going when you hit full term. i'm eyeing DD's snow covered trampoline with interest...wink

BikeRunSki Mon 14-Jan-13 08:19:54

My pg yoga teacher swore by massaging the undersides of your toes. Both my babies came a few days before edd, so I am afraid I can't say I have.ever tried.

FadBook Mon 14-Jan-13 08:38:10

Acupuncture - I'm surprised no one has mentioned this already.

There are pressure points for you to bear down and a good acupuncturist will ensure that your points all direct blood to your cevix to induce labour, as well as de stressing you and making you relax.

I'm completely biased as I had acupuncture 41+1 and hard labour started 12 hours later grin dd arriving within 20 hours.

I also had acupuncture before and after IVF transfer and it worked! Could be flook but I'm a big fan as I now have dd asleep in my arms so I have to be a believer!! grin

digerd Mon 14-Jan-13 08:51:24

Due date, and while sitting I could put a plate on top of bump to eat off.
Decided I'd had enough and gently pushed the bump from the top. My waters broke and soaked the arm chair. Don't know if it made baby turn round onto back, but 36 hours later she emerged face upwards. Perhaps I should not have done it.

NAR4 Mon 14-Jan-13 09:49:58

Stimulating nipples is also meant to help. Found this suggestion on the internet last time I was overdue. My waters broke but labour didn't get going properly, so ended up on a drip to induce. Previous three were all induced as well.

I will be trying most of the suggestions this time round, but am not expecting any of them to work really, just something to help tick off the days until induction really. Tend to agree with Flisspaps. If anything really worked your midwife would advise you to do it after 40 wks rather than have to induce you in hospital.

LeBFG Mon 14-Jan-13 15:06:56

Yes, stimulating nipples releases oxytocin that sets off contractions (there's even such a thing as a 'nipple stimulation test' whatever that is). So you could get someone else's baby to bf you?!! grin. Or have lots of orgasms - they release lots of oxytocin too.

TimeyWimeyStuff Mon 14-Jan-13 15:41:05

Hmm... I wonder if using the breast pump works the same way? I have been leaking loads of cloudy colostrum so could even have some "output".

inadreamworld Mon 14-Jan-13 17:49:27

Am having a sweep on Weds when I will be 41 weeks - hope that works!! The midwife says she won't do it if my cervix not favourable and as this is my 2nd baby it is more likely that the cervix is a bit open.

Emsyboo Mon 14-Jan-13 20:15:16

I tried
Hot curries
Stimulating nipples

I think if you are close to labour it can sometimes help but everyone is different I ended up being induced anyway lol

MIL cooked a curry 4 days after DS was born couldn't face it after all the curries I'd had trying to get things started still can't face pineapple lol

Lin1hypno Mon 14-Jan-13 21:17:26

Reflexology, acupuncture or hypnotherapy.

Timey, the irritable uterus has got to be one of the most, well, irritable things I've ever experienced. Unfortunately, I'm not much further forward. Really thought something was happening last night, but, no - no such luck!

It's really starting to get me down as I'm keeping so unwell, but know from previous experience, that virtually as soon as that baby's on the outside, it's almost like flicking a switch and I'm on the road to being A OK!!

Anyhow, I tried a couple of acupressure points that I watched a tutorial on on YouTube but they were bloody sore! It's hard to do it to yourself, so ill try to convince dh to try tonight. And I can't bear to touch my nipples either blush, just makes me cringe! (Yes, I'm weird). But i suppose if desperation calls, I might have to.

newyearsday Tue 15-Jan-13 14:08:20

Anything which gets your oxytocin hormone flowing: relaxing in a dark room, sex, orgasms, cuddling partner/children/newborn babies, kissing, watching a feel-good film, etc.

FreckledLeopard Tue 15-Jan-13 14:16:41

Orgasms and nipple-twiddling. I twiddled nipples twice a day, every day, for twenty minutes at a time, in the week leading up to my due date. I woke up on my due date in labour. DD born the next day.

ashiramartin Tue 15-Jan-13 18:39:36

A good laugh set off my labour

LadyIsabellaWrotham Tue 15-Jan-13 18:44:30

Really really wanting to hold on for one more day

TheOldestCat Tue 15-Jan-13 18:44:57

I was eight days overdue with DC2, in danger of losing my chance at a homebirth and my cervix was, according to the midwife 'unfavourable'.

I trudged home, sat on my gym ball thing that evening and watched 'one born every minute' for hours until I fell into bed.

Woke up the next morning to a show and weak contractions - DS was born at 11:30 that night.

orangetickle Tue 15-Jan-13 19:01:28

Sex. Lots of sex.

And greasy food. I went to Burger King on my due date (long story but a long-standing joke between DH and I: I never ever eat junk food and he insisted I should 'make the most' of being pregnant and eat some hmm), and my water broke three hours later, despite having zero signs beforehand (never noticed a show etc). Still had to be induced since my contractions didn't start properly, but at least it started the clock ticking!!

rachybaby02 Tue 15-Jan-13 23:22:55

I've been told by my mates to scrub kitchen floor on all fours to get my contractions going stronger as baby is already engaged and I'm in slow labour so come home till pains more frequent also too Hoover stairs (35+1) midwife ain't stopped contractions cos already had steroids few week bk to mature his lungs x

TimeyWimeyStuff Wed 16-Jan-13 07:41:41

To be honest, I still wouldn't be pushing it, Rach. DD was born at 36+1 and while her lungs were fine, she still had to be in an incubator for 24 hours, then had feeding issues for the first six months. I'm only a few days ahead of you, so I know the temptation to push it, but I'm saving any ideas up for 37 weeks. Good luck when the time comes!

inadreamworld Wed 16-Jan-13 13:21:26

rach the time to start pushing it is when like me you are 41 weeks, the sweep this morning seems to have done nothing and you would rather not have another induction on the drip!!! Agggh! But good luck to you anyway, sounds as if you won't have long to wait.

TimeyWimeyStuff Wed 16-Jan-13 16:58:22

Really hope it has a delayed effect, Dream and things get going asp. We've just pretty much signed a deal to move house before my EDD. That should do the trick wink

Wuxiapian Wed 16-Jan-13 18:43:23

I'm 40.3 today and been advised that pineapples are the way to go, but could I find any ripe ones in the shops?!

TimeyWimeyStuff Wed 16-Jan-13 19:28:31

And apparently you need about 8 of them to do any use! (Just got one in my shopping delivery. Think it will be safe to eat...) wink

maxbear Wed 16-Jan-13 21:14:27

I did a lot of nipple stimulation after sex for two nights and had a lot of contractions over night but didn't go in to labour, on the third night after sex I did some more nipple stim and started contracting properly. Labour took longer than my other two (probably because at 39 weeks my body was a bit surprised to find itself in labour) but it was better than staying pregnant, and it meant that the baby did not get to be as big as his brother had been. Worked for me, but I did have sex every night and I did do a lot of nipple stimulation. I was around term with my other two having done the sex thing but not bothered as much with the nipple stimulation.

inadreamworld Thu 17-Jan-13 13:42:21

Thanks TimeyWimey the sweep hasn't worked yet though had mild period pains last night and a show (though don't think that really indicates much). Am doubtful if anything will happen before induction date on Monday but you never know. Hope you didn't make yourself ill on pineapples!

TimeyWimeyStuff Thu 17-Jan-13 15:01:17

A show is good in my eyes. it was my first sign of labour and DD was born the next day. You've got time to beat the system! smile

5madthings Thu 17-Jan-13 15:08:08

Evening primrose oil capsules up your fanjo, po one in before bed and it will dissolve overnight, wear a pad tho!

Nipple stimulation, sex and make sure baby ius in a good position.

VariousBartimaeus Thu 17-Jan-13 15:41:50

I gave birth at 38+5 which was lovely as not premature but didn't get bored waiting for DS to appear! (and it was a nice surprise)

I'm convinced it's because we lived on the 6th floor without a lift, so walking up the stairs gave me loads of contractions (and made me sick in the first 5 months angry).

Was a lot of effort though just for an "early" birth grin

beckslovestimmy Thu 17-Jan-13 19:08:57

Well...... gave birth at 38 + 1 following all day walking around town. Went to bed at 10pm had sex and contractions started straight after, went on all night but were tailing off in the morning, got DH to take me in at 6.30 only 2cm dilated, 4 hours later only 3 cm dilated. Waters went at 15.15 baby girl in my arms at 16.04. (first baby). Who knows if it was the sex, walking, or was going to happen anyway?????

TimeyWimeyStuff Sun 20-Jan-13 08:10:59

How's it going InADreamWorld ?

inadreamworld Sun 20-Jan-13 20:34:24

DD2 arrived yesterday morning after a short labour of only around 4 hrs - only just got to hospital in time - I think it was the membrane sweep that did it.

justdonna Mon 17-Mar-14 19:11:39

cod liver oil and orange is disgusting and did not work, baby arrived 2 weeks later

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