Ways to induce contractions (help in labor)

During your pregnancy you live towards the due date. But what if the date has passed and the baby hasn’t arrived yet? Then you can try to get the birth started yourself with some home, garden and kitchen remedies. However, these ‘miracle remedies’ that are said to induce contractions have not been scientifically proven, so it is not certain whether they will help you. But who knows …?

Aids in food products

The substance quinine is found in pineapple, bitter lemon and tonic, it provides the bitter taste and could therefore help induce labor. The disadvantage is that you have to drink or eat a lot of it for it to have an effect and the baby does not like bitter, so not really an option. Moreover, it could cause the baby to defecate in the amniotic fluid, which could cause disadvantages during delivery. Grandmother’s tip in the past was to eat the heart of the pineapple (the inner, bitter one) to induce labor.

Eating spicy food could also help, because it helps the intestines get going. But be careful, because once labor has started, it is not good to eat spicy food. This can cause you to experience nausea and vomiting during childbirth.

Then there are two things you could drink to speed it up; raspberry leaf tea and castor oil. Raspberry leaf tea may help start labor, but it is also good to drink afterwards as it may speed up recovery. Castor oil is a laxative and induces intestinal cramps. This could also induce labor. But your body must already be on the verge of giving birth, otherwise castor oil has no added value. Opinions are also divided about this drug, because it could also cause the baby to poop in the amniotic fluid.


A massage on the inside of your foot could help start the birth. You can have it done by your partner or try to do it yourself (if you are still flexible enough) or you could go to a foot reflexology therapist/pressure point masseur/acupuncturist. You can of course also send your partner to a massage course and then let yourself be pampered!

Making out

Having an orgasm could help induce labor. For your uterus it could be a last hill to take, as the uterus then contracts forcefully. The man’s semen is also said to contain a certain substance that can induce contractions. But then you would have to have sex 5-10 times more than normal sex and most women in the last phase of pregnancy really no longer feel like having sex.

Stimulation of the nipples

The hormone oxytocin is released when you stimulate your nipples through a massage or by sucking on them. But this only seems to help if you do this for a longer period of time (at least 15 minutes to 3 hours a day) and it would only be effective if you were close to giving birth.


Caulophyllum is available in tablet form or drops from the homeopathic brand VSM. This remedy could help to induce contractions through the cervix, but has never been scientifically proven. You can take it from the 37th week of your pregnancy.

To move

It is good to exercise sufficiently in the last phase of your pregnancy. If inducing labor does not help, a walk or bike ride can be relaxing. They say that riding over bumps and bumps could induce contractions, but the effect of this is not clear. You can walk up and down the stairs again, make an extra lap around the house, because the movement ensures that gravity can do its work. If you can no longer cycle or walk for a while, you can jump on the back of someone. Let that person drive over a hilly road, if it doesn’t help you will only be left with a few poor bottoms.

The only thing that really works: stripping

Stripping is a medical procedure that gives you a scientifically proven chance of approximately 30 percent that labor will begin afterwards. Your midwife can strip you if you are at least 1 centimeter dilated.

read more

  • Positions of the baby at birth
  • Development of the baby weeks 1 to 20
  • Development of your baby weeks 21 to 42
  • Alcohol, what is it and what are its consequences?
  • What to eat/drink/do during your pregnancy