What's likely to start/induce labour?

Alright, SO: I'd like to ask for your input on something!

Usually I shy away from advice given by commenters - it tends to come uninvited or unwanted, the more sensitive the topic, the crazier the advice - but this time, hola!, I'm up for hearing whatever you guys think is out there.

And the question is: what are the things you're aware of or have heard of to be potential labour-starters? Like, things that would induce contractions in a woman that is nearing full term in her pregnancy?

I am aware, yes, that most - if not all - of the things that are likely to be suggested here will be of unproven efficacy. Say, if a woman drank raspberry leaf tea and went into labour at 39 weeks, it's not really known whether she went into labour because of drinking raspberry leaf tea, or whether she would've gone into labour anyway.

But I figure, things that won't hurt, I might as well try, on the blessing of my midwife.

I am slowly nearing full term (34 weeks now, yay!) and being a diabetic VBAC I am now aware that in all likelihood I will be allowed to wait for natural labour to start until 40 weeks, and after that - it will depend on obstetricians on duty, of course, and what me and The Man will have to say about all this, of course - but in all likelihood I will then either be given an option of being induced with Syntocinon + breaking the waters, or straight up elective caesarean because, as a rule, Christchurch Women's doesn't allow diabetic VBACs go overdue.

And so because of that, I figure that from 38 weeks onwards - if all still looks lovely and uncomplicated - I might as well try whatever looks reasonable, yes?, because the best option here, really, is if my contractions start naturally sometime before the due date, rather than going down the induction road.

I'll do my own googling and I will discuss whatever we will be trying with my midwife, but for the sake of having an array of options to choose from - please feel free to let loose! =D All help welcome.

What've you heard of?
Anything you've tried?
Anything you've had friends and family try, and have heard of?

Teas, massages, sex positions, whatever - I'm all ears! =)


  1. With pretty much all of the options you don't really know if it was going to happen anyway, or if what you did helped. We tried sex, and lots of walking for eldest. I don't know if it helped or not, but I did finally go into labour at 10 days over. With youngest he decided to turn up 2 weeks early and we hadn't got desperate enough to try anything at that point.

    1. I'm sure my husband will be very interested in trying the lots of sex option =P

    2. Funnily enough my husband thought that one was a great idea too!

  2. I have heard that there are several methods to induce labour (in Germany all pregnant women drink the raspberry leaf tee - every midwife suggests that, so did I - without any impact). Because, honestly, I don't really believe in that - it seems to be quite evidential that the signal for labour arises from baby, it's a specific protein: http://www.pregnancyandbaby.com/pregnancy/articles/941885/what-starts-labor
    Quite common in Germany is also acupuncture. I would definitely NOT recommend a castor oil cocktail which is also quite often suggested in internet. I would prefer sex or walking or floor cleaning instead of that ;)

  3. Vabandan, et eesti keeles, aga mulle tundub, et minu sünnitegevuse algusele aitas kaasa jalutamine. 37 nädalat oli täis ja mul oli juba väga raske olla, seega tegin ikka väga pikkasid matkasid. 2 päeva enne sünnitust nii 7 km (see oli ikka väga korralik pingutus sellise kõhuga :) Trepist kõndisin ka jala (elan 7ndal korrusel). Võib muidugi olla, et Elin tahtis ka ise juba välja tulla - sündis ta 37+1, aga oli juba 3500g. Edu sulle!!!

    1. seitsmendale korrusele 37 nädalat rasedana!?!

      juudas... mind võtab praegu üks trepivahe kah hingeldama. pärast haigeolekut võtavad 3 trepiASTET esiukse juurde hingeldama...

  4. Maiken21.4.14

    I did try castor oil and wonder why the previous commenter does not recommend. The castor oil (2x 20ml) worked, I was at 41 weeks without any signs of impending labour until I drank it. I took 20ml in the afternoon, without ANY effects, then 20ml before bed. It works as a laxative and by making the bowels move it also gets things going in the baby's head. It just gets uncomfortable, I guess. :) By 7AM I had contractions, by 2PM the baby was born. My midwife did warn me about the laxative effects (it was good for the labour, though, no "side effects") and that it might not start the labour. I was glad it did, though - the baby was enormous and it was my first pregnancy. The second child came at 41 weeks all by herself, but I would have tried castor oil again had it gone further overdue.