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Can I induce labor myself?

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Tales abound of home remedies that supposedly bring on labor, but there is no scientific evidence to back them up. These methods include:

Don’t try any of these home methods without first talking to your doctor or midwife. Some could pose risks.

  • Having sex
  • Gently stimulating your nipples
  • Herbal remedies including blue or black cohosh (some herbs can be dangerous if you don’t use them properly)
  • Drinking small amounts of castor oil
  • Walking

From: Inducing Labor WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality: “Thinking About Inducing Your Labor: A Guide for Pregnant Women" and “Elective Induction of Labor: Safety and Harms."

American Academy of Family Physicians: "Methods for Cervical Ripening and Induction of Labor."

American Congress of Obstetricians & Gynecologists: "Labor Induction;" "FAQ Labor Induction;" and "ACOG Practice Bulletin Clinical Management Guidelines for OB-GYN."

Giving Birth with Confidence: "Considering Induction? Learn Your Bishop's Score."

Kavanagh, J. April 23, 2001. The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews,

Kelly, A. 2001. The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews,

Kids Health: "Inducing Labor."

March of Dimes: "Elimination of Non-Medically Indicated (Elective) Deliveries Before 39 Weeks Gestational Age."

National Center for Health Statistics: "New Birth Report Shows More Moms Get Prenatal Care."

National Collaborating Centre for Women’s and Children’s Health: "Monitoring and pain relief for induction of labour."

Office on Women’s Health: “Pregnancy Complications," “Labor and Birth.”

Schaffir, J. , June 2006. Obstetrics & Gynecology

Reviewed by Nivin Todd on July 16, 2017

SOURCES:

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality: “Thinking About Inducing Your Labor: A Guide for Pregnant Women" and “Elective Induction of Labor: Safety and Harms."

American Academy of Family Physicians: "Methods for Cervical Ripening and Induction of Labor."

American Congress of Obstetricians & Gynecologists: "Labor Induction;" "FAQ Labor Induction;" and "ACOG Practice Bulletin Clinical Management Guidelines for OB-GYN."

Giving Birth with Confidence: "Considering Induction? Learn Your Bishop's Score."

Kavanagh, J. April 23, 2001. The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews,

Kelly, A. 2001. The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews,

Kids Health: "Inducing Labor."

March of Dimes: "Elimination of Non-Medically Indicated (Elective) Deliveries Before 39 Weeks Gestational Age."

National Center for Health Statistics: "New Birth Report Shows More Moms Get Prenatal Care."

National Collaborating Centre for Women’s and Children’s Health: "Monitoring and pain relief for induction of labour."

Office on Women’s Health: “Pregnancy Complications," “Labor and Birth.”

Schaffir, J. , June 2006. Obstetrics & Gynecology

Reviewed by Nivin Todd on July 16, 2017

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