It feels like baby’s never going to leave!
We hear you, mama.
Not only are you starting to feel pretty uncomfortable, but you’re really excited to finally meet your baby.
If you’re looking for safe ways to go into labor tonight, we’ve got some ideas that might help.
In this article: 📝
- Guaranteed ways to induce labor (do they really exist?)
- Medical ways to go into labor overnight
- What triggers labor to start?
- How can I get my water to break?
- How to get this baby out tonight
Guaranteed ways to induce labor (do they really exist?)
We’ll put a proviso here: when it comes to inducing childbirth, no approach comes with a 100% guarantee.
What works for one mama might not work for another, and a lot of the natural suggestions out there are anecdotal.
Most of the time, the best thing you can do is try and relax.
Your little one should come when they’re ready.
If you’re curious to find out whether one of the natural approaches out there might work for you, here are a few options to try.
1. Go for a walk
Gravity is your friend here, and the idea is that it could prompt your baby to drop further into the birth canal, which could cause your cervix to dilate.
In a study conducted in 2014, 32% of women who went into spontaneous labor said that they thought walking helped to trigger it.
But it’s quite difficult to tell whether this is true or not.
Did walking cause labor, or was it just a coincidence that these women went for a walk shortly before their babies were born?
Either way, going for a walk in the late stages of pregnancy is still a good idea.
Just make sure you listen to your body and don’t overexert yourself. You’re going to need your strength.
2. Have sex
This one’s quite a popular recommendation, and there are some scientific reasons why.
Semen contains hormone-like compounds called prostaglandins, which are similar in structure to the medical interventions doctors use to induce labor.
They can also help to soften your cervix.
The activity that sex causes in your uterus might help get contractions going, too.
The evidence about this approach isn’t conclusive, though.
As long as you’re in the mood and your water hasn’t broken, there’s no harm in giving it a shot.
3. Have a cup of tea
Some of our Peanut mamas swear that drinking raspberry leaf tea helped ease them into labor.
While the science is still debating this miracle labor tea, it can be worth drinking daily from week 32 (not earlier, as it can bring about contractions).
4. Eat some spicy food
Proponents of this theory also say that it’s also about prostaglandins.
Some spicy foods can cause your body to release prostaglandins, which can prompt labor, or they irritate your gut, which might start uterine contractions.
But, like the options above, the scientific research into this option isn’t cut-and-dry.
“Spicy food may trigger preterm labor or the premature rupture of membranes in susceptible women”, one study says.
It’s not a guarantee, though, and we’re not quite sure what makes one mama susceptible over another.
Just remember that now might not be the best time to try new and unusual foods.
You don’t want to make yourself sick just when you’re about to need your energy.
Stay safe, mama, and only eat spicy foods if they’re already a regular part of your diet.
5. Go for acupuncture
Can a few acupuncture needles in the right places prompt your baby to say, “Right, I’m out of here!”?
Some say yes.
They believe that acupuncture helps to release oxytocin, the hormone that can help your uterus to contract, as well as prostaglandins.
There isn’t a huge amount of research to support this, though, and even the studies that have looked into it say that more research needs to be conducted.
If you enjoy acupuncture, a session might help you to relieve some tension, and that, at the very least, is a good thing.
Medical ways to go into labor overnight
If you’re past your due date, your doctor might also recommend that you induce labor medically.
There’s no reason to panic, mama.
Many doctors suggest this route as a way of keeping both you and your baby safe. It’s meant to help you.
A medical induction is usually recommended if you’re two weeks past your due date and you’re not going into spontaneous labor.
It might also be an option if your baby is too small, too large, or if there are any circumstances or conditions that are putting either you or your little one at risk.
There are several steps you’ll need to follow if you’re medically induced, and your doctor or midwife will monitor you closely throughout.
They might try one of the following approaches:
- Ripening the cervix, which involves softening the cervix so that it dilates easily when you go into labor.
- Stripping the membranes, which involves your doctor sweeping the membranes that connect the amniotic sac to the wall of your uterus. Your cervix needs to be partially dilated first.
- Rupturing the amniotic sac. This procedure is called an amniotomy and involves your doctor using a long thin (sterile) plastic instrument to gently break the amniotic sac and break your water. Your cervix needs to be partially dilated for this one, too.
- Giving oxytocin. Oxytocin can cause your uterus to contract. If you’ve gone through the previous steps, your doctor might give you a synthetic form of oxytocin called Pitocin.
- A c-section is another option that your doctor might consider if your body and your baby need a little bit more help. If you think this could be an option, have a chat with your doctor.
What triggers labor to start?
Are you ready to have your mind blown?
It’s not actually your body that decides when labor is about to start.
It could be that it’s baby calling the shots!
According to a study in 2004, when baby is ready to make their grand entrance into the world, their body will release “a tiny amount of a substance that signals the mother’s hormones to begin labor”.
So if baby’s not making moves to leave, it’s because you’ve made such a lovely home for them for the past 9 months!
How can I get my water to break?
It’s not recommended to do anything to intentionally break your waters at home, as there’s a risk of infection and harm to baby, and yourself.
But if you do want to move this whole birth thing along, and your waters haven’t broken, speak with your doctor about the next best steps.
How to get this baby out tonight
We feel you, mama.
While there are certainly things you can try, there are no guarantees when it comes to birth.
And remember that you shouldn’t try to start labor contractions before your due date, mama.
If you and your baby are both well and happy, and if there’s no reason to believe that they won’t come out in their own time, then rather don’t force contractions or labor.
Some induction methods can cause your uterus to contract too often and to become overstimulated.
This can affect your little one’s heart rate and might even cause infection.
If you’re concerned at all, speak to your doctor.
They’ll be able to tell you whether you need to try any natural or medical interventions, or whether it’s best to wait a little bit longer.
Hang in there, mama.
You’ll have your brand-new baby in your arms in no time.