Natural Induction Methods: Let’s Examine the Evidence

This is a wonderful get post by Neve Spicer, researcher and editor at

If you’re reaching that 40th week of pregnancy and waiting in eager anticipation, you’re not alone. It’s not always the most comfortable state of being – quarters can get a little tight during the last leg of your baby’s nine month lease – plus, meeting them is the only thing on your mind. Now, no doubt you have heard that baby knows best and that they are just where they should be, however, if you’ve gone past your due date but your baby simply isn’t budging, you may also be concerned about medical induction, which can sometimes lead to a more complicated delivery.

Just as natural medicine has been inextricably linked to human history, so too have natural treatments suggested to induce labor. Traditional wisdom suggests a variety of methods which vary by culture, but sadly, the amount of actual scientific research that has been done on naturally triggering labor is minimal. Despite this, the veracity of the existing research does help to give moms some perspective on some of the most commonly used methods of natural labor induction.

While inducing labor naturally may sound like a gentler solution than the medical alternative, the studies that do exist show us that not all suggested natural labor triggers are safe or effective. Some may have no effect at all, and others may have unpleasant or outright unsafe side effects which contraindicate their use entirely. This can include labor and birth complications, so being educated on the topic isn’t optional if you’re attempting a natural induction.

It’s also essential to consult with your OB-GYN before considering natural induction methods. It’s important that you and your child be medically ready for your labor and that the method you’ve chosen is one that’s safe for you. To help parents understand the effects, benefits and risks of the most common methods of natural labor induction, WeTheParents have created this visualisation examining nine purported natural labor triggers with regard to if they work, how they work and the side effects parents should know about.

Let’s dive in.

Edmonton doula


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