5 Natural Remedies to Advance Labor

For different reasons, many women look for ways to speed up labor naturally. If you're anxious for your delivery, you can use some of the options in this article to naturally advance labor.
5 Natural Remedies to Advance Labor

Last update: 19 July, 2018

Natural remedies to advance labor are very popular among expectant mothers. The desire to meet their baby causes women to use different methods to speed up this special moment.

However, you shouldn’t use some of these techniques before your 36th week. You don’t want to accidentally go into labor prematurely before your baby is fully developed.

In addition, most of these methods don’t have strong evidence that they work. This is why it’s always a good idea to check with your doctor to make sure it’s a good option for you.

You should keep in mind that any method of inducing labor could increase your chance of needing a cesarean section and other emergency interventions. Make sure to be careful with these methods, if you decide to use any.

5 Natural Remedies to Advance Labor

Here’s a list of the most well-known natural remedies to speed up labor:

1. Red Raspberry Leaf Tea

Drinking red raspberry leaf tea helps balance hormones and tone your uterus. This natural remedy is rich in vitamins A, B, C and E, and it also contains important minerals like magnesium, potassium, and calcium.

This tea shortens the duration of labor and may reduce the need for medical interventions during birth. We recommend drinking 3 or 4 cups of tea every day in your third trimester.

5 Natural Remedies to Advance Labor

2. Primrose Oil

Primrose oil is recommended for pregnant women who are past their due date or have given birth late before.

It’s rich in linolenic acid. This helps soften and discolor the cervix in the weeks before delivery. Therefore, it also causes the production of prostaglandins.

You can take capsules of primrose oil orally or inserted directly into the vaginaIf you insert it, be sure it’s placed close to the cervix.

“Learn to respect this sacred moment of birth, as fragile, as fleeting, as elusive as dawn.”
–Frederick Leboyer–

3. Castor Oil

Castor oil is the classic tool to naturally induce labor. You should use this method with caution and only if your doctor approves. It causes your intestines to start to contract, which can make your uterus contract.

However, you should know that intestinal contractions cause diarrhea. This can be uncomfortable and, worst case scenario, cause dehydration.

If you choose to use this method, be sure to drink plenty of coconut water. This helps you stay hydrated and keep your electrolyte levels up. Since castor oil doesn’t taste very good, you can add a spoonful to a smoothie or a cup of orange juice.

4. Pineapples

Pineapples contain the enzyme bromelain which causes your cervix to dilate. Therefore, it helps advance labor. You should know that it only contains very small amounts of this enzyme with proteolytic action.

However, eating lots of pineapple can stimulate your intestine and, just like castor oil, increase activity in your uterus. You should eat fresh pineapple since bromelain is destroyed when it’s canned or processed in juice.

5 Natural Remedies to Advance Labor

5. Walking

The last natural remedy is walking. While it’s an excellent exercise for future mothers, it also moves the baby towards the cervix at the end of pregnancy.

In addition, walking releases oxytocin, the hormone that helps trigger and regulate contractions. Therefore, mothers that are close to or past the due date may want to walk more to help induce labor.

Finally, before trying these natural remedies to speed up delivery, you must get your doctor’s approval.

Generally, it’s best to let the baby set his or her own birth date, even if that means waiting a little longer. Your baby will be here before you know it!

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Neri I, Dante G, Pignatti L, Salvioli C, Facchinetti F. Castor oil for induction of labour: a retrospective study. J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med. 2018 Aug;31(16):2105-2108.
  • Lu JH, He JR, Shen SY, Wei XL, Chen NN, Yuan MY, Qiu L, Li WD, Chen QZ, Hu CY, Xia HM, Bartington S, Cheng KK, Lam KBH, Qiu X; Born in Guangzhou Cohort Study Group. Does tea consumption during early pregnancy have an adverse effect on birth outcomes? Birth. 2017 Sep;44(3):281-289.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.