15 Things I Did To Ease and Induce Labor (And What Worked)

This very day last year is when I declined the offer for a wheelchair to enter the hospital. I waddled right in with my big fat belly, rode the elevator  up to the labor and delivery suite with my husband, and got ready to have a baby.

A little different than how I expected it would all go down? Definitely.

I enjoyed a WONDERFUL pregnancy and was happy to let nature take it's course in getting baby here. But -- when my due date came and went, and day after day went by, I had a little fun with ways to help move everything along. I was bored on maternity leave and would try just about anything to meet Camille. (My husband was not a fan of everything I was doing -- he thought I was crazy. Just for the record.)

Here are fifteen things I did last year to try to ease and induce labor ... and what actually worked.

May 13 last year. 41 weeks + 1 day at that point.

(Most importantly, this is meant to be a fun post and not a medical post. Please, if you are pregnant, consult with your doctor about any of these ideas before trying them ... the name of the game here is safety and we want to keep that little baby happy and healthy -- mama too.)

Pineapple. Ohhh, delicious. I purchased the big container of freshly-cut pineapple from the grocery store and went to town. I remember sitting outside on the patio with a plate of pineapple and a cup of tea. After eating my body weight in pineapple, I waited and waited for contractions to start. Nothing. But it made for a great breakfast!

Red Raspberry Leaf Tea. Apparently this helps get your body prepped for labor. Not sure if it works, but I sure drank a good bit of it. I purchased mine from Earthfare and you can also find it here on Amazon. I had it hot and I also enjoyed it on ice. I started drinking it several weeks before my due date.

Eggplant Parmesan. Old wives' tales did not ring true for me. Eggplant parmesan sadly did not bring on contractions for me, but it sure tasted yummy.

Spicy Food. We had Mexican food one night and I went to town with the hot sauce. Hot, hot, hot! And the baby stayed put that night.

Clary Sage Oil. For several weeks prior to my due date, before bed I inhaled clary sage oil for relaxation. I used this one. Towards the time of my due date, I would put a little on a cotton pad and place it near my pillow to inhale the scent while sleeping.

Evening Primrose Oil. I also took some of these pills (this brand) leading up to and around my due date.

Squats. Whoooo-lawdy, they weren't easy towards the end of my pregnancy, but I did squats every day or every few days. I often did this while brushing my teeth. I closed the door so Ian wouldn't have that image burned into his brain.

Walking. So, walking induces labor, right? Maybe not in my case. I walked a TON -- around the neighborhood, around the mall. I used my Map My Run app to track my distances and would often go to the mall and tell myself that I would make sure to walk at least a mile before I was allowed to head home.

Pedicures. Apparently certain pressure points in your feet can help induce labor. I had two pedicures during the last part of my pregnancy. Side benefit -- pretty toes in the hospital. :) Other side benefit -- pretty toes for the next month when all you can do is stare at your perfect newborn.

Bouncing on a yoga ball. My doula laughed at me and said it would not bring on labor, but I did it anyway. Plus, it was very comfortable! I spent a long time on Mothers Day last year on that darn ball, rolling around and bouncing.

Hypnobirthing by Journeys Inward. I listened to this hypnotherapy mp3 (available on iTunes) almost every night as I neared my due date. The hypnotherapist's voice was incredibly calming and soothing, reassuring me that I was ready to meet my baby, that laboring was a natural event that my body was capable of handling, and that I could easily manage the pain (spoiler alert, I got an epidural). Still, LOVED my evenings relaxing with this mp3 -- I listened to it on my iPhone or iPad with headphones and would highly recommend it to anyone as they near their due date. I hesitated to spend the $15 on it but am so glad I did. Well worth it!

Hypno-Birthing 1 - Relax & Bond With Your Baby  Hypnosis download Mp3

Castor Oil. Yup. Did it on the fifth day after my due date. Mixed it with ice cream per my doula's suggestion and ate it for breakfast. It was disgusting, did nothing, and I can no longer eat Harris Teeter's lemon cookie ice cream. Seriously, just the thought of that flavor makes me nauseated.

Homeopathic Tablets. These were provided to me by my doula and I took them with the intent to bring on consistent, steady contractions. They did rev up contractions a bit (I also took them on the fifth day after my due date) but did not produce a baby. :)

Acupuncture. I was sent to a particular acupuncturist recommended by my doula. I paid $100 for my session and was told that if I didn't go into labor, I could return the next day for a second session at no charge. I was back on the second day, and still -- no baby.

Et cetera. I have a few other tricks up my sleeve that aren't blog-friendly. So they will stay unlisted from this post. :)

Soooo -- what worked?

Good ol' fashioned CERVADIL and PITOCIN. Yay for medical intervention! You can read my birth story here. Camille was nine days late and worth every bit of wait.

And here we are on her birthday eve. How in the word is my baby turning one tomorrow?! Wow, time sure passes by quickly.

I took the day off of work tomorrow so I can spend it with her. I'm so excited to celebrate the big day tomorrow with her and Ian, and we will have a small celebration this weekend with some family members and friends!


  1. I love this post! Probably because I tried about half of these myself plus my OB stripped my membranes 3 times....I have now come to the conclusion that unless you medically intervene with the drugs or the doc breaks your water, there's nothing YOU can do to make the baby come.

    Cannot believe tomorrow is the big day. Cherish it!!

  2. After going into false labor 3 times 2 weeks ago, I decided it was time for the pitocin! Going into labor on my own was for the birds! haha This is a great list. I tried most of these as well.

  3. Haha I loved this post!! I tried everything with #1 that my Dr and the Internet suggested after my doctor told me at 36 weeks that baby was engaged and coming early! (Nope she was also late and I too had to be induced.) The castor oil was the worst and I was foolish enough to do it three times over two weeks straight on a spoon like Mary Poppins handed out! Makes me gag just thinking about it 5 years later! Happy birthday to your sweet girl!

  4. I guess baby just comes when baby comes, but I really like the idea of that hypno cd....I'm going to have to remember that, I feel like that would really help calm my nerves and get my mind in the right place. I can't believe 1 year ago I was stalking your Insta for the exciting news of Camille's arrival! My how time flies. Enjoy your day tomorrow!! Xo

  5. This post made me laugh out loud! I tried a few etcetera options myself & I think the long & short of it is that babies aren't on our schedule! I cannot believe she's going to be one tomorrow!

  6. Thomas and I took Ellie's first birthday off last year and took he to the zoo. It was the best day!! Now that I'm a nanny I get to be with her everyday so we're not taking the day off this year...but planning on dinner at chuck e cheese!

  7. Turning ONE already, my goodness! Congratulations April!! This post was lots of fun. I remember thinking I could influence mine to make her arrival too, but goodness, when they are ready they are ready aren't they! Enjoy tomorrow with your sweet girl xx

  8. We had our first 4 days after Ms. Camille's arrival, so we will be celebrating the big 1, as well. My OB told me there was only one way to induce labor-partaking in the same activity that got us there in the first place. It still didn't work. My water ended up breaking at 3am when I went into the kitchen for a midnight snack. I dropped my granola bar on the floor and when I went to pick it up "WHOA!" Right. On. The. Kitchen. Tile. That story has definitely gone into his baby book!! I love hearing old wives tales and what works and doesn't work with different mamas!

  9. Hah! Bless your heart. Like you said, worth the wait! : )

  10. i think exercise helped me -- squats and walking but who knows for sure. xo jillian - cornflake dreams

  11. I'm 39 + 1 today and want to meet this baby so bad! Literally sitting here eating pineapple and drinking red raspberry leaf tea right now. Oh well.. she'll just come when she's ready


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