You are past your due date and your provider is talking about induction and yet you do not want to induce if possible. The question that comes after this talk: is there anything I can do to start labor on my own? There is a lot of question about this as some things work well for some people while others have no success. With my first I tried a lot to make myself go into labor, but nothing worked. I have talked to others that the first thing they tried helped them go into labor. Ultimately, only God can start your labor and sometimes He allows your efforts to push you on over.
With that being said, here are some things that may or may not help you go into labor.
First I suggest you pray, because God is the one who will make labor happen!
Walking- This one is completely up in the air as to whether or not it helps, hinders or has no effect at all on labor. Do not walk until exhaustion, but feel free to try walking as it will not hurt you.
Sex- Sex is one of the best options as long as you are healthy for a few reasons. Semen has prostaglandins in it that help prepare the cervix for labor and can then kick you into labor. It also helps with intimacy and preparing you together for what's to come. There are other techniques I will mention that can be implemented during your time together.
Nipple stimulation- This can be very effective as it releases oxytocin, which is the natural form of pitocin, into your body. You must pay very close attention to your body so you do not over stimulate your uterus leading to contractions that are too long or too frequent. This site has a good basic process to follow.
Acupressure- This can actually feel really nice as it is more of a massage technique. There are 2 primary places to use: 1) The webbing between the thumb and forefinger and 2) 4 fingers above the ankle on the inside of your leg. The spot on your leg is really nice for helping to relax while someone massages your ankles. See this link to learn the process.
Food- There are some foods that may help you go into labor. Some that are out there include: pineapple, spicy food, eggplant parmesan, date fruit, curry, Chinese food and licorice. There is no definitive research to back up any of these, but it can't hurt to try.
Blue or Black Cohash- These are herbs and need to be handled with great care. Please consult your healthcare provider before trying one of these.
Castor Oil- This is another method that should be used with great care. You drink castor oil or add it to your food causing the bowels to be stimulated, which stimulates the uterus. I have talked to many women who have had success with this. It can cause severe diarrhea. There is also some question as to whether or not it can cause the baby to have a bowel movement in utero. Ask your care provider before using it and use wisdom.
These are just a few well known options. Again pray for wisdom and for God to bring out labor. If you are unsure of anything ask your health care provider.
Have you tried to induce labor naturally? What did you use? Was it successful?
Updated from "Are There Ways To Induce Naturally" on February 18, 2014