Tips For Inducing Labour

When you approach your due date – or go past it! – most expectant mums start trying to induce labour naturally to avoid having to go to hospital for an induction.

While there are all manner of crazy suggestions as to how to bring on labour, Kidspot mums have been sharing what worked for them – and what didn’t! Read their tips below.

IMPORTANT: Always consult with your lead maternity carer before starting any supplements or exercise that you do not normally undertake. Some supplements or natural formulations may have side effects that could cause complications. Do not attempt to naturally induce labour until you are definitely past 40 weeks pregnant.

Inducing labour naturally

    • Castor oil! My sister-in-law swears by it. At 39 weeks with all three of her kids, she settles down with a glass of orange juice with castor oil in a nice warm bath and some candles to relax and without a doubt, within 6 hours, she’s on the toilet and her contractions have started. I didn’t get that far with mine so I didn’t get to try it but wasn’t too sure about drinking it anyway.

From taniavb01

    • We tried it all: nipple stimulation, sex, going for a drive on a bumpy road, castor oil, raspberry leaf tea, cold drinks, hot drinks, baths, curry… and even walked around for 8 hours at the Easter Show in the hopes that walking would bring on labour.. and none of it worked! My son was 15 days overdue!! I think the best thing that can bring on labour.. is Fate.

From Whitewickah

    • For the first baby I tried running barefoot down a bitumen road followed by a hot bath, with nil effect! It hurt like hell running with a belly full of baby though. Ouch! The second time, I drank a bottle of castor oil stirred into a jug of O.J. and had lots of sex in the last week and still he was two weeks late. Third time, which was 15 years later, I worked as a nurse till 38 weeks and coughed until I broke five ribs and he still had to be induced. I give up! Does anything work out there?

From Rowlex69

    • I enjoyed some pregnancy massages and was told to massage my big toes!! I also drank raspberry leaf tea AND was booked in to be induced… I ended up going 4 days over for a perfect seven pound healthy girl!

From Charlot

    • My son was born two weeks early after I spent most of the day before on the ride-on mower mowing the yard and paddock. I was not trying to bring on early labour but it happened, so am guessing that it had something to do with getting it all rolling.

From Sande162

    • Once I hit my due date I started to try a few things, although I had been drinking raspberry leaf tea since 38 weeks. I went for long walks every night, had sex, sat on an exercise ball bouncing and rotating to try and open my cervix, ate hot curry, but nothing seemed to work. I was 10 days overdue and booked in to be induced (this was my first pregnancy so I had in my head it would all happen naturally, but unfortunately it didn’t work out that way). I was induced and after 15 hours in labour, bub became distressed and I had an emergency c-section… so much for it all happening naturally!

from Mimi81

    • I was drinking raspberry leaf tea from 36 weeks. Not sure how much it did. Thought I’d try castor oil but had been told that the reason it brings on labour is that it causes contractions from…well… needing to be on the toilet constantly. So I had two teaspoons, not enough to move my bowels. But I went into labour a few short hours later…

From kaz25

    • With my second pregnancy, I tried a lot of things in the week leading up to the 40th week but nothing worked. When I was three days overdue, I had the stretch and sweep… still nothing happened. So hubby and I had sex that night and then I put some Clary sage oil on my belly and went to sleep. Nothing happened so we had sex the next night (and put some more Clary sage oil on my belly). The next morning (around 2am) I was having contractions and went into proper labour later that day.

From Belita88

    • I wasn’t told to do this but it worked for both my pregnancies: I ate cabbage!!! With my daughter, we had a friend’s birthday dinner at a German restaurant, and I ate sauerkraut at dinner. By midnight I was having contractions. Mind you I had false labour for 3 days!!!!  With my son I made a Dutch dish that included sauerkraut. We had dinner about 7pm and by midnight I was having contractions and went into labour. I am convinced it was the cabbage that did it!!!

From Adamantium33

    • Salami and coffee did the trick for me! Try a spicy Mexicana pizza washed down with a tall iced coffee Big M! ( I was one of the lucky ones who could eat anything when I was pregnant.)

From Stronglatte25

    • I went to the gym throughout my whole pregnancy, even when I was 3 days overdue hoping it would help. When I was 5 days overdue, my obstetrician did an internal examination saying it would help, it did nothing. His exact words to me after that were, “I suggest you go home, drink alcohol and have plenty of sex”. My daughter was induced and 2 weeks late.

From Shimby

    • I got out the breast pump, sat in the bath and expressed 20 minutes each side. I had really strong pains the next day, and, my waters broke just after midnight.

From jacquils

    • I did three things that brought my baby along the day before my due date, even though my obstetrician said I was weeks away: Raspberry leaf tea, bouncing on the Fitball A LOT, I took the dogs for a walk (hills were involved so it wasn’t an easy walk) and labour began as soon as I got home.

From Melody

    • I tried curry even thought I hate them, It did not work! I was walking on the beach every day. Did not work. But raspberry leaf tea worked a treat; I drank it multiple times in the three days before I went into labour.

From Sinno

    • My mum lives interstate and surprised me by coming to visit me for my birthday (also my due date!) and I think I was so surprised that I went into labour! Unfortunately the labour went on and on so I had an emergency c-section and bub was born a day after my birthday – but still is the best birthday present ever. So I’m sure the surprise of seeing my mum sent me into labour.

From HayleyC

    • It was two days before my due date and I was desperate for my baby so I had the castor oil. I was on the toilet several times throughout the night (let’s just say it wasn’t pleasant!) However, when I woke in the morning my waters broke and then 13 not-so awful hours later my baby boy was born.

From Laureny

    • Good sex worked for us! But it has to be really careful sex though, as there’s the baby bump. We had sex the night before the birth and we didn’t know the next morning was ‘the morning’. and we think the sex put me into labour.

From Austhome3

    • Bowen Therapy – as long as they know what they’re doing.

From RayS

    • With my first, I tried sex and spicy food and that didn’t work. With the next two boys, I had found out about castor oil and orange juice from my mother – it was totally gross! Never try it! With my 4th boy I had a sweep of my membranes – two hours later, I was in labour. With my last, I had a sweep of my membranes again and almost immediately went into labour.

From Superjoe

    • The Fit ball! Rolling around and bouncing on it for an hour to help reduce the pressure and tension on my back caused my waters to break and subsequent labour!

From Berekmvl

    • Two day overdue, I was really active and was cleaning the carpets and generally nesting – the house was spotless so then I insisted that my husband and I clean the car inside and out. A couple of hours later, the car was spotless and my labour started. It was all that cleaning!

From Tiffj1

    • I tried hot baths, raspberry leaf tablets, and curries. Nothing worked. But I think this just goes to show nothing really works – when your body is ready for that baby to come out it will do it itself.

From Blackcat10

    • I didn’t try a hell of a lot-as I was happy going with the flow until my due date. I only tried sex and I was so damn uncomfortable that it was crossed off the list! The day I went into labour (4 days early) I did an hour on the Wii Step, so that might have helped, and I bought the last thing I needed for bub. So maybe it was the exercise, or maybe it was the just knowing I was finally ready that induced labour.

From Alliconnor

    • My doctor told me that, “no-one who has sex three times at this point in their pregnancy is pregnant for much longer”… So, my ever-obliging husband and I winged home to get the party started. Lo and behold, my contractions went into full force that night and my beautiful baby girl was born by the morning.

From Petajo

    • I tried everything to induce labour, knowing that my mum was 10 days late with me and then had a c-section, it made me even more anxious to go into labour naturally. I walked every day, I tried eating really spicy food and I had more sex in the last two weeks of pregnancy than I did for the entire pregnancy! Nothing worked to my disappointment – I was induced after 10 days and gave birth naturally.

From islasmum

    • Castor oil! It tasted terrible, even in a glass of juice but worked for me. I added a couple of dessertspoons of the oil to a glass of OJ at lunch time then at 6pm I had my first contraction. At 10.26pm our 4th child, a boy, was born.

From MummasAngel

    • With my second baby I was getting a massage every month (highly recommended!) The masseuse would never do my feet though. She told me that around the time I was due get my husband to massage my feet and ankles as there are pressure points there that can induce labour. About 5 days before my son was before my husband massaged my feet and ankles for about an hour (heaven!). The next day my son was born 14 minutes after my first contraction!! I would like to say the massage did the trick. It helps to have a positive attitude also. But if they’re not ready they’re not coming.

From BusyMumOf4

    • I was 4 days overdue so we went and for dinner and I ate a hot Indian curry. When we got home I drank Castor oil mixed with O.J…YUK. I went to bed then had a bit of the runs and two hours later I was in labour…..My baby boy was here 5 hours after that.

From ClaireBear021

    • A tip for bringing on labour that I had heard when I was pregnant is really simple: Make plans for something that you are really looking forward to doing before bub is born in those last few weeks and hey presto, you are bound to go into labour on that day and miss what you were looking forward to!

From mcha

    • I sort of tried nipple stimulation it but found that it irritated me. Seriously, aren’t pregnant nipples like ULTRA MEGA sensitive?

From Sugareespice

    • My waters broke in the middle of a thunder storm due to changes in pressure, according to midwives! I didn’t go into labour till induced 2 days later, but still…

From emtreez

    • Nothing works if the bub is comfortable. I tried very hot curry, raspberry leaf tea, bumpy car ride, sex, brisk walk (well, as fast as I could waddle anyway). Both my babies were very comfortable where they were and I was induced for both.

From drat76

    • Nothing worked for me. I tried everything and the only thing that seemed to work was being threatened with inducement! With both my pregnancies I was booked in to be induced but went into labour naturally before getting to hospital!

From nicwan

    • I was told that if you started expressing a little bit of breast milk (colostrum) out each day, it would bring on labour – it didn’t. I also tried sex and walking… nothing. I finally went into labour after my partner drove us on a dirt road for about half an hour. I was due to go to hospital the next day to be induced, but, thankfully, bub decided she was ready to come out. I like to think it was the bumpy ride that brought her on, but, who really knows?

From belgil

    • Pure evening primrose oil massages firmly into the webbing between thumb and pointer fingers on both hands for a half hour really works.
    • From Natalie09
    • I tried everything as well – sex, hot curry, long walks, bumpy car ride
      raspberry leaf tea, nipple stimulation, pineapples, garlic (must have kept drac away) Nothing really worked. The only thing I refused to have was castor oil. Yuck.

From rubitubi

    • I tried everything too! Raspberry leaf tea (teas and tablets), I must have walked for kilometres every day, nipple stimulation, bumpy drives, castor oil (that’ll teach me!), spicy food, evening primrose oil on my cervix, acupuncture, sex (I think my poor hubby got too scared to even look at me sometimes!). I ended up going into labour on my due date.


  1. 01Rubyjane 25/06/2021 at 12:14 pm

    Hi ladies ☺️
    First time poster and have just found this thread! 40 weeks pregnant with baby number 3, and am interested for those who used Castor oil to kick start labour. Where did you buy it from lol? I’ve never used for previous pregnancies as they all came early, but my midwife has given me the ok to make a midwife brew that contains two tablespoons of castor oil. The only one I can seem to find is Castor oil Bp from the chemist warehouse, has anyone used this or can point me in the right direction where to buy it from?
    Thank you!

    • Julie - Kidspot 05/07/2021 at 2:19 pm

      Hi! You could try asking at your local chemist if they have it in stock or know where to buy it. I don’t think it’s used that much anymore so it’s probably only available online these days. Fingers crossed you have already had the baby and didn’t need to resort to the castor oil?

  2. dawnblyth 03/07/2019 at 11:20 pm

    All great ideas for getting into labour. I never tried any remedies other than a stretch and sweep performed by my midwife. I can understand the stress that going overdue can cause a new mother to be. I was lucky that my boys were born a week before their due dates rather than go over. I don’t know how I would have felt if I did.

  3. Bevik1971 03/07/2019 at 9:56 am

    🙂 what can work for one Mum may not work for another. I remember with my first I ended up 12 days overdue and had to be induced twice!!! I walked, drank cod liver oil lol and tried the sex thing but nothing really helped. With my second she ended up coming 2 weeks early and really quickly so didn’t need any help there! 🙂

  4. MuddledUpMolly 01/07/2019 at 8:27 pm

    My first pregnancy I didn’t really try too much as I was weary of what was to come and went two days over. My second I was four days over and that was with a lead up of regular bouncing on a swiss ball and drinking raspberry leaf tea. I did have a stretch and sweep the day of though and had a really quick labour and birth the same evening.

  5. Jen_Wiig 01/07/2019 at 2:53 pm

    Hahaha some of these are just great and quite funny. I dont know if theyre 200% proof but worth a shot if u really want to.. I was one of those who just wanted to stay pregnant forever esp after babe number 1…i was so quick to labour and birth that my body went ibto shock so im always hesitant and not keen whwn it gets 2 weeks oit from DD… The one thing i reckon has broight on the lavours is that herbal tea… My midwife has always said to have it 2 weeks prior to help prep and 9/10 itll bring on a show and braxron hix like no tomorrow, I know with my eldest a day before i had him (not realising at time i was going to jave him as he was due 16th and him 6th)i went on a massive walk from Epsom to Grafton with a friend when car broke down in the middle of the night so walking deff brings on labour in my experience.

  6. Shorrty4life1 30/06/2019 at 3:40 pm

    Awesome tips for people that are looking for ways to go into labour. I remember sex worked with my daughter that brought on labour very fast at 36 weeks. When with my son I tried everything from running up hills, star jumps, different tablets from health 2000 as I was 8 days overdue with my son. Then on my birthday I decided to do squats that night with my mum and 6am next morning I was having contractions and soon after my baby boy was there.

  7. kymmage 30/06/2019 at 3:19 pm

    I didn’t try much myself. But I had a few curries and long walks. I was pretty happy to stay pregnant really. Both of them ended up being induced and were late. I never tried castor oil but judging from some of the stories maybe I should have.

  8. Micht 30/06/2019 at 2:08 pm

    I personally dont think anything works well except for waiting for nature to take its course…. i have not had to wait or be overdue thankfully… my waters broke about a week before due date and thats it… i feel for mums like in the stories above who have been long overdue…cant be easy

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