Re: I've heard so many different tips for inducing labor on my own. Does anything actually work?
Sorry, but... no. Not really. At least, nothing that's been proven both safe and effective. Some of the methods you may have heard about:
Orgasms may bring on contractions, and there's also prostaglandin (which induces contractions) in semen. Studies on the subject differ -- some have found that sex at term can lessen the need for induction, while others have shown that sex has no effect at all. That being said... if you're still up for it, go right ahead, trouper! You've got our admiration.
The reasoning behind this one: Castor oil is a strong laxative, and bowel stimulation may cause contractions. Still interested? Well, there's no proof it induces labor... but strong experiential evidence shows that it doesn't feel to great on the stomach!
Labor-inducing oxytocin is released when your nipples are stimulated, but this is pretty risky to try at home. It's actually possible to overstimulate your uterus, which means your contractions and baby's well-being need to be monitored.
The general rule for whatever herbal remedy you're offered: There's no evidence that it works. And, like nipple stimulation, some herbs carry this risk of overstimulating your uterus. Some herbs may also hold additional dangers for baby's health.