Let’s see, your bag is packed, the nursery is ready and so is everyone around you. You may be expecting a contraction at any time right about now. But… Nothing! Not even a cramp or twinge. You have been waiting 40 weeks – isn’t this thing supposed to have begun already? Maybe your baby needs a gentle reminder that it is time to come out! It might be time to consider some natural methods of bringing on labour.

1. Walking

Who would’ve thought that the simple act of walking can cause your baby’s head to exert pressure on your cervix thereby releasing oxytocin! This hormone causes contractions and could very well bring on labor. And if that doesn’t do anything for you, at least you will continue to stay in shape in time for your baby.

2. Sex

If you and your partner have not been getting intimate in the last few weeks as your increasing waistline makes it harder and harder to get comfortable in any position and have sex during pregnancy, it may be time for a roll in the sack, if only once. Sperm contains prostaglandins, hormones that can stimulate your cervix and cause it to thin out and begin dilating. Also, an orgasm will release oxytocin which can induce labor. If that does nothing, it will at least give you and your partner something to think back on until you are ready to begin having sex again after childbirth!

3. Castor oil

It’s no secret that castor oil is an old Indian home remedy for constipation. At this time, if you take a shot of castor oil, it will stimulate your bowels which in turn will irritate the uterus causing it to begin contractions. Of course, if your body is not ready for labor, you will have a bad case of the runs!

4. Spicy food

If you have been avoiding grandma’s achaars since you developed heartburn in the second trimester, you may be able to go back to it for a day or two as spicy food is known to induce labor naturally by irritating the intestines; which in turn stimulates the uterus causing labor to begin.

5. Acupressure

The age-old practice of putting pressure on specific points on the body to stimulate the uterus is finding its way into mainstream medicine. The pressure points that induce labor are 10cm above the ankle bone on the inside leg along with the area between your thumb and index finger.

6. Pineapple

Bromelain, an enzyme found in pineapple is known to soften the cervix and bring about labor. Of course, one would have to consume large amounts for this to happen.

7. Homeopathic remedies

Pulsatilla, a commonly used homeopathic ingredient, seems to have tremendous success in inducing labor. However, consult your doctor before you begin any new medications.