Increasing sexual activity and receiving acupuncture are rumored to help induce labor at home, but WebMD states there is no medical proof that any of these remedies work. Additional unproven labor induction methods include taking castor oil, eating spicy foods, taking evening primrose oil, and going on long walks.
The safest and most effective method for women to induce labor is to visit a hospital and receive drugs under the supervision of a professional medical staff, notes WebMD. This is only recommended when women are past their due dates or are experiencing a medical complication that threatens their own safety or the safety of their unborn child. During hospital induction, doctors administer low-grade prostaglandin drugs to initiate the process of labor, and mothers are monitored for signs of childbirth. Women can take these hormones in pill form or have them rubbed topically within the vagina to stimulate dilation of the cervix.
Because prostaglandins are mild compared to other drugs, they may not be effective. If this is the case, a doctor may choose to administer a Pitocin drip to initiate uterine contractions. Pitocin is quite strong, and WebMD urges women not to take it until the cervix is prepared for labor. Hospital induction is common among women who reach 42 weeks in their pregnancy, as this is the longest term length allowable by most doctors.