There is no research available to support the use of mineral oil to induce labor, according to Better Childbirth Outcomes. Most techniques used to induce labor at home have not been proven reliable, according to WebMD.
Although there is no proof of its effectiveness, sexual intercourse is one activity that doctors sometimes suggest to induce labor as long as the woman's water has not broken, according to WebMD. Sex releases prostaglandins, which are similar to substances found in medications that are used to induce labor. The man's ejaculate also contains these prostaglandins, which work to stimulate the cervix, potentially leading to contractions.
Early research shows that women who receive acupuncture are more likely to go into labor on their own than women who receive standard medical care. In addition, evening primrose oil may help the body prepare for labor by softening the cervix, according to WebMD. Some women try going on long walks or consuming spicy foods to start labor, but experts agree this probably does not work. Some women use castor oil because it stimulates the bowels, which are located against the uterus. Because castor oil leads to intense diarrhea and may cause dehydration, its use is not recommended as a method to start labor.