Researchers have not found a proven way to induce labor, according to WebMD. However, theories that acupuncture, sexual intercourse, long walks, spicy foods and drinking small amounts of castor oil can induce labor continue to be debated. Some women opt to take evening primrose oil, an herb believed to soften the cervix and prepare it for labor.
Exercise is a healthy activity that may help induce labor, explains Healthline. Walking can help to relieve stress and improve muscle strength while gravity may help to dilate the cervix and descend the baby farther into the birth canal. Nipple stimulation is also a potential method to induce labor. Stimulating the nipples may cause the uterus to contract. Some medical professionals advocate for membrane stripping to induce labor. The procedure requires a physician to separate the amniotic sac from the uterine wall using a gloved finger to release prostaglandins.
Expectant mothers can also drink red raspberry leaf tea combined with herbal evening primrose oil to attempt to safely induce labor, notes Healthline. The tea is thought to tone the uterus and produce regular patterns of contractions. Red raspberry leaf tea can also help to keep pregnant women hydrated during the final stages of pregnancy.