9 ways to go into labor overnight

induce labor overnight

The calculated date of birth has passed, and the baby apparently still finds it so comfortable in your womb that nothing happens… I know the feeling, momma. With my firstborn, I went 9 days over my due date, and I was desperate to hold my baby in my arms finally. I totally understand. If you are looking for effective ways to induce your labor naturally, I hope you find some inspiration here.

Make sure you are ready for your little baby to arrive with this comprehensive third trimester checklist!

According to scientific evidence, fact is that around 10% of all pregnancies last up to two weeks beyond the calculated due date, which is up to 41 to 42 weeks of pregnancy.

First, it is important to know that, after all, everything you will try out can only jump-start labor if you are full term and the baby is ready for birth. No matter all the encouragement and effort, if your little one has not yet sent any signals (hormones) to your body that he or she is ready to meet you, it most likely won’t work.

According to the American College of Obstetricians, a survey from nationalpartnership.org in 2013 showed that around 30% of pregnant women try to induce their labor at home. I am sure that number has stayed or even increased ever since. Tired of being pregnant or wanting to avoid a medical induction are two of the main reasons.

If you are in one or the other situation, please only apply these tips if you are already 40 weeks pregnant and feel ready for the birth. Prioritize your baby’s health. Don’t try to entice your little one before the due date; every day in your womb is important. It is also essential to ensure that your baby is in the correct birth position (head down) and that you feel healthy and fit yourself.

And be patient. While some of the natural ways to induce take just a few hours to take effect, others might take a day (or even two). Therefore, it is advisable to avoid trying out several methods simultaneously but to wait and see whether one is leading to the goal, i.e., to spontaneous labor. (The onset of labor is defined as regular, painful uterine contractions resulting in progressive cervical dilatation.)

pregnant woman in natural  labor

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Ways to go into labor tonight

Disclaimer: When trying out these tips at home, please stay in close contact with your midwife or doctor. They can give you professional advice and will know if and when it is necessary to check your baby and triggered contractions with a ctg (cardiotocography). Do not try to induce your labor at home if you have health problems.

1. Sex

One of the most effective triggers for labor is having sexual intercourse. In addition to the physical stimulation and your own peak, sperm also plays an important role in this natural induction method.

Firstly, it leads to a release of oxytocin in your body when you reach the climax. This hormone is especially effective when you already have light uterine contractions to boost them.

Secondly, the hormone prostaglandins are found in the sperm. Prostaglandins soften the cervix and can help it open for birth.

So, take some time with your partner, relax and just enjoy intimacy. After all, if it doesn’t induce your labor yet, you surely won’t regret trying it.

Important: Avoid sexual intercourse if your water already broke. In this case, sex could cause an infection because the amniotic sac is not closed anymore.

Otherwise, if no amniotic fluid has leaked out yet and there are no other medical reasons or medical conditions speaking against it, you can go ahead and enjoy some intimate time with your partner before the end of pregnancy.

2. Abdominal massage

This tip is very easy to try out at home. It is ideal if you can ask your partner to perform the massage. An abdominal massage can often be a little miracle if you want to get your contractions going.

Lie comfortably on your back and support your legs in the back of your knees with a pillow, so they are slightly curved. You may also want to raise your back/chest a little bit. If you can’t comfortably lie down on your back, you can also try sideways instead. Just make sure you are in a position where you can fully relax.

Use a natural oil such as almond oil or your stretch marks oil for a massage. You can also add a subtle scent of herbs and plants to the oil. Ideally, you use one known to cause contractions because they stimulate the muscular activity of the uterus (i.e., evening primrose oil, cinnamon oil, clove oil, or ginger oil).

For the ideal blend, take 10 ml of almond oil and two teaspoons of one of the fragrance oils.

Now massage (or your partner) your stomach gently with circular movements. It is ideal if you massage clockwise, which also stimulates digestion.

With this method, you might have to be a bit patient to see an outcome. Usually, you can see an effect within one to two days.

If you are interested in massaging pressure points as a natural labor induction method, check out the link to the blog post from Monica from conqueringmotherhood.com or contact a massage therapist.

3. Exercise and physical activity

Exercise and physical activity are especially helpful if you already have a labor process going, aka light contractions, and want to continue to induce your labor contractions. Safe ways to do so are taking a long walk, climbing stairs, or doing some curb walking. That will help your baby to descend further into the birth canal. And that is the best thing to get your baby’s head in the optimal position, ready for birth.

However, make sure that you don’t exhaust yourself in the process! You will still need your strength for the actual birth. You should only move so much that you don’t get out of breath. As soon as you no longer feel comfortable, it is too much.

Swaying body movements, such as those that occur during a walk or gentle pelvic circles on a birthing ball, also help your baby slide deeper into the pelvis with the head.

Once your baby is in the right position, the head presses against the cervix. That stimulates the production of the hormone oxytocin, which ultimately helps to boost contractions. In this sense, movement can indirectly support the beginning of birth.

4. Warm bath

warm bath to induce labor naturally

A warm bath is a great way to wind down at the end of your pregnancy; combine relaxation with stimulation of contractions. Treat yourself to a relaxing bath and add a nice bathing oil to the water. In addition to the soothing effects of warmth on your body, contractions could also be triggered that way.

Get some nice music on in the bathroom, put up a few candles and enjoy a warm (but not too hot!) bath. Make sure you are not home alone when trying this. You may experience circulatory problems and become a bit dizzy in the warm water. Or it could actually kick-start labor. Then, it is important that you have somebody by your side.

As a bath additive, you can use herbs that help trigger contractions, such as cinnamon, clove, ginger, eucalyptus, verbena, cedarwood, hyssop, or rosemary. Be careful with bath oils: the bathtub can become very slippery.

By the way, when you already have light contractions, you can always “check” with a warm bath if they are the real deal. If the contractions become weaker in the warm water, most likely, you are not in active labor yet. If the contractions remain and become stronger, they are real labor contractions, and you can be assured of meeting your baby soon. It is a good way to test things out.

5. A cup of tea

For centuries women have been using different herbal teas to induce labor naturally. Blackberry leaf tea or red raspberry leaf tea are particularly popular to soften the cervix.

You can also make a spiced tea with different other herbs: For one liter, you need one stick of cinnamon, ten cloves, one small piece of ginger root, and one tablespoon of verbena. Brew everything, let it steep for 10 minutes, and drink two to three cups a daily.

6. Spicy food

Go out and enjoy a meal with your partner at a Mexican, Indian or Thai restaurant or buy yourself some cayenne pepper to cook with. If you enjoy eating spicy food, how much better than any medical intervention is that option?!

And as crazy as it may sound, it is actually more than one of the old wives’ tales. Spicy food has the effect of stimulating your intestines. The uterus and intestines are very close to each other in your body, so if your intestines start moving a lot, it might trigger contractions to follow.

Maybe you will go straight from the banquet to the hospital! And if not, you have certainly had a wonderful evening out with your partner or enjoyed a lovely meal at home.

7. Tampon with clove oil

Clove oil down there allows the cervix to soften and prepares it for childbirth. In addition, clove oil does loosen the tissues and muscles around ​the uterus.

With this tip, I highly recommend you talk to your midwife or health care provider first and let her know that you want to try it out. That way, she is aware ahead of time and can be on-call if you need her to check on you.

Be aware that the tampon is not dipped in pure clove oil, but the oil needs to be diluted with water beforehand. A mixture of 30 ml water and 50 drops of clove oil are ideal.

Important: For some people, clove oil can cause an allergic reaction seen on the skin. So, first, test on your hand whether you tolerate the mixture well or not. If you start feeling a burning sensation or red spots are forming, wash your hand well and leave this tip out. If nothing happens, you have the green light to go ahead and try the tampon.

Put five to six drops of the mixture on the tampon and insert it. Or you can let your midwife do it with a gloved finger if you need help. Again, if your skin starts to burn at this point now, you should remove it immediately. Otherwise, leave it in and repeat the application after 6 hours if you want.

Again, I would like to mention here that clove oil is a powerful disinfectant. It must be dosed low; otherwise, it can be dangerous. Internal use in high doses could also cause lasting damage to the liver tissue. Therefore, it is important you consult your midwife or doctor when carrying out this tip.

8. Nipple stimulation

According to official studies, women are more likely to go into labor within three days when their nipples are being stimulated. However, I must mention that this trigger, too, only works when the cervix is ​​already ready. The stimulation could induce your labor contractions within an hour to 72 hours.

When stimulated in this sensitive area, your body produces oxytocin. It is the same hormone produced by the female body when having sex. Oxytocin causes a contraction of the uterine muscles, and which triggers the contractions.

By the way, it will also be triggered later during breastfeeding, which will help your uterus contract after birth and shrink back to its original size.

Create a relaxed environment and involve your partner if you want to. For light stimulation, massage your nipples gently for 60 seconds. Pause for 60 seconds and then continue again. Please pay attention to your body to find your own rhythm and try to enjoy it. If you want to, you can also use a breast pump to do it.

9. The Midwives Brew

The last tip is the popular labor brew. The mixture is usually enriched with castor oil, which stimulates the intestines and might trigger labor by stimulating the uterine wall. The drink should only be prepared together with a midwife or doctor and taken under the supervision of your healthcare provider.

Be aware of possible side effects before taking it. It is a bit controversial whether it is wise or not to weaken the body with such a strong laxative before giving birth. Worst case, it can cause immediate, intense contractions with no effect on your cervix but great pain for you and unnecessary stress for the baby. Best case, it causes your intestines to move a lot which causes the uterus to start contracting, and you go into labor.

Check out all the details about the Midwives Brew here and find out if it might be a good idea for you or not.

midwives brew to induce labor naturally and go into labor overnight

That was it: 9 ways to go into labor overnight

Now, if you have reached your due date and would like to become more active to trigger some labor contractions, I hope you are inspired by one or the other tip. Try it out and see what works for you.

In the process, make sure you don’t overwhelm your body. Don’t combine too many of the tips. Of course, you can do intercourse and nipple stimulation together. However, tea, spicy food, and a clove oil tampon should not be tried on the same day. Give yourself and your baby the time you still need, and make sure you will be ready and not exhausted when the time comes to give birth.

Related: 9 exciting signs that labor is 24-48 hours away!

My personal experience trying to induce labor overnight

Personally, I had tried most of the mentioned natural methods when I went over my first baby’s due date. Unfortunately, I am not a success story of any of them. None of these methods seemed to have worked for me. It just taught me that my little boy obviously needed some more time, and I needed to grow in patience.

In the end, it was actually my husband’s amazing homemade pancakes that finally caused the little one to want to come out.

So, if nothing seems to get your contractions going, don’t stress about it. Your little baby might need a couple of extra days, and you might be able to take a good last bit of peaceful rest before you give birth. Try to relax and let your partner spoil you if possible. By now, you have been growing this little human for more than 9 months; you deserve some comfort and love.

And hold on, momma! The good news is that very soon, you will hold your baby in your arms, and the joy will be greater than you can imagine now! And who knows, maybe that peace of mind will get your contractions going at the end of the day. You may be surprised by how soon your water breaks, you feel labor pains, and things start happening after you begin to let go and relax.

In the meantime, pack your hospital bag and get ready for your baby! You can find more helpful information and tips for your newborn’s first few weeks at home here.

pregnant woman inducing her labor naturally at home

5 thoughts on “9 ways to go into labor overnight”

  1. I actually tried all of these methods except for the tampon and the wives brew – on top of that I tried drinking pineapple juice and using a yoga ball to try and bounce the baby out! Didn’t work, but I tried.

  2. I din’t got the chance of trying any of these. Ended up with an emergency c-section but a healthy baby, but these tips are great!

    I guess every momma-to-be rereads these when time is coming.. i know i will on next pregnancy

  3. Great list!!! Walking and sex has always been my killer combo. I’m currently 39 weeks and 6 days and my husband is already planning to “help” things along if we make it to this weekend 😂!

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