If you're overdue, these natural methods may help urge your baby to enter the world.
: Consult your doctor about the safety of these labor induction techniques. Do not attempt without medical advice.
Step 1: Relax Release tension and stop worrying -- stress and anxiety will impede labor. Relax by soaking in a warm bath, getting a professional massage, or inhaling a soothing scent such as clary sage.
Step 2: Meditate Use visualization and meditation techniques. Close your eyes, breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth, and visualize your cervix gently opening and your baby being born.
Step 3: Make love Have sex with your partner. Semen has a labor-inducing hormone, and female orgasm can open the cervix as much as two centimeters.
TIP: Elevate your hips after lovemaking to help the semen stay on the cervix and encourage thinning and dilation.
Step 4: Enjoy tropical fruits Eat tropical fruits, such as kiwi, mango, and pineapple, which contain an enzyme that may cause mild contractions.
Step 5: Apply pressure Seek out an acupuncture or acupressure specialist -- focusing pressure on key areas of the body has helped some women.
Step 6: Dial-up activity Swing in the park or drive down a bumpy road to shift your baby into a delivery position. Take a slow walk or pedal gently on a stationary bike to enlist gravity's help in opening the cervix -- and speeding the arrival of your bundle of joy.
FACT: Did you know? More than 4.3 million babies are born in the U.S. every year -- that's nearly 12,000 new babies every day.