I find that many of my patients replace their earlier worries about labor with a real urgency to meet their baby. Some say that they are DONE being pregnant, thank you, enough already. You are going to hear countless crazy tips for how to get labor kicked off from everyone you meet. Complete strangers are probably offering you advice from what to eat to how scrubbing the floor will start the magical process of labor. Here’s my advice that has some scientific basis: have sex. Yes, having sex may just help your body start the process. As it turns out, semen contains prostaglandins that can help the cervix soften and dilate. What’s more, orgasms cause contractions and that might just tip the scales toward labor.

In the last few days and weeks of pregnancy, the last thing many women want to do is to have sex, which is perfectly normal and understandable when you consider all the changes that have occurred over the last 9 months.

Many providers advise women to start stimulating their nipples either by themselves or with their partner’s help. Little gentle squeezes, sucking, or rolling the nipples may stimulate more than just fun and cause contractions of the uterus.

Elliot Berlin, DC adds:

As you approach your due date, chiropractic work, and massage can safely and naturally remove obstructions that may be preventing your baby from finding the proper pre-birth positioning, which causes the onset of labor and helps you progress naturally through the stages of labor and delivery. The massage releases the soft tissues around your pelvis, and the adjustments normalize and restore motion to the pelvic bones. There is also a well established pre-birth acupuncture protocol that begins as early as 36 weeks.

We have found that women who have been athletically active at some point prior to pregnancy tend to have tighter hip flexor tendons and can have issues with the baby failing to descend into the pelvis. We have successfully helped many panicking moms-to-be avoid medical induction using the massage, chiropractic and acupuncture, even at 41 weeks.

AUTHOR BIO: Barbara Dehn is a practicing Women's Health Nurse Practitioner, award winning author, and a nationally recognized health expert. She holds a BS from Boston College and earned master’s degree at the University of California, San Francisco. She has over 20 years of experience listening to and caring for women, and has helped countless women and couples navigate their way through pregnancy and the transition to parenthood. She has also frequently lectured at Stanford and acted as a health expert for iVillage.