icon-arrow-down icon icon-arrow-fill-down icon icon-arrow-next icon icon-arrow-prev icon icon-tag-close icon
Does walking start labor?
Q: I’m overdue and getting to the point where I just can’t wait to get this baby out! My mom told me to walk, walk, walk. One of my friends read somewhere that some foods can get labor started. Are there any “home remedies” that have worked for your patients?
A: Dear Elise,

There are many home remedies to try to get labor going. Unfortunately, none of them work for every pregnancy. I can tell you that diarrhea stirs up the uterus and makes it contract. This is the premise behind going out for Chinese or Mexican food, as well as the desperate act of drinking castor oil proposed by some. Some people will tell you that there are induction points on the leg or back that, if rubbed vigorously, will trigger labor. I can vouch for their ineffectiveness; my wife is a physical therapist and she massaged our sister-in-law’s ankle until it was sore trying to get labor going! Taking long walks and having intercourse are also rumored to start labor. Once again, there is no scientific evidence proving they work.

I guess you will have to wait for nature to do its thing. I can sympathize with you, as my wife went two weeks late with our first son. She wasn’t too happy and I couldn’t blame it on her doctors, either. They were my partners.
Craig L. Bissinger M.D.