My sister is well into the 3rd trimester of her first pregnancy. There is some legitimate fear of the dreaded "i" word already. Induction. She is very naturally minded, and wants to avoid artificial rupture of waters and above all else pitocin - the drug from hell. I want to give my sister personal recommendations for natural induction methods that have worked for real Moms I know.
For me, the single most effective natural induction method was membrane stripping. When my midwife did it, it hurt like hells bells. I spotted. I cramped and had Braxton Hicks for a day or two...and then on the 3rd day my water broke and real labor began. I was 38 weeks.
I had also been drinking red raspberry leaf tea like it was water from 36 weeks on.
Those are the only two methods that I used that seemed worth anything. With my first pregnancy I tried the usual techniques people love to tell first-timers to try - sex, lots of walking, spicy food, etc (I didn't use either of the two above methods) and we ended up inducing at almost 42 weeks with pitocin and they broke my water for me in the hospital - and subsequently as many of you know, I ended up with a cesarean. I'm not saying that pitocin was the single most contributing factor to the cesarean, but it does increase your risks and the overall intensity of the entire birthing experience as well. If pitocin can be avoided, my sister would be a happy camper.
So what natural induction methods do you think worked for you?