We’re all aware that to make a baby, having sex is usually a vital step. It’s a classic part of baby making that does get altered from time to time but, generally speaking, it gets results.
But what about this wives tale about making love to get baby out? If you’ve ever neared your due date a bit too much (or went over by a lot), you’ve probably been handed every “sure fire” way to bring on those contractions. Eating spicy foods, huffing up stairs, drinking castor oil (please god, don’t!) and, of course, getting down with your partner are all highly suggested ways to jumpstart labour. Where do these idea come from and do they really work? Like most things, if it seems to good to be true, it likely is. Bookending pregnancy with a roll in the hay seems like a fun idea but most moms want result!
Generally speaking, there are no scientific studies to back up the idea that sex will bring on labour. For all the anecdotal evidence shared between moms and their health care providers, there aren’t any medical studies that back these ideas up.
The claims are based on many ideas, such as that sex (particularly with an organism) helps to stimulate the cervix into action. There’s also the idea that because sperm contains hormones such as prostaglandins, then those hormones help to stimulate the cervix, thereby bringing on labour. The most verified of all claims regarding sex and the onset of labour is actually nipple stimulation (though even this claim is not wildly backed up). Why? It can trick your body into thinking that your baby is actually breastfeeding, something that naturally causes your uterus to contract. It is a time consuming process (one quick foreplay session is unlikely to be effective), taking about the same amount a time as a typical breastfeeding session – roughly an hour a day, multiple times per day.
All of these methods are only recommended if you’ve had an uncomplicated pregnancy and are naturally ready to give birth. They are not recommended (especially sex) if your water has broken. If you have pregnancy complications, such as preeclampsia or high blood pressure, you’re advised to stay away from home remedies and speak to your medical professional about if or how you can attempt to jump start labour.
If you’re looking for some love and feeling frisky late in pregnancy, sex while pregnant can be fun and pleasurable. Just enjoy it without stressing too much about whether or not labour will begin. The end of pregnancy can be a long and boring waiting game but don’t rush it! Soon enough you’ll have that wonderful, screaming bundle of joy on the outside.
Unsure about how to get it on during pregnancy? Check out our recommended positions for sex here.