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    As you near your due date, you’re likely excited to see your baby and tired of being pregnant. You may hope to deliver your baby sooner by dilating faster. Before you go into labor, your cervix softens and begins to dilate on its own, and contractions will help it dilate faster when your baby is ready to arrive. While there’s no guarantee that natural methods work, you might try them to help your cervix dilate faster. If this doesn’t work, your doctor may be able to help your cervix dilate faster. [1]

    1. 1

      Walk to release oxytocin and stimulate labor. Being active may release oxytocin, which may help you dilate faster by starting contractions. Go for a slow walk around your neighborhood, or climb the stairs in your home. Ask someone to go with you so that you’re not alone in case you need help. [2]

      • If your water breaks, stop walking and contact your doctor or midwife.
    2. 2

      Have sex to stimulate your uterus and induce labor. Additionally, your brain releases the hormone oxytocin during sex, which also helps start contractions. Try having sex to help you dilate faster if it’s something you’ll enjoy. [3]

      • Don’t have sex if your water has broken because the baby is no longer protected by amniotic fluid.
      • Both an orgasm and the prostaglandins in semen naturally stimulate your uterus and thin your cervix, which helps it dilate.
    3. 3

      Try stimulating your nipples to release oxytocin. Gently rub the pad of your finger over your nipple or roll the nipple under your finger. You should feel a tingling sensation, which means your nipples are stimulated. When this happens, your brain will release oxytocin to help start your contractions. [4]

      • Stimulating your nipples releases a low amount of oxytocin that is safe for your baby.
      • This technique may not work for everyone, but it won’t hurt to try.
    4. 4

      Use visualization and deep breathing to relax. Feeling tense makes it difficult for your body to start contractions, which slows dilation of your cervix. Fortunately, relaxing may enable your body to begin contractions. Visualize by imagining yourself in a relaxing location or picturing yourself having a healthy baby. Additionally, take deep breaths while counting to 5 and exhale to a 5 count, then repeat 5 times. [5]

      • You might also try listening to calming music, taking a warm shower, or reading a book.
    5. 5

      Eat pineapple to ripen your cervix and help it dilate faster. There’s no guarantee that pineapple will help your cervix dilate faster, but it may help open your cervix faster. Since pineapple contains prostaglandins, it might help your cervix ripen sooner so that you’ll dilate faster. Consume .5 cups (113 g) of pineapple daily until you go into labor. [6]

      Warning: Don’t eat pineapple if you’re allergic to it or if it bothers your stomach.

    6. 6

      Ask your doctor or midwife about taking evening primrose oil. Check with your doctor or midwife to make sure it’s safe for you to use evening primrose oil. Take a 500 mg supplement orally or vaginally 3 times a day for the final 4 weeks of pregnancy. It may soften your cervix and thin it out so it’s easier for it to dilate faster

      • You may be able to take up to 3 pills at a time. Ask your doctor or midwife what’s best for you.
    1. 1

      Ask your doctor about taking prostaglandins to ripen your cervix faster. The doctor will insert a prostaglandin like misoprostol (Cytotec) or dinoprostone (Cervidil) into your vagina and position it near your cervix. This will soften and thin out your cervix, which helps it dilate faster. These medications work for 4-12 hours and cause contractions that soften and thin out your cervix. You may need multiple doses to dilate your cervix enough for labor to start. Talk to your doctor to find out if this is an option for you. [7]

      • While this treatment is pretty effective, it doesn’t work for everyone. However, prostaglandins are preferable to oxytocin since they may reduce the need for a cesarean delivery.
      • You likely won’t be able to use ripening agents if you’re already having contractions.
      • If your cervix doesn’t start to dilate after a few hours, your doctor may send you home. It can take anywhere from hours to days for your cervix to ripen, depending on how soft and thin it was before your doctor administered the prostaglandins. You'll know the medicine is working when you start to feel contractions.

      Warning: Make sure to tell your doctor if you’ve previously had a cesarean delivery or major uterine surgery. Misoprostol (Cytotec) is not recommended in these situations because the medication increases the risk of uterine rupture. [8]

    2. 2

      Consider getting an oxytocin IV to start contractions and dilate faster. Your doctor can give you oxytocin intravenously to increase contractions and kickstart labor. Contractions make your cervix dilate, so this can help you dilate faster. Discuss this option with your doctor to find out if it’s right for you. [9]

      • Oxytocin is used to induce labor when you’re past your due date or your doctor thinks it’s best for you and your baby.
      • Your doctor likely won’t administer oxytocin unless you’re already overdue, your water has broken, or you have a condition like high blood pressure or diabetes.
    3. 3

      Discuss a saline-filled cervical balloon with your doctor. Your doctor can insert a flexible catheter into your vagina to inflate a balloon with saline. The balloon will apply direct pressure to your lower uterine region and this may help to dilate your cervix. You can keep the balloon in your vagina for up to 12 hours or until it naturally falls out on its own. This may help dilate your cervix faster so that labor can progress. However, it may not work for everyone. [10]

      • The great thing about cervical balloons is that they’re considered a non-medical option.
      • If you’ve had a prior cesarean birth, a cervical balloon may be your best option.

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    • Talk to your doctor, midwife, or other attendant in advance about which procedures you feel okay with and which you would like to avoid. Every labor is different, and you may need to be flexible, but it helps to have a plan

    • Don’t try to dilate your cervix faster if you have a high risk pregnancy.


    About This Article

    Article Summary X

    If you’re pregnant and trying to dilate faster, walk as much as you can, since light exercise stimulates the uterine contractions that put pressure on the cervix and encourage it to dilate. You can also sit on a birth ball or an exercise ball to relax your pelvic muscles so your cervix will dilate more quickly. Additionally, try stimulating your nipples or having sex to release oxytocin, which speeds up dilation. Also, urinate regularly if you can, because a full bladder makes dilation sluggish. For information on how to dilate faster using medication or a Foley catheter, scroll down!

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