Levels of Augmentation

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There are various ways to help facilitate some change in the progress of labor.  Many are listed here, in order from least interventive (“natural”) to more interventive (“medical”).  Please know that many “natural” techniques are not scientifically proven and/or their effectiveness may be in conjunction with dangerous side effects.  Please discuss all “natural” options with your care provider (OB or midwife), whether or not your doula is versed on the topic or not, including exactly how to prepare or present the option.  We also note in our early at-home birth plan, that it is possible to experience what we refer to here at stillbirthday as “early pregnancy prodromal labor” – your labor may or may not start and stop, unexpectedly.  It is also, enormously important for you to know, for your emotional well being, that even if a “natural” option might help in the augmentation of labor, this does not mean that it caused your loss.  These options are listed here because it has been noted by other mothers, that once the birthing process has already begun, these options have been reported by them as being in some way helpful.

Please utilize any of the many emotional support resources we have available at stillbirthday, as well as our more customized emotional and practical support based on the type of loss you are experiencing.

Please visit our During Birth support resources.


  • walking, lunging, singing, praying/meditating (entering into a safe physical place to do so), relaxing, car ride,  oxytocin release (doula can support), massage, effleurage, brushing teeth, hydrotherapy, various “yoga” type positions (doula can support), chiropractic care, herbal bath: yarrow, sage, oregano and nettle.

External – More Intensive

  • nipple stimulation, accupressure/puncture
  • possible essential oils under the guidance of a professional certified in their use


  • raspberry leaf tea, Lady’s Mantle, wine of ergot (spurred rye), eggplant parmesan, oregano, pineapples, spicy foods, “labor cookies“, intercourse, coffee or other stimulants
  • Spatone, chlorophyll, Floradix, hemoplex, spirulina, alfalfa, red clover or nettle can help restore iron drained through blood loss.
  • deep reflection into possibilities of emotional dystocia: prayer, meditation, reflection, permission to heal

Internal – More Intensive

  • cohoshes, primrose, fresh parsley, castor oil/enema, cotton root bark, angelica, pennyroyal (please see this external article regarding herbal augmentation) , vodka (some believe that any alcohol, however, can actually stall labor.  Again, all of these “natural” methods need to be discussed with your provider.)


  • vaginal exams, stripping membranes, cervical ripening agents (Misoprostil), Foley bulb (see Artificial Induction birth method for information on Misoprostil, Foley and other augmentation options)

Medical – More Intensive

  • cytotec, Pitocin, forceps/vacuum/episiotomy, planned Cesarean, emergency Cesarean (see Full Term Birth Plan for information on these options)
  • in early pregnancy, D&C


Turning Breech Baby

  • External: hands and knees position, using sound, using a small flashlight, using warmth at your lower pelvic area and cold cloth nearer to the top of your fundus.
  • External – More Intensive:  ECV {external cephalic version}
  • Internal: Pulsatilla


Please visit our During Birth support resources.

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