There may be many ways and means of labor induction, many of them the natural tips and tricks that you can try at home such as acupressure, nipple stimulation or having sexual intercourse etc.
However, these may not be effective at all times and then there is a requirement for the doctor to employ one or more of the following methods of labor induction:
Breaking the Water Bag: Many prefer this method of labor induction, wherein the water bag containing the baby is manually burst by virtue of an implement much like a crochet hook. This involves no chemicals or intravenous drip to the administered and is thought to bring on labor.
This method however may not be fully effective and it commits one to the delivery process. Once the bag is ruptured and the amniotic fluid drains out, the birthing process cannot be reversed. So if labor does not start within a specific period there may be need to perform an emergency C section.
Pitocin: This is a synthetic form of the hormone oxytocin which is responsible for initiating contractions in the uterus. This is administered by an IV drip and can be controlled as to the dosage and can also be stopped when required.
If it is not used in conjunction with the other method above, the process can be halted, and the woman is not committed to the birthing process, and can even go home.
There are disadvantages, however, in that this labor induction method could cause fetal distress and is known to cause other complications.
Prostaglandin: This is the hormone that helps ripen or efface the cervix in preparation for birth, so prostaglandin gels or suppositories are used when the cervix is not sufficiently dilated. This method is used prior to administering a Pitocin drip in some cases. This induction method does take longer for labor to begin actively and can cause nausea or headaches in some women.
Misoprostal: This is also a labor induction method that helps the cervix dilate and is usually in the form of a pill that can be either taken orally or be placed at the mouth of the uterus.
This is usually a fairly effective method and this also does not commit one to the birthing process at the time. This is usually not advisable for those mothers who are attempting a vaginal birth after a C section (VBAC). Another disadvantage of the method is that it can sometimes cause labor to be very rapid.