This outstanding article, charmingly titled Come On, Baby, from Malaysian's The Star provides an overview and commentary on the many methods for bringing on childbirth naturally. The author, Dr. Nor Ashikin Mokhtar, offers a grounded, common-sense approach that's solidly backed up by medicine.
In addition to the list of different things to try -- and things you should not try -- she offers a very different opinion on just when to try to get labor going. It sounds like the majority of docs in the United States begin to push for induction of labor after week 39.
Dr. Mokhtar says,
I always tell my patients that there is a reason the baby is staying in there just a bit longer. This is the time when the baby is developing, and forcing it to come out too early may interrupt his or her growth.
That's a very refreshing -- and evidence-based -- piece of advice. And she's not exactly a voice in the wilderness in Malaysia; she is co chairman of Nur Sejahtera, Women & Family Healthcare Program, Ministry of Women, Family and Development.