There are certain foods which are believed to help naturally induce labour. Do they work?
In the later stages of pregnancy, it is extremely common to research natural ways to induce labour. Those last days and weeks can feel absolutely exhausting.
A lot of women struggle with the sense of the unknown. They could be pregnant for another couple of days or weeks – it is impossible to tell unless a scheduled induction has been arranged.
A hospital induction is also something that a lot of women want to avoid for a variety of personal reasons.
There are so many old wives tales that circulate regarding naturally inducing labour. A midwife once told me to do the three “hots”. That being “hot weather, hot curry and hot sex” (her words, not mine).
I laughed when she said it, but many women will claim that one or more of these things helped kick off their labour experience.
Food is a very popular place to start. I was personally the ultimate cliché when it came to my fortieth week of pregnancy.
I could feel the supermarket worker secretly rolling her eyes when she saw what was in my trolley. I had to do what I had to do though.
There are certain foods which are believed to help naturally induce labour. Do they work? We’ll leave that one up to you.
Pineapple contains an enzyme which can help break down tissue. For this reason many people believe that it influences the cervix and helps prepare the tissue for labour. There is no official evidence to support this though.
Foods which contain high levels of spice, such as curries, are believed to help induce labour. The theory is that spice stimulates the digestive system in a similar way that contractions are felt. The digestive system and the uterus are separate entities though so we’re not sure about this one (but we do love a curry).
Red Raspberry Leaf Tea
You can pick it up in a health food store and it actually tastes pretty nice. Some women turn to this tea to help with general menstrual issues such as cramps and even morning sickness. However, there is little evidence to show that it will encourage labour to start. Many people feel that it strengthens the Uterus and makes the labour contractions (whenever they decide to arrive) stronger and more effective meaning the labour might be shorter overall.
Much like with spicy food, garlic is helpful when it comes to emptying one’s bowels. Many women experienced loose bowel movements before labour began and therefore believe that emptying them could help labour begin sooner.
This is a new trend it seems. This fresh vinegar which is typically used on salads is believed to do a similar job to Castor Oil but without the uncomfortable cramps and diarrhoea. Salad for dinner?
This tropical fruit is a popular choice for those trying to naturally induce labour. However, it’s typically an unripe papaya as it loses its “power” when it becomes ripe. It is connected to an Enzyme called “papain” and many believe that it stimulates the uterus and brings on contractions.