Would You Like A Side Of Labor With That?

By the time we reach our pregnancy due dates, most of us are way past the point of being ready to meet our little ones. Late labor comes along with endless joys like round ligament pain and sleepless nights. For some unlucky mommys, month nine even indicates the ninth month of never ending nausea. It’s no surprise, then, that we lose patience fast when our due date come around with no baby in sight. 

It’s at this stage that many of us turn to all manner of mad methods to help our labors along a little. Some of these, like sitting over a hot pot of coffee (not recommended by doctors), aren’t exactly pleasant experiences. Even using sex to get things going can be tough with a nine-month pregnancy belly! But, something which most pregnant women are all too happy to try are labor-inducing foods.

As long as you aren’t still feeling nauseous, food can be an enjoyable experience no matter how pregnant you are. There are also many recommended options which are thought to get labor started at last. Admittedly, some of these are best avoided. Castor oil, for example, can bring diarrhea and dehydration as much as it can bring labor. But, while not scientifically backed, mothers across the world swear by all manner of tasty options for starting labor. At the very worst, turning to these means getting a decent meal. And, who knows; such foods could well break your waters.

Bear in mind that, at this stage of pregnancy, you’re well within your rights to insist your partner cooks for you. Make sure, too, that you learn how to time contractions the right way before giving any of these recipes a go. While labor induction meals don’t always work, things tend to happen pretty fast when you do find success! With that said, let’s get onto the food. 

A nice bit of spice

It’s no secret that spicy foods are thought to induce labor. Recommending vindaloo to heavily pregnant women is an old trick by now. For the most part, this stems from ideas that spices stimulate bellies, and so start contractions. This is so widely believed that a 2011 study found 10.9% of respondents tried inducing labor this way. 

Of course, we focus on curry when we refer to spicy food, but that’s far from the only option here. While a curry with some whole chilies chucked in can’t hurt, it could end in heartburn which you could do without. Instead, then, consider alternative spicy foods like Mexican options. You could even get your partner to cook you up some hot chicken wings and see where you end up.

Perhaps you should try pineapple

Of all the recommended ‘labor’ foods, pineapple is one which has some scientific recommendation. That’s because pineapple contains bromelain. In the right doses, this enzyme can soften the cervix and start labor. That said, most experts claim that you would need to eat a whole load of the stuff to feel any real impact. Not to mention that such high quantities could lead to diarrhea sooner than they resulted in labor. But, given how delicious pineapple can be, it’s still worth at least trying this method. 

With pizza also often coming top of the labor list (admittedly for no justifiable reason), putting pineapple on your pizza could be a good bet. Or, you could opt for a tasty pineapple cake. Even if you’re feeling nauseous, a smoothie with plenty of pineapples could be a fantastic way to keep things down long enough to see if they really do lead to labor. 

Balsamic vinegar

While the other foods mentioned here are pretty common labor contenders, we’re throwing in something a little less common, too. Largely thanks to California restaurant, Caioti Pizza Cafe and their ‘maternity salad’, balsamic vinegar is creeping up in the labor-inducing rankings. This urban legend has become so popular that even figures like Hilary Duff have given it a go. 

Of course, you needn’t go to California to feel the benefits of a maternity-based salad. It’s thought that the balsamic dressing is the thing which gives this salad its main benefits. And, that’s easy enough to recreate at home. Or, to get your partner recreating at home… As with many of these foods, claims that a salad like this can induce anything are mostly unsubstantiated. But, fresh foods like salad are still a plus at any stage of pregnancy. Even if you aren’t keen on all those leaves, drizzling balsamic over fish or even pizza could be worth a shot. 

Raspberry leaf tea

If all else fails, you could always settle for a nice cup of hot tea. At the very least, tea can be fantastic for chilling you out at a time when you need to keep your blood pressure steady. If studies are anything to do by, raspberry leaf tea is also one of the most reliable food and beverage-based options for induction. This method is so effective that experts recommend steering clear until no sooner than 32 weeks gestation. In some cases, midwives state that drinking raspberry leaf tea from this stage onwards can make for an easier labor. Some studies even suggest that this method reduces the risk of forceps during birth. At the very least, this caffeine-free tea could keep you clear of potentially risky coffee. 

That said, it is vital to proceed with caution when using this as a labor-induction method. If you drink copious amounts of raspberry leaf tea, it’s possible to induce heavy contractions which distress your baby. Make sure, then, that you stick with one pot a day if you do want to give this a try.

As you can see, there is no one sure meal for encouraging your baby to make an appearance. For the most part, food-based claims are unsubstantiated in any real way. But, at the very least, you can have a lot of culinary fun trying. And, who knows what could happen as a result?

Photo Gallery