Which Foods Can Induce Labor?


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Well past your due date? Is your baby not really in a hurry to enter the world? Getting into labor can be quite an overwhelming experience, especially for a first time mom, but it can be even more concerning if your baby isn’t ready to come.

Here is your quick guide to everything you need to know about using foods that can induce labor.

Is It Safe To Use Foods To Induce Labor?

It is always best to have a doctor’s opinion, if you are past your due date and want to opt for induced labor. Trying out any labor inducing techniques yourself, without proper medical advice could be dangerous.

However, if you are deciding to have a home birth or have the support of a midwife handy, you could consider consuming certain foods in an attempt to induce labor naturally.

[ Read: How To Use Black Cohosh To Induce Labor ]

Which Foods Can Induce Labor?

Currently, there are no foods that are backed by scientific research and are known to induce labor. This is why it is recommended that you have your doctor’s opinion before you consume any of these foods.

Some foods that are thought to bring about labor include:

1. Black Licorice:

Black licorice is generally used to curb heartburn and many other gastric conditions. Licorice is also known to contain glycyrrhizin, which tends to have an estrogen or anti-estrogen effect, which in turn, stimulates uterine contractions that may bring on labor. However, its consumption in large amounts may be risky, which is why, it is best to have a medical opinion before opting for it.

2. Pineapple:

Pineapple is a tropical food known for its ability to soften the cervix and thereby stimulate the contraction of smooth muscles of the uterus to induce labor. It is best to consume pineapple in its fresh form, if you’re using it to induce labor, since canning and other processes tend to reduce the bromelain content of pineapple, which is the enzyme responsible for the stimulation of uterine contractions.

[ Read: How Does Pineapple Induce Labor ]

3. Spicy Food:

From Mexican food to spicy curries, many spicy foods are believed to help induce labor, however, there is no scientific evidence to support it. A study published in the journal ‘Birth’, has found that around 10.9 percent of pregnant women choose to consume spicy food, in order to induce labor naturally.

4. Castor Oil:

Many midwives and doctors believe that castor oil is actually effective in inducing labor. However, it is recommended that you do not use this oil to induce labor before your due date. In some cases, castor oil could cause dehydration and loose stools, but may still not induce labor (1).

[ Read: How Much Castor Oil To Take To Induce Labor ]

5. Eggplant Parmesan:

Eggplant Parmesan is believed to be another food that induces labor naturally; however, there is no valid explanation or theory to support how it works. It is believed that the seasonings that are a part of this dish, particularly basil and oregano, are what lead to uterine contractions and bring about labor.

6. Red Raspberry Leaf Tea:

While the exact mechanism by which red raspberry leaf tea work, to induce labor is not well known, a study has found that the consumption of this tea could decrease your likelihood of going beyond your due date. It is believed that this tea helps stimulate contractions and tones the muscles of the uterus.

It is best to be under your doctor’s supervision if you’re using any of these foods to induce labor, to reduce any potential health risks to both you and your baby.

We hope this article helped you get an idea about the different foods that can help stimulate labor naturally, and about how to use these foods safely. According to you which is the best food to induce labor? Let us know your views in the comments box below.

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