5 foods that can help a pregnant woman induce labor



When you’ve been pregnant for 9 months, you might be feeling a little impatient to start labor.

So, if there’s a food or dish that could speed up the process, you might be willing to try it.

Some restaurants claim to have the dish that will kickstart your labor, but there aren’t exactly any randomized clinical trials to back up their claims.

While some of them may lack empirical evidence, you may be curious to see what worked for other moms.

Here’s a list of some foods that are said to stimulate labor:

1. Pineapple

Nothing beats the sweetness of fresh pineapple. And if you like the taste and the nutritional benefits, go ahead and eat it. It’s loaded with vitamin C and other nutrients like manganese.

However, don’t expect it to necessarily speed up your labor, as there is a lack of evidence to back up these claims. (The theory is that bromelain, an enzyme found in pineapple, will soften your cervix and cause labor to begin, but this has not been proven.)

2. Dates

Dates, the fruit of the date palm tree, are extremely nutritious. They are high in fiber and antioxidants, among other things. According to research, they may also aid in the induction or hastening of labor.

Even though it was not a randomized clinical trial, a 2011 prospective study discovered that women who ate dates in the last four weeks before labor were less likely to need to be induced.

Other research, including a randomized clinical trial published in 2013 and another in 2017, suggests that eating dates may reduce the amount of time you spend in labor or the need for augmentation, such as the use of oxytocin to speed up delivery.

3. Spicy food

If you listen to a lot of people, a spicy fragrant Indian dish, Italian meal, or Thai food with a kick could be just the ticket to jump-starting labor.

According to a 2011 study, many people believe spicy food will cause labor. For every person who swears that a delicious curry dish sent them into labor, there is someone who swears that a dish laden with peppers did the trick.

However, according to 2014 research, you should consult with your doctor before ordering a super-spicy dish with this goal in mind.

4. Eggplant

Does eggplant appear to be an unlikely candidate for inducing labor? Not according to the dozens of pregnant women who ate eggplant Parmesan at Scalini’s in Georgia.

Again, no official research has been conducted, but there are numerous photos of adorable “eggplant babies.” Others claim that eggplant Parmesan dishes, in general, have caused them to go into labor.

5. Raspberry leaf tea

Sipping a cup of raspberry leaf tea sounds like a pleasant way to begin labor. However, there is insufficient evidence to suggest that raspberry leaf tea — or raspberry leaf tablets — are effective.

One animal study from 2009 even questioned whether using raspberry leaf during pregnancy is truly safe. More research is needed, so you should consult your doctor before brewing.

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