Foods That Induce Labor Naturally

You’re nearing the end of your pregnancy, and you’re READY to hold your baby in your arms, right?

40 weeks have gone by, and you’re looking for all the exercises, drinks, and foods that induce labor naturally. Medical induction isn’t necessary yet, and baby will be born in his or her own time…but wouldn’t it be nice to help speed up the process just a little in a natural way?

There are many foods you can try to induce labor naturally. You may want to try some of these suggestions for inducing labor at home. These may not all be appetizing to you, but if you’re excited to get things moving let this post inspire a culinary creation of your own!

Spicy foods

There’s been no research done to prove that spicy foods can induce labor. But many women swear that eating spicy foods can kick start labor. Many women say within hours of eating hot wings or something else extra spicy, they went into labor. This could just be a coincidence, but if you like spicy foods anyway why not give it a try?

Fruits That Induce Labor

There are two kinds of fruits that pregnant women swear by when it comes to inducing labor. One is papaya, and the other is pineapple. The most noteworthy of these is pineapple which contains an enzyme called Bromelain. You’ll only find this enzyme in fresh pineapple. Bromelain helps soften your cervix and stimulate the smooth muscles to get labor started.

As for papaya, you have to eat the fruit before it’s ripe to get the benefits of the enzyme called papain. The more the papaya ripens, the less papain it contains. Aim for green papaya, as is mentioned in the recipe below to induce labor. You make food spicy and you can really kickstart labor!

Also, there is latex in the papaya fruit, but it’s found more in the leaves. Research shows that the latex in the papaya acts as prostaglandin and oxytocin. It’s known to induce contractions. As a result, it’s a good alternative to the oxytocin that you’d receive in the hospital. But of course, it’s not a 100% guarantee. Green papaya is just something to try when you’re a little overdue.

Drinks That Induce Labor

Another thing many mothers swear by are drinks, like wine or tea. Many moms swear by a glass of red wine to start labor. But when it comes to drinking alcohol while you’re pregnant, you really want to consult your doctor first.

Just to make this clear. You must not drink any kind of alcohol during your pregnancy!

You can also try basil tea or Motherwort tea to induce labor. If you drink basil tea twice a day, you may go into labor sooner. Motherwort will help prevent false labor and irregular contractions. Licorice is also a good option because of its mild laxative nature.

It’s important to remember that none of these recommendations are coming from a doctor. They’re just methods that have worked for some women. You should also consult your doctor before you try anything new.

Recipes

If you’re a little overdue, here are some creative ideas to incorporate the foods mentioned above.

Thai Green Papaya Salad from bonappatit.com

Thai Green Papaya Salad Foods that induce labor
Thai Green Papaya Salad from bonappatit.com

Ingredients:

  • 5 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 3 tablespoons (packed) palm sugar or golden brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons dried shrimp, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 Chinese long beans halved crosswise or 15 green beans
  • 1 1 1/2- to 1 3/4-pound green papaya, peeled, halved, seeded
  • 10 large cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 green onions, thin sliced
  • 1 fresh red Thai chile with seeds, thin sliced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped salted peanuts

Instructions:

Whisk the first 5 ingredients in a medium bowl. Set dressing aside.

Cook beans in medium saucepan of boiling salted water until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Rinse under cold water. Cut into 2-inch pieces. Using a julienne peeler, peel enough papaya to measure 6 cups. Place it in a large bowl. Add tomatoes, cilantro, green onions, chile, and green beans. Pour dressing over; toss. Sprinkle peanuts over and serve.

Red Bean Soup

Red bean soup
Red bean soup from taiwanxifu.com

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup of red beans (adzuki beans)
  • Pinch of bicarbonate of soda (optional)
  • 1/2 cup of sugar (or to taste)
  • Pinch of salt (optional)
  • 1.25l of water

Instructions:

  • Put the red beans into a large bowl and soak overnight.  
  • Drain off the water the next day. The beans will have swollen to almost twice their original size.
  • Put the beans into a slow cooker and cover with the water.  Cook on ‘auto’ for around four to five hours. The red beans should be squishy but still keep most of their shape.  
  • Add the sugar and stir to dissolve.  Red bean soup is usually served sweet. You can adjust the amount of sugar you use based on preference.

And for the mom with a sweet tooth, you can even make labor cookies. Here’s a recipe from JustMommies.com.

“Labor-Inducing” Cookie Recipe

Labor inducing cookies
Labor-inducing cookies from justmommies.com

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 8 tablespoons (or 1 stick) margarine
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar (will also need extra sugar to roll cookie dough in)
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/3 cup molasses
  • 2 egg whites

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, salt and cayenne pepper in small bowl. Set dry ingredients aside.
  • Then blend margarine in large mixing bowl. Stir in brown sugar and granulated sugar. Add the molasses, then the egg whites. Finally, add the dry ingredients to your mix.
  • Roll dough into ¾ inch balls. Roll cookie balls in sugar to coat each cookie. Place balls on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake in the oven for 8-10 minutes or until cookies are golden brown.

Waiting for labor to start can be so nerve-wracking. Trying new foods can help relieve the stress by at least giving you something to do!

Even if none of these recipes work to induce labor, you’ll at least be taking your mind off of your long wait. Good luck and hang in there!

Sarah Hankins

Sarah is a freelance writer, blogger, cat mom and a believer in holistic medicine. She strives to achieve her dreams of becoming a published author and a nurse/midwife. Her 3 favorite things in the world are animals, babies, and literature.


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