The last nine months have been one of the most challenging but also joyous rides. Your baby’s moves, its kicks were moments you would treasure all your life. But now, as you are nearing the due date, the emotions seem overwhelming. Your gestation period is coming to an end, and now the anticipation of your baby’s birth can get a little scary. That is probably one of the reasons why you are busy looking out for foods that induce labor.
In this food guide, you will get names of several food products that would help you induce labor. However, we suggest you consult your gynecologist before consuming any of these. We have taken assistance from noted nutritionists in preparing this listicle. As you will scroll, you will get clarity on the same –
Which are the foods that induce labor?
Here are some of the food products you can check out that induce labor in the would-be-mother –
Are you surprised to see this name making it to the list of foods that induce labor? In the initial days of pregnancy, this is one of the prohibited food products. But, as you move ahead in this journey, especially at the fag end of your gestation period, this fruit, thanks to its bromelain content, assists in cervical ripening, which dilates the cervix.
Ensure you eat fresh pineapple, not canned ones, to garner maximum benefit and prevent food poisoning.
2. Unripe Papaya
You must be wondering how the prohibited foods are suddenly appearing in this list of foods that induce labor. Unripe papaya has papain content that triggers contractions in the uterus. This content is found in the latex of the papaya fruit and leaves. This latex mirrors the function of oxytocin and prostaglandin, triggering the onset of labor.
Another of the foods that induce labor, you will get a parmesan eggplant recipe when you scroll down. Though there is no scientific evidence, you must have heard of the concept of ‘eggplant babies’. Well, a parmesan and eggplant blended dish is a dish to induce labor.
High in fiber and sugar content (women with gestational diabetes must be careful), one study shows that women who ate dates were more prone to induce labor than their contemporaries.
5. Red Raspberry leaf
Compared to the other foods that induce labor, this leaf is more of a tincture or found in tea format that both strengthens contractions and amplifies the movement of pelvic muscles. Most doctors recommend the consumption of these leaves after 34 weeks of pregnancy since it is proven to influence Braxton Hick’s contractions.
6. Castor Oil
This oil has been on the list of foods that induce labor since the time of folk tales. Specific research categorically shows castor oil’s role in triggering delivery prior to the due date. However, this has certain laxative properties, so you must be careful.
7. Balsamic Vinegar
You may have added this Italian ingredient (squashed out of white grapes) to your salad. But know that this can serve as an alternative to castor oil when you wish to induce labor.
8. Evening Primrose oil
This oil contains an omega-3 fatty acid called gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), which acts as a precursor to prostaglandins. When you consume it, this helps to soften the cervix area and induce contractions in the uterus. Must you have heard of sex being a stimulator in labor? The evening primrose oil works like that.
9. Cumin Tea
Another food that induces labor (drink, in this case) is cumin tea. You must have used this to manage your bloating issue and induce menstruation. But cumin tea is another drink to help you induce labor.
10. Spicy food
Perhaps you have missed having spicy food throughout your pregnancy journey. This is a good time to have it. Some studies say that spicy food causes cramps which induce labor in mothers comparatively earlier. We would suggest you this as a last resort since there might be some ingredients not suited for your pregnancy period.
Would you like to try this recipe?
Pregnancy is when you can gorge on any food of your choice minus the judgemental looks. So, what if you are nearing the end of your gestation period? Here are two recipes you can try out curated specifically with foods that induce labor –
Red Bean Soup
What do you need?
- Red beans – 3/4 cups
- Sugar – 1/2 cup
- Soda and Salt – as per taste (optional)
- Water – 1.25 liter
How to cook?
- You will have to soak the red beans overnight in a large pot of water. You will notice that the next day when you remove the beans from the water, they are swollen.
- Please put them in a slow cooker and auto-cook them for four hours. They must turn squishy when you consume them. Also, add soda and salt accordingly (if you want to).
- Add sugar as per your taste. Slurp it hot!
Red beans are one of the foods that induce labor. Whether it does induce labor or not, you have to wait and watch. But you must take advantage of this delicious preparation.
Eggplants have made it to the list of foods that induce labor multiple times. But if you are not much of a fan, try out this recipe.
What do you need?
- Medium-size eggplants – 3
- Ricotta cheese – 2 cups
- Shredded Mozzarella cheese – 1/2 lb
- Grated Romano and Parmesan cheese – 1/2 cup each
- Olive oil (as per your requirement)
- Marinara sauce – 8 cups
- All-purpose flour – 1 cup
- Seasoned Italian breadcrumbs – 4 cups
- Beaten eggs – 6
How to cook?
- Slice the eggplants and place them on tissue paper to remove the moisture. Add salt to it and keep it aside. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- You will have to take the eggplant slices and dip them in the flour initially and then in breadcrumbs. Saute them in oil until both sides of the eggplant turn golden brown.
- Once the slices are done, place them on a baking pan, if not together, in batches. Pour the sauce over them and put the layers of cheese to cover it completely (the Romano, Ricotta, and Parmesan cheeses).
- Finally, cover it up with the mozzarella cheese and bake it.
Put up your legs and enjoy these meals – when your baby arrives, you will have a daunting task.
Are these food products safe to consume?
The listicle above of foods that induce labor are not science-backed but instead have been followed over the years as remedies for inducing labor. Call them grandma’s recipe or followed customs over the years; they have never harmed the health of pregnant mothers.
Therefore, one may consider these labor-inducing food products safe to eat.
Which foods must you avoid before labor?
It is no secret that when you are carrying, you must steer clear of alcohol and raw and undercooked seafood or meat. But if you are nearing the end of your pregnancy and looking for foods that induce labor then be assured not to have these two food products (apart from many others your physician has advised you not to). They are –
Though people suggest black cohosh as a uterine stimulant, it is not one of your go-to foods that induce labor. Talking of its blue alternative, you must avoid it altogether as it may have dangerous side effects.
2. Licorice Root
A Finland-based study shows that licorice root has a chemical called glycyrrhizin, which, if consumed in unmeasured quantities, could lead to multiple side effects. For a pregnant lady, this is a complete no-no.
What are the exercises that induce labor?
Apart from consuming certain foods that induce labor – you can also try out the techniques mentioned herein during the last days of your gestation period. Here they are –
This Chinese procedure of inserting fine needles into those parts of the body that fall along the meridian system is called acupressure. This is another way to induce labor.
This ancient way of sticking fine needles on the foot and other parts of the body (those controlling the organs) releases oxytocin. This eases the delivery process.
Most midwives have tried this technique, and in more than a single case, it has proven successful. When you stimulate the nipple, the uterus contracts and eases the delivery process.
When must you call the doctor?
It would be best if you always keep your doctor in the loop about how you are feeling. Mostly, your physician will give a timeline around which you must be extra careful. If you feel any discomfort, you need to visit the clinic immediately. If all’s good – then you better wait till your water breaks!
Before you leave – remember not to consume any of the aforementioned foods that induce labor before 40 weeks of your pregnancy (consult your gynecologist). For more health updates, keep checking this website.
Monalisa Mukherjee is a content writer and copywriter with close to 3 years of experience. She has written for websites like Biography Talk, Contour Cafe, He And She Fitness and Fiction Pad. She is currently associated with a noted Digital Marketing Agency and specialises in writing articles for travel, entertainment, cooking, celeb, lifestyle, tech, health, fashion and film news.