5 Delicious Foods to Induce Labour Naturally
At the end of the 9th month of pregnancy, women are excited and eager to…
At the end of the 9th month of pregnancy, women are excited and eager to meet their little ones. Although women experience a gazillion of emotions during pregnancy, they have to have the most mental strength for the last stage. Some women have to wait more than 40 weeks to hold their babies in their hands. If your due date has passed and you have moved past counting the days, you should know about food to induce labour naturally.
Doctors often advise you to consume certain foods that have been helpful in inducing labour naturally. We know what you are thinking – is inducing labour as easy as feasting on food? Not exactly. While there are no guarantees, some experts believe that certain foods possess properties that may help stimulate contractions. So, the odds might be high but taking a chance to focus on this natural and safe method to induce labour is totally deserving.
We researched foods that have a reputation for stimulating contractions. Check out this article to find foods that work to induce labour!
The Science Behind Food and Labour Induction
There are only 9 months of pregnancy a woman can take. If your due date is already here but your baby is not, we understand that you would be willing to try anything to induce labour. In many cultures, certain foods have been claimed as labour-inducing for their contraction-causing properties. For centuries, elders have advised consuming these foods as they can trigger your gastrointestinal tract and stimulate contractions.
There is little scientific evidence that supports the ability of these food to induce labour naturally. However, there is solid word of mouth associated with them and a rich history of women going into labour after consuming these foods. If your doctor asks you to eat a particular food to induce labour naturally, trust him/her and make a leap of faith.
Hormones and Their Role in Labour Initiation
Some foods like pineapple, dates, and others are thought to possess labour-inducing properties that can stimulate hormonal activity in the body. Certain hormones like oxytocin, progesterone, estrogen, and prolactin play a major role in kick-starting your labour. There are some foods that can trigger potential hormonal changes in your body.
These foods stimulate the production of important hormones that could quicken the onset of labour and reduce delivery time. It is utterly important to maintain hormonal balance at the last stage of pregnancy. For instance, you should do whatever you can to enhance oxytocin levels (happy hormone) and reduce cortisol levels (stress hormone) simultaneously.
How Certain Foods Stimulate Contractions?
There are some natural foods like pineapple, dates, black cohosh, and spicy foods that can promote labour. These foods contain different substances that can stimulate gastrointestinal activity and soften the cervix to induce contractions of the uterine walls.
For instance, pineapple contains the enzyme bromelain which is believed to trigger early contractions. Dates stimulate prostaglandin receptors which can improve the body’s response and stimulate contractions. Spicy foods can play a little role in labour by causing digestive distress which in turn can initiate contractions.
Foods With Labour-Inducing Potential
After nine long months of pregnancy, it is impossible for a woman to wait even for a day to meet her child. There’s a lot of anticipation along with discomfort because at the last stage of pregnancy, all hormonal activities in the body go for a toss, and there are no rules to go by.
At such a sensitive time, you must be wondering what can be done to quicken the onset of labour. Can it be at all controlled by humans? There’s no confirmation but what’s life without a little unpredictability? On this paradoxical note, we have researched some foods that may help you go into labour.
Let’s read all about the foods that have enough caliber to kick-start your labour up close.
If you can take the spice, it might be possible to get your labour on skates. Spicy foods have a rich history of inducing labour across many cultures. They contain an active component called capsaicin which can cause a stir in your digestive system and stimulate the womb. They can trigger uterine contractions to some extent.
If you are a fan of fiery flavors, spicy foods are just the right addition to your pregnancy diet to commence your labour journey. You can opt for Indian curries, Mexican dishes, or Thai food to get a good dose of chili. Get these from trusted sources or have them cooked in your home for keeping your overall health intact.
If you choose spicy food to induce labour naturally, be prepared for a taste sensation that could potentially rev up your labour. However, be very careful when you add spices, and check with your doctor which spices are good to go in your food.
Pineapple is a tropical fruit with an excellent taste. It has a juicy sweetness which makes it a delightful treat for anyone. Pineapple is rich in bioactive compounds, fiber, and multiple vitamins that make it high in nutritional value. Apart from being beloved by the taste buds, pineapple is also a noted member of the labour-inducing food category.
This tropical fruit contains an enzyme called bromelain which is proclaimed to induce labour by softening the cervix and triggering contractions. It can stimulate the muscles of the uterine walls to initiate labour.
You can enjoy fresh slices of raw pineapple. You can add pink salt to it and consume it directly. Or, you can consume pineapple juice and add salt and black pepper to it. Drinking a pineapple smoothie can also give the same benefits.
You must consume pineapple in normal quantities and beware of staleness and inorganic growth. Although much is talked about the link between pineapples and labour, there is no concrete information available. Hence, you should talk to your doctor to consume this food to induce labour naturally.
If we are talking about due dates, how can we miss dates? Coincidentally, dates contain labour-inducing properties which makes them an ideal food at the last stage of pregnancy. They are packed with sugars, antioxidants, and fiber and are thought to promote cervical dilation and uterine contractions.
The sudden intake of increased fiber in your diet can lead to digestive issues and replicate the effects same as spicy foods. Dates can also enhance the flow of blood and strengthen muscles to induce contractions.
Dates have been associated with labour induction in several cultures. Unlike other foods, there is some research that suggests that consuming dates can speed up your labour and reduce the time of your delivery.
You can enjoy a handful of dates as a nutritious snack or try to incorporate them into baked goods or smoothies for an added touch of sweetness. You can also consume dates throughout the course of your pregnancy, of course, after talking to your doctor.
Raspberry Leaf Tea
Raspberries are one of the most delicious foods known to mankind. They are rich in vitamins and antioxidants and are highly beneficial for the human body. Interestingly, the benefits of this tea multiply ten times for a pregnant woman. These nutrients help a woman ensure overall prenatal health. It is a popular belief that raspberry leaf tea can initiate labour.
Raspberry leaf tea has a long history of traditional use as a preparation for labour and childbirth. This herbal tea can strengthen the uterine muscles and encourage efficient contractions. Raspberry tea can also soften the cervix and prepare it better for labour, potentially aiding in the dilation process.
Brew the raspberry tea leaves for 5-7 minutes in boiling water. If you are using a tea bag, leave it in boiling water for 5 minutes. Sip on a warm cup of red raspberry leaf tea as you await the arrival of your little one. Take only a cup of tea every day or follow the guidelines of your healthcare professional.
Although raspberry leaf tea is a popular natural remedy, it may not work out for the best for some women. So, be very careful, and look for changes in your body after consuming this tea.
Evening Primrose Oil
The realm of Botanics never ceases to enchant us. Many people have associated evening primrose oil with cervical ripening and labour initiation. Evening primrose oil is one of the magical herbs that is supposed to contain a secret power to aid in labour induction. This oil is rich in gamma-linolenic acid which contains properties to encourage the production of prostaglandins, a key substance to orchestrate labour.
With every drop of this oil you take, your cervix gets ready for childbirth ahead. The evening primrose oil can induce contractions and get you into labour. This oil can also promote hormonal balance which is instrumental in preparing the body for labour.
Although you must talk to your doctor before drinking this oil so that you know the needed quantity to ingest for labour induction. This will ensure a balance between safety and knowledge and ensure the well-being of the mother and the child.
Other Factors to Consider About Consuming Foods With Labour-Inducing Potential
It is true that when you consume a certain food to induce labour naturally, you have higher chances of experiencing contractions but there is no hardcore evidence associated with it. Many doctors, over the years, also suggest their patients consume these foods but no one can guarantee labour induction.
Different foods have different effects on different women. Some foods may work for some women and the same foods may not work for others. Since every woman’s body anatomy is different, solely relying on labour-inducing foods might become stressful at some point. Also, you must not overfeed your body with any type of food at such a critical stage.
However natural, the efficacy of consuming certain foods to induce labour has not been fully explored yet. The best course for you is to consult your healthcare provider and take a safe stance before welcoming your little one into the world. It is always a good idea to check with your doctor before consuming any food that is new to your system.
If you insist on eating labour-inducing foods, complement them with an overall balanced diet so that you get proper nutrition. It is important to indulge in prenatal care so that you and your baby remain healthy. You should get foot massages and exercise daily to promote blood flow in your body. Don’t perform heavy exercises as they can cause exertion on your body. You can do yoga and breathing exercises daily to prepare yourself for childbirth.
When you enter the ninth month of your pregnancy, you start dreaming about holding your baby in your hands. The wait is apprehensive for the parents and if you move past your due date, it can be unbearable. Exploring natural labour induction methods can add excitement to the final stage of pregnancy. Eating spicy foods, pineapple, and dates or drinking raspberry leaf tea can be of immense help to you as they promote labour to some extent.
It is vastly believed that these foods comprise certain substances that can trigger contractions and induce labour. Also, they are less likely to harm your overall health as they are natural. However, very little has been proven scientifically and there is not enough evidence to support these claims.
You must eat these foods in abundance or altogether only if your due date has arrived but your baby has not. Whether these foods help you or not, you should not get anxious if your labour is delayed. The best way is to remain calm and happy so that your hormones remain stable too. Just focus on doctor-approved natural labour induction methods and you will be on the right track.