Top 9 Foods to Induce Labour in Last Week of Pregnancy

Foods to Induce Labour

Could certain foods and drinks in the last week of pregnancy induce labour? Read this insightful article to find out the answers to your question.

You might be in your 39th or 40th week of pregnancy. You must be getting hospital ready, as your due date is nearing. But you’re equally anxious that you haven’t started on labour yet. You discuss it with friends, relatives and neighbours who might then come up with their list of suggestions. One of them might also tell you to look -up the internet for a list of safety- foods to kick-start your labour. 

And finally, you come across the helpful list of foods and drinks we have curated for you. 

Read on to find out what they are and how they effective for your labour? 

1. Castor Oil

Since time immemorial, women have turned to this thick and ugly-tasting tradition with the hopes to fasten the process of the baby’s arrival. Castor oil is made out of the seeds of Ricinus communis or beans of castor oil plant. It is an ancient method to induce labour. However, research has confirmed that, castor oil is better known as a laxative. This included in in your pregnancy-diet can force uterine muscles to contract, thus jump starting labour.

Although it might not affect your intestines as such, castor oil makes your stomach upset, causing diarrhoea and severe cramping (which proves to be potentially dangerous for your baby who’s ready to make her way out of womb). You might even vomit as a side-effect of having castor oil.

2. Evening Primrose Oil

Contains an Omega – 3 fatty acid known as gamma linolenic acid (GLA), the parent of prostaglandins (a hormone which is found in sperms) helps in softening the cervix to make the baby birth-ready.

3. Balsamic Vinegar

Originated in Italy and made out freshly harvested white grape juice, this vinegar (with high acid-content in it) is often used to grease salad. If pregnant mothers take shots of this vinegar, it can cause heartburn and cramping in the uterus, almost similar to castor oil. However, a thorough research has still not been able to back this theory.

4. Spicy Food

Usually considered a “No-No” during pregnancy, but consuming it during labour is considered as one of the oldest trick. Actually, the presence of Capsaicin (a substance to relieve pain) is said to work against the endorphins (a hormone which rises steadily at the end of pregnancy).

5. Pungent Garlic

Is one of most popular ways to induce labour. It can stimulate bowel movements, thus triggering labour. 

6. Raw Papaya

Rich in latex and papain that breaks down the protein in smaller fragments known as peptides and amino acids is a remedy to reduce pain, swelling and triggering labour.

7. Pineapple

Due the presence of bromelain enzyme, consuming pineapple at the end of your pregnancy may help in softening the cervix and triggering uterine contractions, thus inducing labour. You may need to eat a lot of it to have an effect on you. Just remember to get fresh pineapples. Tinned or canned pineapples do not contain that significant enzyme.

8. Dates

Based on a 2011 study, if you eat up to 6 dates per day, just a month before your date of delivery, you are expected to jump start labour. In fact, it has a compound in it which seems to mimic the oxytocin hormones, thus increasing cervical ripening, causing uterine contractions and reducing medical induction.

9. Red Raspberry Leaf Tea

Is a herbal tea that boosts the blood flow to the uterus, producing contractions in the muscles, thus inducing labour.

To Conclude

Pregnancy is considered to be a joyride, till you hit the fag end, and that is the last week. We know that waiting for your baby to pop out can be very uncomfortable, painful and stressful. And we understand that, you may not be able to take the stress and want your baby to arrive as soon as possible. So, if you want to have the above-mentioned foods to trigger labour, you can, but not without consulting the doctor.

Moreover, while it is important to wait, exercise, and stay hydrated, during that wait, it is also important to have patience and be gentle with the body till your baby arrives and keep consulting the doctor to know about some of the natural and healthy ways of labour.