When you reach the final days of your pregnancy and the doctor tells you that all systems are a "go" for baby to make an appearance, your brain usually kicks into “get this damn kid out of me” mode. Medicine and science? Yeah, they all go out the window in favor of old wive's tales. For example, more than a few older moms and relatives were quick to suggest I eat foods that "bring on labor." I know I'm not alone on the "eat whatever will help this kid out of my body" front, so I recently asked my peers about the foods that made them go into labor (maybe? possibly?) and the answers really ran the gamut (and a few were a bit scandalous, so we have that going for us).
I, of course, tried everything to naturally induce labor. At first there was spicy food, courtesy of the local Chinese restaurant in our seaside Queens neighborhood (even though it gave me horrible gas and even though I could barely handle the sight of vegetables). My husband’s grandmother suggested raspberry tea, so I went and bought a Costco-sized package of the stuff, even though I hate fruity teas. That didn’t work either. My final meal before going into labor ended up being a lobster roll and clam chowder. However, after already being a week overdue, I'm going to assume it had less to do with the lobster and more to do with, you know, time.
Despite being the daughter of a fertility specialist physician father, I was convinced my baby was going to just remain in my belly and pregnancy would be a way of life for me from here on out. When my husband’s aunt remarked that I looked a little green towards the end of the evening on the night that I eventually went into labor, I really didn’t think anything of it. “Oh, yeah, well. I think that’s just my coloring now. Anyway, goodnight!” So maybe there is something about lobster helping move things along labor wise. One can only wonder.
"In France, raspberry leaf tea is a big thing. I think it did help. Supposedly it’s pretty legit."
"Pad Thai. The meal was super heavy, literally. I feel like it pushed down on the baby and started labor due to the sheer weight and volume of the noodles."
"A reuben sandwich. I can’t say it helped bring on labor for sure, but it was my last meal before the baby was born!"
"Kimchee from some 24-hour restaurant at 2 a.m. because I couldn’t sleep, with Baby number one. And fish vindaloo from an Indian restaurant for dinner, with Baby number two!"
"I ate jalapeño and pineapple at the same time to induce labor (two days early with my second child but went into labor like 10 minutes after eating it and had her three hours later!). I ate them together. Like pineapple chunks sandwiching a jalapeño."
"Wine on Yom Kippur."
"I think I ate every cliché labor inducing food – I made eggplant parmesan, ate tons of pineapple, spicy Indian food starting around 37 weeks and my son was two weeks early!"
"Wine! Is that food? And brandy cherries. Covered in dark chocolate."
"I tried all the foods. Had to do the straw thing then Pitocin, then a c-section. The foods don’t work unless you’re ready to pop! Oh, and a friend of mine swore by a Chinese food restaurant dish called “Lobster Cantonese” and a glass of wine. She said the way it’s prepared uses ingredients that push the baby out. That was one I didn’t get to try. But I ate jalapeños by the handful!"
"Heh. Second time I’ve said this today, but castor oil omelet got the process going for me when a week and a half of trying everything else did not."