9 Old Wives Tales About Inducing Labor That You Shouldn't Believe

If you're at the end of your pregnancy with no signs of labor starting, you may have begun the search for ways you can start the process at home. For generations, women have advised pregnant mamas on all manner of techniques to make their baby arrive. But how do you know if it's worth your time, energy, and taste buds? Although it's safe to say most at home methods won't hurt you, there are some old wives tales about inducing labor that you shouldn't believe, because chances are you're going to end up disappointed.

The reasons old wives tales keep being handed down, is that for some women there has been a connection. You grandmother swears that she went into labor with your mom just hours after drinking some castor oil. But your mom and all your aunts tried it, and didn't deliver for days. All it takes is a few people to swear that a certain method worked for them, and the argument becomes pretty convincing.

Whether or not you choose to try a home induction method that is considered a myth is up to you. But before you put all your hope in one idea, make sure to consider these nine myths about inducing labor before you start swallowing nasty potions.


Eating Pineapple

Anyone ever suggested guzzling down a pineapple or two to get your labor moving? This popular old wives tale is tied to the power of the enzyme bromelain, which are found in pineapple. " It’s believed that when pregnant women eat pineapple, bromelain softens the connective tissue of the cervix, bringing on labour," according to Today Parents. However, there is no research to support this claim and connect eating pineapple with the start of labor.


Sipping Some Red Raspberry Leaf Tea

If you were considering chugging gallons of tea to induce labor, don't bother. Although the vitamins in this tea are nutritious, red raspberry leaf tea will not bring on labor, as Ask Baby's website pointed out.


Drinking Castor Oil

Smelling castor oil is enough to keep me from drinking it, but even though some mom's swear by this method, it's simply a myth. According to What To Expect, although one small study showed some women who drank castor oil went into labor within 24 hours, half of the women did not start labor. Unfortunately, castor oil causes more diarrhea than contractions.


Eating Spicy Food

As much as you love a good plate full of chicken wings, those delicious nibbles won't help kick your labor into motion. When it comes to spicy food and induction, The Bump pointed out, "nothing has been proven yet, except a good chance of heartburn."



If you're up for a walk near the end of your pregnancy, but all means, go for it — just don't expect those strolls to make your baby come any faster. According to Baby Med, although walking can help your baby move down into the birth canal, walking is not a way to bring on labor.


Getting An Enema

Please do not put yourself through this one if you are thinking about trying to induce your labor at home. As Dr. Jonathan Shaffir, OB-GYN professor told Easy Baby Life, having an enema to induce labor is a myth.


A Bumpy Car Ride

Going off-road won't feel good on your pregnant belly, and it certainly won't bring the results of labor beginning. According to Baby Center, there is no proof that taking a bumpy car ride will induce labor. So save yourself the motion sickness and stay on the pavement.


Having Accupuncture

Although this can be a relaxing treat, your baby's birthday won't come any sooner because of it. " [A] recent study out of Denmark found no difference in spontaneous labor between women at 41 weeks treated with acupuncture and those not treated," the website for The Bump reported.


Drinking Red Wine

You might be ready to get your hands on some wine after nine months of pregnancy, but before you start poppin' bottles, take this bit of caution. "Drinking alcohol in the later stages of pregnancy has the opposite effect most women intend for it to have," as Parents magazine reported. The wine can actually stop labor from happening.