From eating spicy foods to walking up and down stairs, pregnant women are given all sorts of advice when it comes to labor induction techniques. That doesn't mean that all of this folk wisdom is necessarily good advice, though. The things that don't induce labor, despite the rumors, may be best avoided or, at the very least, taken with a grain of salt.
For many women, focusing their energy on the most likely methods of inducing labor naturally makes a lot of sense. If you're ready to get that baby born already, then you may not want to spend any time drinking some tonic that doesn't do anything. Especially when you could be doing something fun, such as nipple stimulation. (Seriously, it works.)
What's more, some of these methods may actually be harmful. Severely cutting Not to mention many of these methods are untested by scientific study, so no one knows what effects it may have on your pregnancy. Although this is not necessarily a bad thing, you probably don't want to make your infant the guinea pig for any untested ideas. Whatever the case, hopefully you will deliver a healthy baby in no time at all (even if it feels like you've been pregnant forever).
You may have heard that fasting is one way to naturally induce labor, and this tip may have some validity. According to The Jerusalem Post, fasting may trigger premature delivery, which can be dangerous. However, there is little evidence to suggest that fasting once you're at full term will help bring on the baby, and chances are you'd enjoy a light meal prior to labor. At the very least, check with your doctor for advice.
2. Brazilian Wax
OK, so there's an idea that the pain of a bikini wax could shock your body into labor, as noted by Glamour. Although there does not seem to be evidence to support this idea, it does not appear to be particularly dangerous either. So if you're used to being groomed, it's probably safe to go to your usual salon appointment if you want.
Wouldn't it be nice if eating candy could bring about labor? The digestive upset that can result from downing licorice is sometimes thought to trigger contractions. According to OB-GYN North, however, there is no definitive evidence to prove that eating licorice will help induce labor. It may be an OK snack if you just happen to like it, though.
4. Sudden Frights
You're trying to have a baby, not cure a case of the hiccups. But the idea that you can get scared into labor is a common belief on pregnancy boards. There is not much evidence to support this claim, however, and it's probably not a good for anyone to make you more stressed right now.
5. Eggplant Parmesan
This may be one of the more charming myths. In fact, Scalini's Italian Restaurant in Atlanta even includes a list of babies who were apparently born soon after their mothers enjoyed an order of Eggplant Parmigiana. Unfortunately, no serious studies back up this idea. But on the other hand, if you just straight-up want some eggplant parmesan, then go ahead and order it. Nobody's going to tell you no at this point in the game.
6. Castor Oil
This may be the oldest old wives' tale of all. According to WebMD, downing castor oil may not help induce labor in all women, but it is almost guaranteed to make you have a bad trip to the bathroom. And at this stage of your pregnancy, you likely don't want to be any more uncomfortable.
7. A Pedicure
In a perfect world, this would be the failsafe way to bring on your labor. And this is another myth that's common on pregnancy boards, but not supported by studies. However, getting a pedicure while pregnant likely won't hurt if you'd just like a little pampering.
Sip on a glass of bubbly until your baby debuts: it sounds like the most glamorous way to start labor. But in reality, enjoying alcohol during the last days of pregnancy may actually stop labor; it could even hamper your contractions, as noted in Parents. Once that baby's out, however, you're free to drink (and possibly pump and dump) to your heart's content.
Plenty of herbs and teas fall into the can't-hurt-might-help camp when it comes to labor induction. But according to WebMD, you may want to exercise caution when it comes to cohosh, an herb that may adversely affect your clotting factors. Because you want to be able to turn off the bleeding once your baby's out, this one may be best avoided. And, as with any pregnancy advice, you can double-check any of these tips with your doctor for added certainty.