Do Spicy Foods Help Induce Labor Or Just Make Heartburn Worse?

Every pregnant woman reaches a point where she is totally, 100 percent done with pregnancy. No matter how smooth the last nine months were, there comes a point when a woman is seriously considering indulging in a little castor oil with the hopes of evicting her own baby. But there has to be a better way to induce labor, like indulging in something all pregnant women love to do — eating. One of the most popular ways to try and induce labor naturally is by enjoying a little extra heat in your food. But do spicy foods help induce labor? Or will you just end up with another reason to chew all the Tums?

Unfortunately, there’s no exact answer. What to Expect noted that there is no spice or food scientifically proven to induce labor, but there are two theories as to why indulging in a little extra tabasco might speed things up. According to Pregnancy Magazine, some believe that eating spicy foods stimulates the digestive system and causes contractions. Another theory from Baby Center argues that spicy food increases the production of prostaglandin, a hormone that aids in contractions and ripening the cervix for labor.

But with no solid evidence, this old wives’ tale makes no guarantees. If you’re willing to try, be aware that tummy troubles can make you uncomfortable and that your pregnancy heartburn may get worse after a few spicy tacos. With too many problems in the digestive area, you can also experience diarrhea, which triggers dehydration — a no-no for everyone, but especially pregnant ladies. If you’re craving a little spice and hoping that heating up your belly means your baby makes a rapid exit, try one of these three spicy recipes.

Spicy Chipotle Hummus

Made with chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, this spicy hummus from Big Girls, Small Kitchen is a snack that will satisfy your heat craving for sure. Chop up extra peppers for more of a kick!

Super Simple Spicy Thai Noodles

Looking for a quick, easy dish to spice up your day? These Thai noodles from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe pack a punch with two tablespoons of crushed red pepper flakes. If you like things really spicy, throw in some more until you reach the heat level you want.

Tabasco Brined Spicy Drumsticks

Because you won’t be needing a deep fryer, these spicy drumsticks from FoodieCrush aren’t an unhealthy choice. Coated in original Tabasco sauce, there is an even heat to this meal that will warm you, and hopefully your babe, all the way up.