Going over your due date seems to run in my family. Both my sister and I were two weeks overdue and our mom had to be induced each time. So believe me when I say I've grown up hearing every old wives' tale and passed down family secret that's supposed to jumpstart the birth and delivery process. If you're anything like I am, you might wonder if there's any truth to these claims. Food is always an easy way to test things, so you might be interested to know that there is a mashed potato recipe that can help induce labor — or so it seems.
Even if you're a natural skeptic, this is a win-win situation. If the recipe really does deliver (pun intended) on its promise, then congratulations, you're going into labor. But, even if you don't feel contractions, then at least you got to enjoy a delicious mashed potato dish. And who doesn't love a heaping helping of smashed spuds? Plus, you can easily tweak the recipe to your particular liking if there are certain ingredients you want to add or remove from the dish. So what's the reasoning behind why this Samosa style leftover mashed potato cake recipe from Feed Me Phoebe is supposed to make you go into labor? As with most food-related topics, it all starts in the digestive system.
The key to this Indian-influenced mashed potato recipe has to do with its fairly intense heat factor. In a recent study that was published in the medical journal Birth, Dr. Jonathan Schaffir, an associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Ohio State University and lead author of the research, stated, "spicy food creates intestinal activity that might encourage labor." The link between your stomach and your uterus might seem a bit random, but certain researchers believe there actually is a connection between both of them. "Spicy food can stimulate your digestive system and may cause you to have diarrhea," OB-GYN Dr. Amos Greenbaum told BabyMed. "Diarrhea can cause dehydration, and one of the known side effects of dehydration in pregnant women is to cause contractions." But dehydration definitely has its health risks, for both you and your little one. Of course, as with anything having to do with your pregnancy, you should always talk to your health care physician before trying anything new that could affect you or your unborn baby. Additionally, if you ever feel like something in your pregnancy is bothering you, definitely don't hesitate to check in with your doctor to make sure your plan for labor and delivery is on the right track.
If your stomach isn't typically bothered by intense foods or you even regularly enjoy hot dishes, the spicy mashed potato recipe can potentially bring about labor in a different way. "Spicy food may also induce labor by increasing prostaglandin production," Greenbaum further explained in the previously mentioned Baby Med article. "The hormone prostaglandin helps to contract the smooth muscles of the body and are known to play a role in inducing labor." A smooth muscle, like the type of thick layer that can be found in your cervix, could play a direct impact on how and when you go into labor. Since this aspect has more to do with boosting childbirth-related hormones, and not as much to do with irritating your digestive system, there is the possibility that eating a spicy meal can be a safe way to bring about labor. If your doctor gives you the green light to try out the spicy Samosa style smashed potatoes, the you might want to go ahead and pack your bags just in case the labor-inducing mashed potato recipe does its job.