When you're nearing the end of your pregnancy, you're ready to do just about anything to get labor started. Besides being hopelessly exhausted all the time, there isn't much room left for baby to move around, much less your body to do necessary functions like walk, lie down, sleep, you know the drill. You've probably been researching the various, and sometimes wacky, ways to induce labor and may have have come across everyone's favorite tropical fruit, pineapple, as a viable option for inducing labor. But why do they say pineapple induces labor? There may actually be more scientific fact behind the practice than some of the other "old wives tales" about getting labor started.
According to the New Health Advisor, pineapple contains a "type of proteolytic enzyme called bromelain" that is thought to soften the cervix and prep it for labor. Only fresh pineapples contain the enzyme, so keep that in mind when you do your grocery shopping. The article also noted that other tropical fruits like mango, kiwi, and papaya contain the same enzyme that also aids digestion and acts as a diuretic (so be sure not to consume too much!)
So even though eating pineapple won't guarantee that your labor will start, it can ripen your cervix (no pun intended), which is a great step in getting your body favorable to starting labor on its own. And it's certainly more enjoyable than endless walking, nipple stimulation, eating spicy foods, going on bumpy car rides, or any of the of other less delicious supposed ways to induce labor naturally.
Many mothers swear that these at-home methods played a part in kicking off their labor without medical intervention, so if you're avoiding a scheduled induction, try picking up a ripe, fresh pineapple (not the canned or juiced kind!) and let's get this show on the road.