Thanksgiving

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The Perfect Thanksgiving Plate To Induce Labor

I mean, it's not actually going to make your baby come out, but at least you can try, right?

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If you've reached the full-term mark in your pregnancy, then there are three things you are most likely wondering. One, will you ever see your feet again? Two, can you really get any bigger? And three, what is the perfect Thanksgiving plate to induce labor?

OK, so that last one might not be entirely true, but now that I have you thinking about it, you probably wouldn't mind knowing, right? I mean, chances are likely you've heard about some of the more popular foods and drinks — hot sauce, licorice, pineapple, red raspberry leaf tea — that are rumored to increase your chances of going into labor. But I say it's time we put a holiday spin on the contraction-inducing recipes with visions of mashed potatoes, herb-y stuffing, spicy macaroni and cheese, and DIY pumpkin chai lattes. Because what can be wrong with finding reasons to go back for seconds? Forget "I'm eating for two" and instead go for "I'm trying to have a baby." No one will question your motives — promise.

Dig into these recipes for Thanksgiving day and check out the ones I've included for some post-Turkey Day inspiration. I mean, this list most likely won't result in the arrival of your little one, but at least you'll be in too much of a food coma to notice. Talk about a great Turkey Day nap.

1
Roasted Turkey

While there is no conclusive evidence between tryptophan — an amino acid found in turkey, chicken, fish, eggs, and cheese — and labor, there is a study that shows the level of tryptophan is significantly higher post vaginal birth or cesarean section, according to research in Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology. Being a mathematical genius, it's my personal opinion that this could be an if-then situation, meaning loading up on the main event might cause the labor results you're seeking. I mean, it can't hurt, right? Try this Roasted Air Fryer Turkey Breast recipe from My Forking Life for a quick and easy go-to main dish.

2
Spicy Macaroni & Cheese

You've probably heard that spicy foods have been rumored to spark labor contractions, so it would seem that this Spicy Macaroni and Cheese from A Classic Twist would be the perfect side if you're looking to speed things along. The recipe's dash of cayenne pepper might be just the kick your body needs to get things moving.

3
Quinoa-Stuffed Eggplant With A Roasted Garlic Raita

It might not seem like the most likely Thanksgiving ingredient, but you're a full-term pregnant woman who is looking to get things going, so we dare someone to challenge you. After all, eggplant has long been touted as a key ingredient in helping women go into labor. One Georgia restaurant even swears by its eggplant parmesan's ability to induce contractions. That's why I say this Quinoa-Stuffed Eggplant With A Roasted Garlic Raita from Adventures In Cooking is a necessary side dish in your Thanksgiving spread.

4
Sheet Pan Herb Roasted Turkey & Cranberry Pecan Stuffing

A quick search of tricks for getting things moving in the labor department shows that thyme — a popular stuffing ingredient — can aid in speeding things up. So I am majorly pulling for you with this recipe from Damn Delicious for Sheet Pan Herb Roasted Turkey and Cranberry Pecan Stuffing, complete with 2 teaspoons of chopped fresh thyme leaves.

5
Hummingbird Cake With Pineapple

Every Thanksgiving dessert table calls for something with pineapple, right? OK, maybe not, but who is going to complain when they see this Hummingbird Cake from Bakerella. Plus, pineapple has long been boasted as a top ingredient for inducing labor because its bromelain is said to soften the connective tissue of the cervix. That means this cake is a must for your Thanksgiving spread.

6
Maple Garlic Roasted Carrots with Green Chimichurri

If you want to try another spicy dish to attempt to get that baby out, then consider whipping up these Maple Garlic Roasted Carrots with Green Chimichurri from Jessica In The Kitchen. Even if the combo of spicy red pepper flakes and thyme doesn't do the trick, then the sheer bliss of consuming some of these sweet and spicy carrots probably will.

7
Cinnamon & Spice Sweet Potato Bread

This Cinnamon and Spice Sweet Potato Bread from Averie Cooks packs just the right amount of cinnamon, ginger, allspice, and cloves to drum up a little bit of labor action. Plus, it's the perfect addition to a Thanksgiving Day brunch. Bonus? Your house will smell amazing when your contractions kick in.

8
Homemade Pumpkin Chai Latte

You might be wondering: But what about pumpkin pie? Sister, I've got you covered. The truth is, I feel fairly sure that you aren't in the mood to bake a full-fledged pumpkin pie right about now, so instead I offer you this cozy-looking Homemade Pumpkin Chai Latte from Cookie and Kate. It packs pumpkin and spices — which have been rumored to induce labor — and it looks like the tastiest treat for snuggling up on the couch after a day full of extended family, kitchen chaos, and countless comments about "how big!" you are.

9
Instant Pot Candied Yams

The inclusion of warming spices like nutmeg, ginger, and cinnamon in this recipe for Instant Pot Candied Yams from Healthier Steps gives the starchy side a bit of a kick that might just convince your little one that it’s time to make their big debut. Plus, if you’re tasked with cooking this year, using your Instant Pot instead of the oven for this recipe will give you a bit more time to put your feet up.

10
Creamy Garlic Parmesan Mashed Potatoes

Garlic is a popular home remedy to try to induce labor, and happens to pair beautifully with traditional Thanksgiving sides like mashed potatoes. This recipe for Creamy Garlic Parmesan Mashed Potatoes from Simply Scratch should definitely be on your must-try list this year. With three full garlic cloves and half a cup of parmesan, even if you don’t kickstart labor, you’ll have happy tastebuds for sure.

11
Angel Food Loaf Cake With Pineapple Compote

Another recipe that features the sweet yellow fruit commonly thought to induce labor is this Angel Food Loaf Cake with Pineapple Compote from Baked By Rachel. The cake itself is light and airy, so it won’t be too filling for your post-dinner, pre-baby belly. Plus, since the compote is made separately, you can heap spoonfuls onto your plate to try and evict that baby.

12
Fried Brussels Sprouts Leaves With Lemon & Chili Flakes

For a spicy twist on a classic Brussels sprout side dish, this recipe for Fried Brussels Sprout Leaves with Lemon and Chili Flakes from A Beautiful Plate is perfectly poised to add a kick to your plate. Whether or not the chili flakes are enough to boot your baby from the womb is yet to be determined, but this delicious dish makes it worth a try.

13
Slow Cooker Sausage Stuffing

If you want to free up some oven space, up your chances of inducing labor, and enjoy a slightly spicy version of traditional Thanksgiving stuffing, this Slow Cooker Sausage Stuffing recipe from Averie Cooks hits every single mark. With a generous amount of thyme and the option to use hot Italian sausage, you may just get things moving after a plateful of this stuffing.

14
Sweet & Spicy Crockpot Meatballs

Charged with bringing appetizers to your family’s Thanksgiving gathering, but also want to increase your odds of having your baby sooner rather than later? These Sweet and Spicy Crockpot Meatballs from Brown Sugar Food Blog should 100% be on your list of recipes to try. Even though the chili paste-seasoned meatballs are shareable, you may want to pile more than your fair share on your plate just in case.

15
Garlic Herb Parker House Rolls

I would be remiss to not include a recipe for a warm, yeasty, mouth-watering roll in this list. What is Thanksgiving even without some type of bread to sop up all the extra gravy left on your plate? This recipe for Garlic Herb Parker House Rolls from Two Peas and Their Pod features plenty of herbs, including thyme, which could help spark contractions — fingers crossed!

Study Referenced:

Allegri, G., Costa, C. V., Ragazzi, E., Steinhart, H., & Laresio, L. (2003). Developments in Tryptophan and Serotonin Metabolism. New York, NY: Springer US.

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