Anyone who’s been pregnant before can tell you that they scoffed at all of the old wives tales and superstitions that everyone and their mother tried to share with them. That was, until they found themselves two or even three weeks overdue with no end in sight.
If you find yourself in the same predicament, or even if you’re just a little bit curious about how to induce labor naturally, superstitions surrounding labor and delivery are worth exploring. More and more expectant mothers are considering these alternative methods, according to a recent study from Ohio State University. Roughly 50% of mamas who are 37 weeks pregnant have tried different superstitious methods to stimulate labor, including masturbation, sex, and eating spicy food.
The good news is that none of the above methods are harmful, so many pregnant ladies think why not? To break it down for you, here’s the 411 on the most common old wives tales used to induce labor:
- Castor Oil: One of the most famous old wives tales surrounding labor is drinking castor oil to get that baby moving. Castor oil releases prostaglandins, a chemical known to stimulate contractions. Still, castor oil isn’t the most pleasant remedy. It can cause vomiting, diarrhea, or both, which may put unnecessary stress on your body before labor.
- Acupuncture: Acupuncture is a fairly successful method used to induce labor, potentially within only 48 hours of treatment. The good news is that acupuncture is safe and relaxing and will only stimulate labor if your body is ready. Acupuncture works to cleanse energy blockages in your body to prepare your body for labor at the right time.
- Spicy Food: If only it were that easy… Unfortunately, there’s no evidence that eating spicy food will trigger labor, but if you can handle a little extra salsa on your tacos, then go for it. But keep in mind that overdoing it on spicy foods could actually cause heartburn instead of triggering labor.
For many women, they believe that Murphy’s Law is the best method to induce labor. Meaning, don’t shave your legs–or your lady parts–and that will be the time that you’re bound to go into labor. Whatever method you decide to use to induce labor and get that baby moving, remember to stay relaxed (as much as you can) and try to enjoy the ride!
Photo by holding graz