Foods To Induce Labor: Pineapple, Spicy Food, Dates & More

There are some foods that doctors recommend that can help you induce labor. 

Always consult with your doctor before attempting any labor-inducing method.

Here, we go over the foods that seem to help induce labor and kickstart contractions. 

We’ll also cover different natural ways that can safely help bring on labor. 

It’s crucial to avoid trying these methods before 39 weeks and consult with your doctor for guidance, as attempting them prematurely can increase the risk of premature labor.

Also, remember that everyone is different. 

While some methods might work on some women, they might not work on others. 

7 Foods To Naturally Induce Labor 

Here are some foods that seem to help induce labor and help you dilate. 

1) Spicy Food

Whether it is adding some hot sauce to your meals or having spicy food such as Indian food or Thai food, it seems that adding some heat to your meals might help induce labor. 

According to a study, 10% of women thought that adding spicy foods could help them induce labor. 

However, keep in mind that adding spicy food can cause heartburn and acid reflux. 

So, it’s always better to consult with a doctor if you can add some heat to your meals. 

2) Dates

Dates are known to be highly nutritious and tasty and might also help bring on labor. 

But, besides inducing labor, according to research, eating dates can also help reduce the time you spend in labor. 

Also, thanks to its high fiber content (one cup of dates provides 48% of the daily recommended value), it can help improve digestion and decrease the risk of constipation

3) Raspberry Leaf Tea

Some studies state that drinking raspberry leaf tea may help kickstart contractions and shorten labor. 

However, we still more research to determine all the effects raspberry leaf tea has on pregnancy and labor. 

4) Black Cohosh 

Black cohosh is a herb supplement that might help increase uterine contractions. 

Be sure to ask a doctor before you add a new medication or supplement while pregnant. 

5) Licorice Root 

Another herbal supplement that might seem to help induce labor is licorice root. However, it seems to be so effective at increasing contractions that you need to make sure you take it under doctor’s orders to avoid any premature labor. 

6) Green Papaya 

Loaded with nutrients, green papaya can be another great option to help you induce labor. 

While consuming green papaya is safe during pregnancy, some evidence suggests that consuming unripe green papaya contains a compound called latex, which seems to help increase uterine contractions. 

7) Cumin Tea

Finally, cumin tea can also seem to increase contractions. However, there are no known human studies that determine the efficacy of cumin tea in labor. 

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Can Pineapple Cause Labor?

One of the foods we didn’t talk about was pineapple. Pineapple seems to be one of the most popular options to help induce labor. 

It seems that since pineapple contains bromelain (an enzyme), it might help induce labor. 

However, there is no research available determining pineapple and its effects on inducing labor. 

So, if you are craving some pineapple while you are pregnant, go ahead! Pineapple is high in antioxidants, vitamin C, and fiber, which makes it a great snack. 

However, keep in mind that pineapple is high in sugar, so eat it in moderation since it can increase blood glucose levels

Also, since pineapple is acidic, some women seem to get heartburn or acid reflux when eating pineapple. 

Make sure to listen to your body and eat it only if there are no negative consequences. 

Is It Safe To Bring On Labor With Food? 

Yes, it can be safe to induce labor with food. However, before you start adding natural remedies to help induce labor, you should talk to your doctor to determine if it’s healthy for you and the baby to add any of the previous foods. 

Keep in mind that inducing labor early can result in premature labor and may have negative consequences on the baby. 

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Other Natural Ways To Help You Go Into Labor

If you’ve already tried all the options above and the baby still doesn’t want to arrive, there are other natural ways that can help you induce labor. 

But, just as we’ve mentioned, make sure you consult with your doctor before adding any of these options. 

Here are some natural ways to help you induce labor:

  1. Exercise
  2. Sexual intercourse 
  3. Nipple stimulation 
  4. Acupuncture 
  5. Acupressure 
  6. Massages

Summarizing The Best Pregnancy-Induction Methods

If the weeks are passing by and the baby is still not in the way, you might be thinking of natural ways to help you induce labor and soften your cervix. 

There are some foods, such as pineapple, spicy food, dates, and other herb supplements, that can help induce labor. 

However, before you add any of the previous options, make sure you talk with your doctor to determine if they are safe to consume. 

Also, keep in mind that there is not a lot of scientific evidence regarding the effects of any of the previous foods in labor. 

There are other natural ways to help you bring on labor, such as exercise, sexual intercourse, nipple stimulation, acupuncture, massages, and acupressure.

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  1. Chaudhry Z, Fischer J, Schaffir J. Women’s use of nonprescribed methods to induce labor: a brief report. Birth. 2011 Jun;38(2):168-71. doi: 10.1111/j.1523-536X.2010.00465.x. Epub 2011 Mar 10. PMID: 21599742.
  2. Razali N, Mohd Nahwari SH, Sulaiman S, Hassan J. Date fruit consumption at term: Effect on length of gestation, labour and delivery. J Obstet Gynaecol. 2017 Jul;37(5):595-600. doi: 10.1080/01443615.2017.1283304. Epub 2017 Mar 13. PMID: 28286995.
  3. Parsons M, Simpson M, Ponton T. Raspberry leaf and its effect on labour: safety and efficacy. Aust Coll Midwives Inc J. 1999 Sep;12(3):20-5. doi: 10.1016/s1031-170x(99)80008-7. PMID: 10754818.
  4. Adebiyi A, Adaikan PG, Prasad RN. Papaya (Carica papaya) consumption is unsafe in pregnancy: fact or fable? Scientific evaluation of a common belief in some parts of Asia using a rat model. Br J Nutr. 2002 Aug;88(2):199-203. doi: 10.1079/BJNBJN2002598. PMID: 12144723.

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