My little Layla Rose was due on December 16th, and we're coming up on a week past her due date. I'd really like to have her before Christmas, and I'm getting desperate. I've already read through this question and wanted a few clarifications.

  1. What is supposed to be helpful about spicy foods and pineapple in inducing labor?

  2. Mommy trial and error mentioned the following in her answer:

Just take long walks, but walks only help if you are already dilated.

Is that true?! I already knew I wasn't dilated, but I thought walks would help. I've been taking walks like crazy the past 3 or 4 days, and it hasn't done much.

My fiance and I are still active, and I'm trying to keep myself moving as much as I can manage. It seems from Juan Manuel's list I've done about as much as I can without going to a professional of some kind. We're really excited to have our little girl in our arms. Any help, suggestions, or clarifications would be greatly appreciated.

asked 22 Dec '09, 20:38

Artemis's gravatar image

accept rate: 11%

Concerning pineapple, from savvy baby gear:

Pineapple, as well as papaya and mango, contain a proteolytic enzyme called bromelain. ...The mechanism by which pineapple contributes to inducing labor might be the proteolytic action of bromelain. Bromelain might help to soften the connective tissue of the cervix and, thus, bring on labor.

That article also suggests the "Prego Pizza," which contains a lot of garlic and basilica, both of which are thought to help start labor.

I am the OP of the question you linked to. My wife tried all but one of Juan Manuel's answer, and nothing seemed to help. Remember that every pregnancy, not just every woman, is different, and your baby will come on her own timetable, sometimes in spite of everything you do to speed labor up.

That said, our OB/GYN still recommended walking and sex to help induce labor, even when she was not dilated more than 1cm. Obviously, YMMV. Good luck!


answered 22 Dec '09, 21:04

Matthew%20Jones's gravatar image

Matthew Jones
accept rate: 18%

edited 22 Dec '09, 21:10

Thank you! I appreciate it very much. :) I hope everything went well for the two of you.

(22 Dec '09, 21:51) Artemis

+1 for including a plausible hypothesis for why pineapple might work.

(23 Dec '09, 00:45) lgritz

Spicy foods are supposed to help because they loosen the bowels - the movement of the bowels is supposed to kind of stimulate the uterus to start moving too. At least that's what I always understood. However, it's probably not terribly effective. There's a whole list on here which includes explanations. You might be interested to know that according to that link, the prostaglandins in semen is more effective if ingested, rather than applied direct to the cervix (you might want to keep that information to yourself).


answered 23 Dec '09, 20:32

Meg%20Stephenson's gravatar image

Meg Stephenson
accept rate: 7%


yeah, I'll just hope he doesn't check this question again. We'll keep that between us girls. ;)

(23 Dec '09, 21:39) Artemis

My wife had an all natural birth, she was 2 weeks early. However we took a Bradely Method class and one of the best ways its Castor Oil.


answered 24 Dec '09, 15:07

dbasarab's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

Thanks for the tip. I've talked to a couple of people about it, and I'm a little hesitant. Because women in my family had the negative reactions to it, I'm guessing I will, too. Hopefully it'll help someone, though!

(24 Dec '09, 19:27) Artemis

Well, there is a natural method that should ONLY be done by your OB, and is older then old. It's called "stripping". If your OB is concerned, the OB may suggest this. Basically, and it sounds scary but it isn't - I've had it done to me, and I heard it doesn't hurt from others (although it is strange/uncomfortable) - you can manually induce the dilation and the rest follows. My OB chose to do this to me when I was one week away from my due date and was 0 cm dilated/not thinned at all and it was my first. I didn't ask for it, my OB chose to do this. It should be up to your OB. It is a non-chemical way. That's all I'll say here, you can look up stripping on webmd or something. I would be careful with eating anything new, the last thing you want is some food reaction (even if it's just gas) while going into labor. Just eat what you normally eat as advised by your OB. If you want to do natural stuff, again, better talk to your OB and see what they think about you eating all this stuff that people wrote about.

As far as walking - that's a good idea anyway because it'll help build up strength for the pushing. I walked 2-6 miles a day and had actually walked to the hospital to deliver :-) (but I was a marathoner and a triathlete before getting pregnant) - let me just tell you, I actually liked the active labor, it was great to really get a chance to work out after being only allowed to walk or swim (slowly at 140 heart beats per minute or less) for the pregnancy. Also, walking and doing stairs helps rotate baby to be head down and all that, or so I read. I wouldn't do any of that if I wasn't in shape though, to begin with. I walked until it was almost time to push... just walked around the delivery floor until the contractions and the pressure got to be too much.

As far as spicy foods, I can tell you that I ate a whole bunch and nothing helped besides the stripping. And even that's supposed to take effect within 24-48 hrs and took over a week, I ended up being 4 days past my due date. If it wasn't for the stripping, I would have probably had a hellish labor.


answered 29 Dec '09, 04:14

user-803%20%28google%29's gravatar image

user-803 (google)
accept rate: 0%

I used evening primrose oil, in capsules I bought at the local Whole Foods. My midwives assured me that it helps to soften the cervix (important for effacement), not induce labor directly.

Of course, I went into labor mere hours after taking it for the first time, which doesn't mean causation, just my personal experience. I also had a huge jar of capsules left over!


answered 28 Jul '10, 20:57

Sunday's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

I ordered Red Raspberry Leaf tea from and followed the directions on their site, which says to drink 2-3 cups per day. Here's some more info regarding RRL tea.


answered 22 Dec '09, 22:44

Fun2Dream's gravatar image

accept rate: 10%

Thanks I'll check it out. :)

(22 Dec '09, 23:21) Artemis

I had trouble finding a raspberry tea for sale on the site. There were a couple of teas that included raspberry leaf, but I didn't see one called "Red Raspberry Leaf"

(22 Dec '09, 23:27) Artemis

It's just called "Raspberry Leaf" and is classified as an herb, not a tea, on this site. Here's a link to the page:

(23 Dec '09, 00:11) Fun2Dream

A caution about some herbal teas:

(23 Dec '09, 00:54) lgritz

Sad! They're out of stock! :( Oh well, I'd probably hit my date to induce before the tea got here. And thank you @Igritz for the warning. I think it raspberry would probably be okay for me at 41 weeks, but I'll check with my doctor before I have any.

(23 Dec '09, 03:27) Artemis
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Asked: 22 Dec '09, 20:38

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Last updated: 28 Jul '10, 20:57