Natural methods of labour induction (4) Food

Last post looked at various oils as a method of inducing labour ‘naturally’, let’s now look at food… Mmm, food… (hold on while I go get a snack)…

** DISCLAIMER: this is an examination of the current literature only. Please do not try any of these methods (or anything else that would be considered stupid!) without first discussing with your own healthcare provider **

We asked our friendly lady at the local Indian restaurant “which curry do you recommend to bring on the baby”

“Vindaloo!” she exclaimed! “The hottest vindaloo followed by a handful of dates”

We dutifully:
1. Had the hottest vindaloo on offer two nights ago. So hot I think my lips fell off;
2. Had the hottest two Thai curries last night;
3. Have been eating dates.

1. Husband = in a world of hurt;
2. Me = nothing. Sigh.

Surprisingly, I couldn’t find any studies looking at curry (or its constituents) and the induction of labour.

LIkewise, I couldn’t find any studies looking specifically at the effect of chilli and the induction of labour. There are however a lot of studies up and coming looking at the role of chilli for pain relief during labour (not so much adding tabasco to your labour snacks, more about applying capsaicin cream to the cervix).

I did however find one study looking at the effect of date fruit consumption late in pregnancy on labour and delivery.

It was carried out at the Jordan University of Science and Technology and found that women who consumed date fruit (compared with non-date fruit consumers) had:
– Higher mean cervical dilatation upon admission;
– Higher rates of spontaneous labour (96% in date, compared with 79% of non-date eating women);
– Lower rates of usage of prostin/oxytocin;
– Shorter mean latent phase of labour.

They concluded that consumption of date fruit in the last four weeks before labour significantly reduced the need for induction and augmentation of labour, and produced a more favourable delivery outcome. They recommended approximately six date fruits per day. (I guess it doesn’t matter I’ve had three times that already today? I always have been a ‘more is more’ kind of person… that has to change).

OK, so continue with the dates… hot food? Not so sure… (remember that lack of evidence does not equal no evidence. Maybe the topic just isn’t important enough for researchers. OBVIOUSLY BECAUSE RESEARCHERS ARE NOT 10 MONTHS PREGNANT). Sorry mini rant…

Al-Kuran O, Al-Mehaisen L, Bawadi H, Beitawi S, Amarin Z. The effect of late pregnancy consumption of date fruit on labour and delivery. J Obstet Gynaecol. 2011;31(1):29-31. doi: 10.3109/01443615.2010.522267.

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