Is There Really a Way to Bring On Labor?

Jenny Benjamin
13

pineapple
Is this the secret?
So thanks to some potent baby dust that must have been floating around last August, I have three friends that are due to give birth this week. As we speak, one of my good friends is kinda, sorta in labor -- her contractions started Wednesday night, and her doctor said that the baby would be here in 12-24 hours. Well, it's now Monday morning, and the once-strong contractions are now mild, at best. In the meantime, she flew her Mom out, went to the hospital, and got sent home, and now the doc is saying it could be another week until her little guy makes his grand entrance. As she says, "I thought my days of waiting for a man were over."

Anyway, all three of my friends are trying various tricks to coax those babies out, and I'm wondering, "Does any of that really work?"

First of all, I haven't taken a childbirth class, but um, I had no idea that someone could be in labor for a week! Really?! I mean, it's definitely good ammo for when your 13-year-old starts mouthing off: "That's no way to talk to your mother! I was in labor with you for nine days! You hear me? Nine days! Aaaand you tore my lady parts!" It's no wonder my friend's like, "What the hell are you doing in there? Get your ass out here!"

Now, I'm having twins, so my whole goal is to keep my babies in there as long as possible -- no "come out, come out" tricks for me! But I am fascinated by the methods these pregnant ladies are employing to coax labor on. One friend of mine swears by this one salad at a nearby restaurant ... well, still no baby. The other said she's tried pineapple, spicy food, massage, hypnosis, evening primrose oil ... nope, baby's still in there. My friend who's been in labor for five days tried having sex, right through her labor pains, thinking that might help. Who knows, maybe it scared him back up in there!

I always thought that, for the most part, babies just come out when they're good and ready, but maybe sometimes they need a nudge. Like, "I know you're so nice and cozy in there, but Mama's going to be eating chicken tikka masala, spice level 4, for awhile now, so you actually might like it better out here in the world." Regardless, when you're 40 weeks along, uncomfortably large, and excited to meet your baby, I'm sure you're willing to try anything to move things along.

So, what are some tried-and-true tricks that you've heard will bring on labor?


Image via norwichnuts/Flickr

Read More