Posted: Mar 14, 2013 7:00 AM
We've all heard some crazy ways to induce labor, but do these methods really work? Moms share the wacky things they tried to kick start labor, including our doula's story about the magical salad that put her into labor after her OB said it would never happen. (Hint: It worked!)

So, your doctor or midwife says you need to be induced. If the idea of having to labor with an IV full of pitocin doesn't make you cheer with delight, there are some non-medical — some would say crazy — ways to start labor.

Italian instead of induction

Jennifer S. heard about a restaurant that offered a good deal — if moms didn't go into labor after eating the eggplant Parmesan, they'd get their money back. Jennifer ate the eggplant and shortly thereafter met her baby. "Sure enough at 6:30 the next morning my labor started. Whether it was due to the eggplant Parmesan or not, I'll never know, but it was a fun and tasty experiment." An experiment that may have worked too good. "What I didn't expect was my 25-minute labor and having to deliver my son in the back of my Jeep, as my husband raced us toward the hospital," she says.

Laugh into labor

I find that joyful laughter helps release any pent-up tension or worries, and makes it easier to relax.

Cat W. says laughing caused contractions that put her into labor shortly after watching a funny movie. "My advice to any new mother-to-be is to start watching funny videos that she enjoys, during the week of her due date. I find that joyful laughter helps release any pent-up tension or worries, and makes it easier to relax."

Try the salad

I'll never forget visiting my OB one week before my due date. After examining my cervix, she said, "Nothing is happening. I'll be shocked if you go into labor on your own. Come back next week, and if there's still no change, we will need to induce you."

I wasn't a childbirth educator or doula back then, but knew I wanted to avoid a lot of intervention, if I could. I remembered reading about a special salad that was known to put moms into labor. It turns out, the restaurant was only a short drive from my apartment. The night before my due date, my husband and I went to Caioti Cafe. The place was filled with Hollywood hipsters and very, very pregnant women. I ordered the salad. The next day, I started having contractions and my son was born 9 hours later. Yes, my OB was shocked when she met me in the delivery room! Was it the balsamic vinegar or spices in the dressing? I'll never know... but what I do know is that it definitely worked!

Read more about inducing labor

Don't shorten your baby's stay
Inducing labor: what you need to know
Ways to avoid induction