Pregnancy can be a lovely, relaxing time. But when you're done, you're done and you'll try just about anything to get labor going. Is there any truth to old wives' tales about inducing labor? Childbirth educator and birth doula, Sarah Reinhart, explains, "Personally do I believe there's any truth to them? Short answer, yes! Long answer — ultimately they may help nudge a body in the right direction, but a woman's body and her baby are infinitely wise and ready when the time is right. It's a unique process to every woman. An effective means for inducing labor for one woman won't necessarily be effective for another. Not unless the mama is ready. Always weigh the risk-benefit before trying any old wives' tale. In the end, trust the process and your wise body."
So we know these aren't foolproof, but we absolutely had to know which old wives' tales real women tried to get labor going — and which ones worked for them, and which ones didn't!
Walk that baby out
Amanda Rodriguez is the writer behind Dude Mom, the go-to site for moms of dudes.
Amanda says, "My first baby was two weeks overdue. I gained 70 pounds with my pregnancy and only moved in small spurts, so I figured a ridiculously long walk to the grocery store and back — with groceries to weigh me down — would do the trick. No such luck. The only thing it did was give me a backache! I wound up having to be induced the next day."
The Verdict^ Walking the baby out didn't work for this mama!
What got you into this, will get you out of it
Arnebya Herndon's blog, What Now and Why, started off as a way to document her parenting experiences. It's evolved into being the place she drops off every bit of randomness that comes into her head.
Arnebya says, "With my first daughter, I never got to the point of being tired of being pregnant and wanting her out already. I spent the majority of my first pregnancy sitting very, very still. She was two weeks early. My second daughter was a week overdue but it was such an easy pregnancy again that I didn’t mind. By the time I had my son, though, I had finally reached the point of wanting to do something to get the baby out. My husband suggested sex. I said OK. We had creatively positioned sex. Repeatedly. It didn’t work. Such a waste of energy."
The Verdict^ Sex didn't work for this mama!
Spicy food will do the trick
Wendy Bradford is a New York City writer and mama to twins plus one. She blogs about parenting with honesty, humor and humility.
Wendy says, "My first child was due Aug. 30. By Sept. 1, I had just about had it — the intense New York City heat, the cramps, the bloating and the indigestion were all worse than my fear of actually having to push a baby out. So those last couple of days, I ate the spiciest Thai food legally available, I cleaned like a mad person, and I walked miles and miles around the city in the scorching heat. I think only the walking made a difference! By 8 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 2, true contractions started while I was eating lobster salad at a local restaurant. But because it was lobster salad, I delayed going to the hospital until about 10 p.m. (I mean, really, how often does one get to eat lobster salad?) Molly was born via C-section, after five hours of pushing, at 11:17 a.m. on Sept. 3. And she was right on time."
The Verdict^ Spicy food didn't work for this mama!
Spice + Grease = Baby?
Shell Jeanette is a former teacher turned work-at-home mom to three little boys who spills it all about mom life on Things I Can't Say.
Shell says, "I was always so done at the end of my pregnancies. I'd heard spicy foods could speed up the process and since I was so hungry anyway, I figured it couldn't hurt. With my first two babies, the last meal I ate before going into very quick labors with them consisted of a massive amount of spicy, greasy foods. That caused me to wake up feeling like I had terrible stomach issues but was really the onset of fast labor!"
The Verdict^ Spicy, greasy food worked for this mama!