Midwives Brew to Induce Labour: Is It safe, Risks & Side Effects

Is Midwives Brew a Safe Way to Induce Labour?

Nine months of pregnancy is a beautiful time for every to-be mother. Though, as the delivery time approaches, it feels like a lifetime for expecting mothers, sometimes even the estimated delivery date given by the doctor approaches or passes and baby seems to be not budging. The expecting mother also starts to feel uncomfortable as the delivery date passes. A few more delays in delivery seem highly daunting, which makes the expecting mother start searching for ways to induce labour. There are many ways to bring about labour, and one of the most popular natural and safe methods to induce labour is Midwives Brew.

What is Midwives Brew?

Midwives brew is a natural method to induce labour. It is a brew made of natural ingredients that bring about quicker natural induction of labour. Few times, pregnant women even after completion of their full pregnancy term face delay in deliveries, so, to induce labour in such circumstances, midwives would make a brew and give it to the pregnant women. After drinking it, pregnant women would get labour pains within some time and have the delivery. Midwives brew is said to have originated in Europe and spread to other parts of the world. It is one of the most popular trusted methods of midwives to bring quicker labour.

Over the years, midwives brew success stories have made it popular for induction of labour, especially for home deliveries. The Midwives brew is made with natural ingredients and used by many women and midwives to bring quick labour. This brew can be made within minutes and consumed by the pregnant woman anytime she prefers. Though it is safe as it is made with natural ingredients, pregnant women shouldn’t consume it before taking approval by their medical practitioner or Midwife.

What Is the Use of Midwives Brew?

Midwives Brew is a natural remedy that some women use to help induce labour. It is a concoction made from four ingredients: fresh lemon juice, almond butter, honey, and small castor oil. The mixture is believed to stimulate contractions by causing the uterus to contract and helping to ripen the cervix.

Some midwives and natural birth advocates suggest drinking midwives brew may help jump-start labour when a woman is past her due date or must be induced for medical reasons. However, it’s important to note that the safety and effectiveness of this method have not been scientifically proven. Additionally, castor oil in midwives brew may cause diarrhoea, dehydration, and other side effects, harming both the mother and baby.

It’s always recommended that women consult with their healthcare provider before trying any natural remedies to induce labour, including midwives brew. There are several other natural methods that women can try to stimulate labour if they are past their due date or their healthcare provider has recommended induction for medical reasons.

Is Midwives Brew Really Effective in Inducing Labour?

The effectiveness of midwives brew in inducing labour is not scientifically proven. While some women may swear by it, no reliable evidence supports its use.

The ingredients in Midwives Brew, such as castor oil and spicy foods, are believed to stimulate the uterus and help ripen the cervix, potentially leading to contractions and labour. However, there are potential risks associated with using castor oil to induce labour, including dehydration, diarrhoea, and abdominal cramps. Additionally, spicy foods may cause heartburn or upset stomach.

It’s important to note that inducing labour before necessary can increase the risk of complications for both the mother and baby, including fetal distress, cesarean delivery, and postpartum haemorrhage. Therefore, healthcare providers generally recommend that women avoid trying to induce labour at home unless it is medically necessary.

It’s always important for women to talk to their healthcare provider before trying any natural or home remedies to induce labour. They can provide guidance on the safest and most effective methods for their individual situation.

What Does It Consist Of?

A Midwives brew is made by using all-natural ingredients. There are many different recipes available across the world, though most of them use similar ingredients in different combinations. The most commonly used midwives brew ingredients are:

  • Castor oil is the main ingredient of Midwives brew. Commonly used as a laxative, it causes spasms in uterine muscles which leads to contractions and then to labour.
  • Almond butter- is used to add more fat and oil to the brew to help with the spasms.
  • Lemon verbena tea- is used mainly to mask the overpowering taste of castor oil. It also works as a sedative, so can be useful to calm the expecting mother during labour.
  • Apricot juice– is used for its taste. As it has a good amount of vitamins and minerals, it is good for health too.

Do remember that Midwives brew should be used in consultation with your midwife or OB. Though in many places they might not have heard of it or may call it something different. So, go by their direction and follow the recipe they suggest.

Is It Safe to Take Midwives Brew?

If you have been asking yourself the question, ‘Is midwives brew safe?’, then allow us to tell you the truth!

When you are between 39 and 40 weeks pregnant and think about trying this natural labour induction approach, ensure your due date has arrived. 

It depends on the chemicals utilised, even though a few studies do not suggest substantial adverse effects for the mother or infant. Ensure to drink plenty of water while preparing all recipes to prevent dehydration.

How Long Does It Take to Work?

pregnant lady drinking midwives brew

The time taken by Midwives brew to start working can be from a few hours to 24 hours. There is no exact time frame for it to start showing effects. It depends on the pregnant woman’s body and can differ from one woman to another. Few had contraction within 4 to 5 hours of drinking the brew while few have gone into labour in 24 hours of drinking the Midwives brew. Though as the timeframe for the Midwives brew to show effects varies, if you are considering a home delivery, then have your midwife available with you after you drink the brew. In case you are going for hospital delivery, be ready and prepared to go to the hospital as soon as contractions start.

When is the Right Time to Take Midwives Brew?

Though it is understandable that you are impatient to see your little baby and want the delivery to be as soon as possible, you should be patient and wait for the complete pregnancy tenure to be over for your child’s birth. Not completing the pregnancy term or pre-time delivery will result in a premature baby which may have health issues. So for the safety of yourself and your baby, you should wait till at least 40 weeks of pregnancy or till your pregnancy date has passed.  Your body also takes time to prepare for labour and might not be prepared for premature labour. If your body is not ready for labour, it would stress both you and your baby and may lead to a caesarean section rather than natural delivery. So wait for your term to be completed and if you don’t start dilating, go for the Midwives brew with your doctor’s or midwife’s approval.  It is not advisable to go for midwives brew at 36 weeks. Though in a few cases the doctors may advise early labour, then with their approval you can go for Midwives brew before the completion of your term.

The best time to drink the Midwives brew is early morning on empty stomach. It takes a few minutes to prepare, so either take it at room temperature or slightly warm. There is no harm in adding ice and having it cold, as some women find the taste tolerable after adding ice. Make sure to drink it within 30 minutes of making it for the best results.

Risks and Side Effects of Midwives Brew

Though the Midwives Brew is made of natural ingredients, it might have certain reactions for certain women. So it’s best to know possible risks and side-effects in advance:

  • Nausea and Vomiting Castor oil has a strong taste which is not liked by many. So it might make you feel nauseated or cause vomiting.
  • Dizziness- Castor oil can also cause dizziness in some women, so don’t be alone after drinking this brew.
  • Diarrhoea and Dehydration- Castor oil is a popular laxative, so it can cause diarrhoea. Diarrhoea cause loss of fluids, making you feel dehydrated. So, drink lots of water or fluids to replenish your body.
  • Fatigue- One can feel tired or sluggish after taking the brew as it has Lemon Verbena tea. So, rest if you feel tired.
  • Irregular contractions- Castor oil causes spasms in the uterine muscles, leading to contractions. Sometimes, the contractions can be irregular and cause extra pain.
  • Dangerous for baby- Don’t take this brew before completing the full pregnancy term. Castor oil can be dangerous for the baby, so if consuming this brew before completing full pregnancy, do so with the advice of your doctor.
  • Allergy to almonds- Some people have an allergy to almonds. So if you are allergic to almonds, either don’t take this brew or substitute the almond butter with some other ingredient. In case you are not sure about being allergic to almonds, ask the doctor to do an allergy test.
  • Allergy to apricot- Though highly uncommon, few people do have an allergy to apricot. So, substitute it with some other juice in case you have an apricot allergy.

Midwives Brew Recipe to Induce Labor

midwives brew recipe

There are many different recipes of Midwives Brew. Though most recipes are almost the same with slight variations. Find below the most popular recipe of Midwives brew.


  • Castor Oil- 2 Tbsp.
  • Almond Butter- 2 Tbsp.
  • Lemon Verbena Tea- 250 ml.
  • Apricot Juice- 300 ml.


  • Take a pan and boil water.
  • Take a cup and pour the boiling water in it. Leave the verbena tea bag in the cup for 10 minutes.  After 10 minutes, take out the teabag.
  • Now, take a blender and blend the other ingredients –castor oil, apricot juice and almond butter with the verbena tea in it.
  • The blended paste should be smooth.


You may not find all the ingredients or could be allergic to any ingredient. So instead of those ingredients, you can use other substitutes to make the Midwives brew. The substitutes are:

  • Lemon Verbena Tea- In case you don’t get lemon verbena tea, you can use mango nectar.
  • Apricot juice- You can use pineapple juice if you want to make the midwives brew without apricot juice.

What Are The Alternatives Of Midwives Brew To Induce Labor?

There are several alternatives to the midwives brew method for inducing labour naturally. Some of these methods include:

  • Exercise: Gentle exercises such as walking, yoga, or swimming can help stimulate contractions and promote labour.
  • Acupuncture: Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese medical practice that involves the insertion of thin needles into specific points on the body to stimulate labour.
  • Nipple Stimulation: Nipple stimulation is another natural way to stimulate contractions. This is done by gently rubbing or rolling the nipples to release oxytocin, a hormone that can cause contractions.
  • Sex: Sexual intercourse can help to soften and ripen the cervix, and the prostaglandins in semen can stimulate contractions.
  • Spicy Foods: Eating spicy foods can sometimes stimulate the digestive system, leading to uterine contractions.
  • Evening Primrose Oil: Evening primrose oil can help soften the cervix, making it easier for labour to start.
  • Castor Oil: Castor oil is a traditional remedy that can stimulate the bowels and uterus, which can help to induce labour.
  • Raspberry leaf tea: Raspberry leaf tea is believed to help tone the uterus and prepare it for labour. It is recommended that women drink one to three cups of raspberry leaf tea per day from 32 weeks of pregnancy onwards.

It’s important to know whether midwives brew safe in your case. One must note that while these methods may help to induce labour, they should only be used after consulting with a healthcare provider. It’s also important to have a safe and healthy delivery plan, whether natural or assisted by medical interventions.

The last days of your pregnancy may feel longer than months, and you may feel overwhelmed with the temptation to see your little baby. Still, it is advisable to wait for the completion of pregnancy term before going for Midwives brew to accelerate your labour. It is safe and natural; however, your body might not be ready for delivery, so patience is the key to successful delivery and a healthy baby. Enjoy your days of pregnancy and take your doctor’s advice to take Midwives brew.

Also Read:

Does Tea Help for Inducing Labour?
Foods That Will Help You to Induce Labour Naturally
Are Dates Helpful to Induce Labour?

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Ruchelle has a vast experience working with clients in hospitality, health and wellness, entertainment, real estate, and retail. She aims to utilise her learnings to deliver quality content which will in turn help drive sales and customer engagement.