12 Foods That Induce Labor Quickly

12 Foods That Induce Labor Quickly

Medically Reviewed By
Dr. Aruna Kalra (Gynecologist/Obstetrician)
View more Gynecologist/Obstetrician Our Panel of Experts

While you are all ready to meet your little one, the last stage of pregnancy can be really uncomfortable for some women. And if you are already past your due date, you might be looking for natural ways to get things going. While there has not been enough research supporting the theory that any food can induce labour, many women swear by certain foods that have helped them start labour. So, if you are willing to try anything to bring labour more quickly, here we have a list of some commonly claimed foods that induce labour. Let’s read.  

Can Eating Certain Foods Successfully Induce Labour?  

The beautiful pregnancy journey can become a tad overwhelming, especially in the end stages of gestation, especially if you are past your due date. During this stage, women search and try every possible way to induce labour naturally. Some foods are believed to aid in such a situation and help induce labour. But do these foods successfully induce labour?  
Well, not all foods that are believed to help induce labour are backed by research or evidence. But towards the end of pregnancy, most of these pose no danger to either mother or child and can be consumed to induce labour.  

Foods To Eat That Help Induce Labor Naturally

Here is a list of foods you can consume to induce labour and bring you face to face with your little one a bit sooner.

1. Pineapple

Fresh Pineapple contains an enzyme called Bromelain which is rarely found elsewhere. Bromelain helps soften the cervix and stimulate the smooth muscles, which is known to start labour.


2. Green Papaya

Raw green papayas are abundant in the enzyme Papin. Papaya leaves contain latex, which acts as prostaglandin and oxytocin and can help start contractions. The more the papaya ripens, the more papin is lost which is why consuming a ripened papaya will not have any effect when it comes to inducing labour.

Green papaya

3. Spicy Foods

While it is quite common for expectant mothers to eat spicy food to induce labour, it is something that mothers-to-be should avoid if they want to have a natural and pain-free birth.When a baby is born naturally, the pressure released as the baby is going down the birth canal releases endorphins, which helps relieve pain. Certain spicy foods release capsaicin which can work against the body during labour as it counteracts the natural endorphins that the body produces during labour.

Spicy food

4. Black Licorice

Black liquorice can stimulate the production of prostaglandins due to the chemical glycyrrhizin. However, consuming too much of this can result in mild diarrhoea, which causes mild contractions in the intestines. This results in a sympathetic contraction of the uterus, thus starting labour.

Black licorice

5. Garlic

Garlic stimulates the bowels, helping empty them out which can help in starting labour. It is one of the most popular foods to induce labour.


6. Red Raspberry Leaf Tea

Red raspberry tea, which is believed to tone and strengthen the uterus,  is also said to produce contractions in the muscles in the uterus. If you drink red raspberry leaf tea every day from your thirty-second week of pregnancy, you will reduce the chances of post-term pregnancy.

Red raspberry leaf tea

7. Castor Oil

Castor oil extracted straight from the bean of the plant is one of the foods that induce labour quickly. Women have used castor oil to induce labour for centuries. Even though consumption of castor oil is safe, it can cause vomiting and diarrhoea in rare cases, which can be very uncomfortable amid labour.

Castor oil

8. Cumin Tea

Cumin is a common aid in digestive tract issues. It provides relief from bloating and helps start the menstruation cycle. It can also be used to induce labour. Add some sugar or honey to make it taste better if you do not like the taste.

Cumin tea

9. Black Cohosh

This medicinal herb was used to treat women’s health issues related to menstruation, menopause and others as it seems to have effects that are very similar to the oestrogen that is naturally produced by the body. This was also used to induce labour in pregnant women. There are two other types of cohosh, blue and white. But remember this, that they are not the same as black cohosh and should not be used instead of it.

Black cohosh

10. Evening Primrose Oil

Evening primrose oil is something that most midwives will recommend pregnant women who want to induce labour. The body converts a substance in the oil into prostaglandins. This helps in softening and diluting the cervix, resulting in induced contractions.

Evening primrose oil

11. Balsamic Vinegar

Balsamic vinegar originates in Italy and is made from freshly harvested white grape juice. It is often used as salad dressing. Some women take shots of balsamic vinegar to induce labour as it does the work of castor oil without causing nausea, vomiting or diarrhoea.

Balsamic vinegar

12. Basil and Oregano

These herbs are the main seasoning for the eggplant parmesan dish that was very popular amongst pregnant women for inducing labour.

Basil and oregano

Recipes To Induce Labor

Here are some recipes of foods that make you go into labor easily:- 

1. Eggplant Parmesan

What you will need

  • 3 eggplants
  • 1 cup flour
  • 4 cups Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
  • 6 beaten eggs
  • 8 cups marinara sauce
  • Olive oil
  • Half cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Half cup grated Romano cheese
  • 2 cups Ricotta cheese
  • ½ lb shredded mozzarella cheese

How to Make

  1. Cut the eggplants into thin slices and put them on a paper towel.
  2. Add salt to eggplant slices and keep them aside. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  3. Dip the eggplant slices in flour and then in breadcrumbs.
  4. Sauté these slices in oil until both sides turn golden brown.
  5. Place the slices in a baking pan and top them with the sauce, followed by layers of Parmesan, Romano and Ricotta cheeses.
  6. Finally, top it with mozzarella cheese and bake until the slices turn golden brown.

2. Labor-inducing Salad

What you will need

  • Romaine lettuce
  • Red cabbage
  • Watercress
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Balsamic vinaigrette
  • Gorgonzola cheese

How to Make

  1. Take the same parts of Romaine lettuce, red cabbage and watercress, rinse them and cut them into small pieces.
  2. Take these in a large bowl and add some Balsamic vinaigrette dressing.
  3. Add crumbled Gorgonzola cheese to it.

3. Red Bean Soup

What you will need

  • ¾ cup red beans
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1.25l water

How to Make

  1. Soak red beans in a bowl of water overnight.
  2. Remove the water, and you’ll see that the beans are almost double their size.
  3. Put the beans in a slow cooker and cook for four-five hours until they turn squishy.
  4. Add sugar and consume.

4. Hot Wings

What you will need

  • 5 lb bag of frozen chicken wings
  • ½ cup butter
  • ¼ cup chilli powder
  • ¼ cup cumin
  • 64 oz Tabasco sauce
  • 1 tbsp white pepper
  • 1 tbsp red pepper

How to Make

  1. Add all ingredients except chicken wings and put them in a crockpot.
  2. Cook on a low flame for two hours while stirring occasionally.
  3. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  4. Cook chicken wings for about 30 minutes in a preheated oven. Once soft, cook again for 25 minutes.
  5. Transfer the chicken wings to the hot sauce crockpot and cook on low flame for one hour.
  6. Serve hot.

Precautions While Consuming Foods To Induce Labor

Before consuming labor-inducing foods, make sure you follow the following precautions: – 

  • Do consult your gynaecologist before consuming these foods. Also, eat these foods only after you have completed the nine healthy months of your pregnancy.  
  • Do not consume these foods in excess to induce labour. Eating anything in excess is not good.  
  • Seek immediate medical attention if you notice severe abdominal cramps or discomfort post-consumption of these foods.  

Other Tips to Bring on Labour Quickly

Eating foods that are said to aid in inducing labour may not be enough, so try out these few tips and tricks to help bring on labour.

1. Exercise

Exercises keep your body active and healthy enough to be able to bear the physical stress involved in labour. Any activity that gets your heart racing is good.

2. Acupuncture

The body will be stimulated to release oxytocin, which plays an essential role in childbirth. This method is an ancient Chinese way of sticking very fine needles into parts of the body that control a specific organ.

3. Acupressure

While acupuncture requires the use of fine needles, acupressure involves putting pressure on the parts of the body that runs along the meridian system of the body. Check with your doctor before you make any appointments for acupressure.

4. Sex

Sex can help release oxytocin, which is essential to begin labour. While it is safe to have sex even when you are nine months pregnant, it is not safe to have sex after your water has broken as it increases the risk of infection.

5. Nipple Stimulation

When the nipples are stimulated, they can cause the uterus to contract, which will cause labour to start.


1. Which Foods You Should Avoid When Trying to Induce Labour?  

When trying to induce labour, you must avoid foods that are high in fat, greasy, or spicy, as these foods are more difficult to digest.  

2. Which are Some Hot Foods that Induce Labour?  

As your due date approaches and passes, you may be tempted to try anything to help start the process. Certain hot foods flaming hot cheetos, ginger cookies, hot wings, and jalapeno peppers, can help induce labour.  

3. Does Spicy Food Cause Preterm Labor?  

No evidence supports the theory that spicy food can induce labour. Still, these foods can irritate your intestines, which may cause cramping and uterine contractions for already dilated women.  

4. How Long Will It Take to Induce Labor After Eating Spicy Foods?  

Although there’s no scientifically proven evidence proving that eating spicy foods can induce labour, there is no said timeline that labour can be induced after consuming fast food.  

It is always advised to allow your baby to come out naturally, as it can shorten the time spent in the hospital and also the healing time quickens. However, if you are eager to induce labour, be sure to speak to your doctor about any method you choose.

Also Read: 

Reflexology to Induce Labour
How Tea Helps to Induce Labour
Essential Oils for Inducing Labour
Does Squats Help for Inducing Labour

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Aarohi Achwal holds a bachelor’s degree in Commerce and a master’s degree in English Literature. While working as an intern for an English daily, she realised that she likes writing above anything else. The idea of being heard without having to speak appeals to her. She likes to write research-based articles that are informative and relevant. She has written articles on pregnancy, parenting, and relationships. And she would like to continue creating content on health and lifestyle.