I was sitting around with a group of friends awhile back and we got onto the subject of pregnancy. The women were bemoaning the awful fate that is going past your due date. One of the men in the group decided to chime in and remind us that, “Hey! A week isn’t that long in the scheme of things!”
Clearly this man has never been pregnant.
I went three days past my due date with my first baby and it felt like an eternity. I totally the understand the desperation of not wanting to be pregnant for one more second. At that point, you’re willing to try anything to get that baby out.
One trick you might not have heard of is a concoction known as midwives brew. It’s pretty gross, but people say it works really well to get labor going!
WARNING!!!: Do not attempt to use the midwives brew without consulting your doctor or midwife first!
What is Midwives Brew?
You’ve probably heard of pregnant women trying to drink castor oil to induce labor, but the midwives brew takes it to a whole new level! The recipe includes castor oil, of course, but there’s also a few other ingredients to really help it pack a punch to induce labor. I had never heard of it with either of my first two pregnancies, but if I get desperate this time around, I might give it a try!
Does it work?
I searched high and low for some real, actual data about the midwives brew from a reliable source. But sadly, there seems to be none. What we know about the midwives brew, we only know from stories from other women! There are claims that it works up to 85% of the time, but it’s hard to say for sure whether or not that’s really true.
When should you take the midwives brew?
It’s quite important that you wait until your pregnancy is full-term before you try to do anything to induce labor. Not only is it safer for you and your baby, but the closer you are to your due date, the more likely it is to work!
Your best efforts to induce labor won’t get you anywhere if your body isn’t ready. There’s no reason to subject yourself to this nasty drink until there’s actually a good chance of it working, so try to be patient!
What are the side effects of the midwives brew?
One reason I would hesitate to drink the midwives brew is because of how awful the side effects sound. Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea are all commonly listed side effects of drinking the midwives brew.
I personally would rather not start the process of going into labor with uncontrollable vomit and diarrhea. I’d rather save my energy and be in good health before I start the hardest work of my life. But that’s just me!
It might be worth it if you’re trying to avoid an induction.
If the midwives brew does work, you may find that your contractions are much more intense than they would be if they started on their own, at least during early labor.
Is it safe?
It’s really hard to say. There’s a chance that it could make you dehydrated (especially with all of the vomiting and diarrhea) and we all know that’s not healthy. But if you run it past your doctor or midwife and they give you the OK, then it’s totally up to you whether or not you’d like to try it!
How to make midwives brew
If you’ve decided that yes, you really are that desperate to not be pregnant any more, here’s how to whip up a batch of midwives brew!
2 tablespoons almond butter
2 tablespoons castor oil
1 cup of Lemon Verbana Tea
1 1/4 cups of apricot juice
Make the tea very strong with hot water. Then blend all ingredients in the blender. Drink if you dare.
Other things to try
If you try the midwives brew and it doesn’t work for you, all is not lost! There’s lots of other things you can try to induce labor. You might even want to try some of these options before you resort to mixing up a glass of midwives brew!
- Exercise: I know physical activity is probably the last thing you want to do at 9 months pregnant. But it’s great for you even if it doesn’t get the baby out! Take a walk, go for a swim, dance around your house, anything!
- Sex: Here’s another thing that is probably not on the brain when you’re this far along in pregnancy. But as long as your water hasn’t broken, this is definitely worth a shot. Both having an orgasm and the prostaglandins in semen are thought to potentially encourage labor.
- Nipple stimulation: Weird but true. Use a pump, borrow a friend’s baby, or twist them on your own. Make sure to wait until your due date and check with your doctor before trying this one, though. I’ve also heard of this causing some pretty intense contractions, so be forewarned!
- Membrane sweep: This is one you’ll have to have your doctor or midwife do for you, but it’s possible that it can induce labor. There are risks associated with it, however, so make sure you do your research ahead of time!
- Pineapple: Hey, here’s one that’s pleasant for a change! If you like pineapple, that is. Which I do. This fruit contains bromelain which might help your cervix get ready for labor. No harm in picking up a couple on your next trip to grocery store to try this out!
I could practically go on forever with more ideas for inducing labor, but those are a few to start with. Remember, if your body isn’t ready, then it’s not likely that anything will work!
If you try the midwives brew, let me know how it goes in the comments!
Melinda worked with children for years in a professional setting before becoming a full-time stay at home mom. She currently has three young children, and enjoys sharing tips and ideas about parenting and how to manage a home with excellence. She’s been featured on Heathline and Her View From Home.