Foods that promote natural childbirth

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While pregnancy is a joyous journey, it can also become a little overwhelming, especially in the latter stages of pregnancy.

Anticipating childbirth can be both exciting and scary, especially for first-time mothers. Many times as the due date approaches, expectant mothers want to try and speed up the birth process naturally.

Not all foods believed to help induce labor are supported by research or evidence, however, at the end of pregnancy, most of them pose no risk to either mother or baby.

Pineapples

This fruit is one of the first to top the ‘forbidden food list’ at the beginning of pregnancy. But in the end, it is believed that pineapple can help in the process of induction of labor naturally. It contains an enzyme called bromelain that is believed to help in the process of ripening the cervix, which will then cause the cervix to dilate.

Dates

Rich in fiber, dates are believed to help in the ripening process of the cervix, which can then induce labor naturally. However, dates are high in their sugar content and should be consumed wisely by reducing the use of other forms of sugary foods. They are not suitable for those who have gestational diabetes during pregnancy.

Unripe papaya

This is another fruit that finds itself on the list of foods to avoid during pregnancy, but in the last few days of pregnancy, raw unripe papaya can actually help induce labor. It contains latex which acts in a similar way to the hormone oxytocin and can help induce labour.

Red raspberry leaf

Red raspberry leaves in tea or tincture form are believed to help strengthen uterine contractions and help tone the pelvic muscles. For this reason, it is believed that regular consumption of these leaves closer to the due date can help in the natural labor process. Since it also affects Braxton-Hicks contractions, the consumption of these leaves is advised only at the end of pregnancy, preferably after the 34th week.

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