Are you towards the end of your pregnancy and eagerly waiting for your due date? Or you are past your due date and there are still no signs of progress of labor. When you cannot wait any longer for that moment to arrive, it is then that you think of ways to induce labor. It is common among women to self- induce labor. Pineapple is one fruit which can speed up the process of labor naturally. Here is all you need to know about Pineapple to Induce Labor.
Although there is no scientific study to support the role of pineapple to induce labor, you should try such induction methods only after you have completed 40 weeks of pregnancy.
How Does Pineapple Induce Labor?
Labor is the process of birth that includes contractions in the womb with gradual opening of the cervix which pushes the baby slowly out of the vagina. Here are a few reasons that might be leading to a belief for pineapple to induce labor.
- Pineapple contains an enzyme called bromelain known to ripen and soften the cervix which may bring mild contractions and hence induce labor.
- Bromelain is known to increase the production of a hormone called prostaglandin. This hormone makes the neck of the womb (cervix) soft which starts to open up (dilate).
- Prefer eating fresh pineapples because bromelain is not found in canned fruit as this enzyme gets destroyed during the process of canning, bottling or even cooking the fruit. After the fresh fruit is cut and left for some time, the enzyme decreases. So always eat fresh fruit if you are trying to induce labor.
- Canned pineapple is very low in nutritive value compared to the fresh fruit. It has very few vitamins and minerals and has three times more sugar than fresh ripe pineapple.
How Much Pineapple to Induce Labor?
- You need to eat fresh pineapples in abundance to bring on contractions. It is unlikely for pineapple to induce labor if taken in moderate amounts.
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Risks of Eating Pineapple to Induce Labor
- It is better for pregnant women to avoid eating pineapple or drinking pineapple juice during the first three months of pregnancy as it can weaken the cervix and increase risk of miscarriage.
- Eating pineapples any time before full term might lead to early labor.
- Pineapple is better for health when eaten in moderation. Same fruit if taken in excess can cause health risks.
- Because of high Vitamin C content, eating too much pineapple can result in vomiting, diarrhea or heartburn.
- Excess consumption of pineapple can cause burning in your mouth, tongue, cheeks and throat due to highly acidic nature of this fruit.
- Pineapple has high sugar content (and canned pineapple is significantly high in sugar). So Pregnant women with diabetes should take caution while eating pineapple in large amounts as it can increase your blood sugar levels. Of course you cannot take risk with your blood sugar levels rising at this crucial time of your pregnancy.
- Bromelain slow down the process of blood clotting. So if you are already on medicines that slow blood clotting (anti-coagulant/anti-platelet medicines), then eating too many pineapples can increase your risk of bleeding.
- Bromelain causes allergic reaction in some individuals. So be cautious while eating pineapples.
- Always take your doctor’s advice before consuming pineapple to induce labor.
Research on Pineapple to Induce Labor
Frankly, Researches cannot be conducted on pregnant women as it poses life risk for the mother as well as for the fetus. Hence the scope of research on this topic is very limited. A 2016 study showed that pineapple extract may cause uterine contractions . Here the pineapple extract was applied directly to the uterine tissues isolated from pregnant rats and pregnant women. In this research , pineapple was not consumed orally by mouth. Hence, the scope of the results are very limited.
Another 2015 study concluded that pineapple juice caused significant uterine contractions in isolated pregnant rat uterus. The effects were similar to the effects of the labor inducing hormone, oxytocin. However, the study didn’t found that pineapple juice did not have any effect on living pregnant rats.
None of the studies showed how quickly the Pregnant rats actually had their baby. These studies showed data about contractions. However, none of them mentioned about cervical ripening. Also, not all contractions lead to active labor.
Other Tips on Inducing Labor
There are many other ways to trigger labor naturally.
- Castor oil is an old practice to induce labor. Castor oil has a strong purgative effect which results in diarrhea. Some women find it a very unpleasant method. Besides, it is said to be potentially harmful for the baby as well.
- Many herbs such as Black and Blue Cohosh can also do the trick. Again herbs can have side effects. So be cautious while using herbs to induce labor.
- Keeping active by physical activities such as walking, swimming, climbing stairs can start labor.
- Not to forget the usefulness of homoeopathic medicines such as Caulophyllum. They are not only safe but start the labor process very smoothly. However, it is always good to consult a homoeopathic doctor before starting any medicine.
None of the method to induce labor is 100% guaranteed. Success largely depends on baby’s positioning inside the womb and how much your body is prepared to go into labor.
End Note :
There is no clinical evidence on pineapple to induce labor. Pregnant woman who have tried eating pineapple to induce labor had varied experiences. Some of the women reported diarrhea while others reported quick delivery. Whether pineapple will induce labor in your case is an individual experience. Your baby will arrive when he or she is due to arrive. Eating pineapple in moderation is the key to keep you and your baby in good health. Have patience and have a safe delivery!