Hey mama! I’m guessing you’ve found your way here because you were wondering…does pineapple juice induce labor? Or does just plain pineapple induce labor?
Plenty of people wondering a myriad of things when it comes to this topic.
Is pineapple a food that induces labor? Does pineapple induce labor at 37 weeks? 39? Week 40?
How much pineapple does it take to induce labor? Does inserting pineapple induce labor?
Or my personal favorite, “if I have cramps after eating pineapple while pregnant, does that mean I’m a pineapple-to-induce-labor SUCCESS STORY!? (unlike the hundreds and thousands of others it didn’t work for?)
The short answer to ALL OF THESE is no – or at least probably not.
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Does pineapple juice or pineapple really induce labor?
The reality is, we don’t know this for sure. This is because studies are pretty limited.
There are hundreds if not thousands of resources out there, telling you what will and won’t induce labor. The answers are easy to find and hard to believe. What’s a girl to do?
With all of that said, if you ask your doctor you may just get a FUNNY LOOK. It’s not really something that they consider a practical way to induce labor yourself (not there that IS a practical way).
No one will dispute it mama – late pregnancy is ROUGH.
I remember blowing up like a BLIMP with my little one. I can remember the back pain, the discomfort, the acid reflux and the general sensation of HAVING MY OWN WEATHER SYSTEM.
An angry, stormy weather system that could only be pacified with sticky sweets and pickles.
In the middle of the night.
Being THAT PREGNANT really sucks. The only thing worse than going 39 weeks pregnant is going 41 weeks! GAH!
At that point, I think we would all of us try just about anything!
Despite the overwhelming evidence that pineapple doesn’t induce labor, there’s definitely no shortage of “pineapple to induce labor” success stories – but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it was the pineapple that finally did it.
So why do people think that pineapple can induce labor?
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How does pineapple juice induce labor (supposedly)?
If you’re taking the time to dive deep on this topic, it’s worth really examining why people believe that eating pineapple or drinking pineapple juice induces labor.
Well, pineapple has an enzyme in it called bromelain.
Bromelain is thought to help soften the cervix and trigger contractions. A study was done with rat and human tissue, and researchers found that when pineapple extract was applied directly to uterine tissue, it did induce strong uterine contractions.
While other studies actually found the exact opposite.
The information in either of these studies is still somewhat anecdotal. Not to mention covering your vaginal tissue with pineapple juice isn’t something any of us can pull off at home. It actually sounds more than a little PAINFUL, not just impractical!
Pineapple to induce labor: fact or fiction?
With all that said, there are plenty of women that felt that pineapple was responsible for inducing their labor. Are they wrong? Where do all these “pineapple to induce labor” success stories come from?
It’s hard to say.
The truth is, it definitely won’t HURT anything to try eating pineapple to induce labor (except possibly some not-so-comfy symptoms that we’ll discuss in a bit). Once you’re there, you’ll probably be pretty open-minded.
Can I use canned pineapple to induce labor?
If you want to try and induce labor naturally with pineapple, you have to use fresh pineapple. Canned pineapple to induce labor and/or using PINEAPPLE JUICE just doesn’t stand a chance. Why? Because both have the bromelain cooked right out during the canning or juicing process.
So, in the strictest sense of it all, can you use pineapple juice to induce labor? Maybe if you’re juicing it yourself from fresh-squeezed raw pineapple.
How many pineapples should you eat to induce labor?
If you’ve read this far and remain determined to try and induce labor yourself fast, you’re going to have to eat anywhere from 8-10 PINEAPPLES.
See, momma, most of the bromelain is contained in the core of the pineapple. If you still hope to induce labor eating pineapple, you’ll have to be very intentional in eating THIS PART of the pineapple.
Keep in mind that the core of the pineapple is typically the toughest part of the fruit’s meat and tends to have the least amount of flavor.
If you think about your typical slice of pineapple, remember how the outer sections are always super juicy and full of flavor? They are also squishier than the inner edge, literally falling apart in your mouth.
Typically, we don’t actually even eat the core. If it’s a REALLY ripe pineapple you might get more meat closer to the core, but you will almost never have much of the core in those store-bought party dishes of pre-sliced pineapple.
Pineapple during pregnancy
There are some cultures where eating pineapple during pregnancy is considered taboo because it is believed to potentially cause miscarriage due to generating heat within the body.
While I’d still always defer to your doctor, there is no scientific basis for this. Such rumors may certainly contribute to some of the hype around the pineapple.
Benefits of eating pineapple during pregnancy
Like most other fruits, there are plenty of benefits to eating pineapple during pregnancy. The following is a list of the most important NUTRIENTS you get from eating pineapple.
- 1 cup of pineapple has 100% of your daily Vitamin C requirement
- Folate / folic acids that are known to help prevent defects
- Copper, which helps form baby’s heart, skeleton, blood vessels, and nervous system
- Magnesium, which works with Calcium in contracting and relaxing of your muscles
- Iron that is vital to creating new blood cells
- Manganese that gets used to form bone and cartilage
- Vitamin B-6, which supports brain development as well as immunity
Risks involved with eating pineapple during pregnancy
If you’re wondering what health risks exist regarding eating pineapple during pregnancy, they’re actually about what you would expect. The truth is that these are the same risks you can get from any acidic fruit, regardless of how delicious.
Heartburn and/or acid reflux
When push comes to shove, the biggest risk for most of us is heartburn or ACID REFLUX.
And let’s be real momma: this is one of the WORST parts of late pregnancy. You’re already going to be fighting heartburn without the help of any acidic fruits.
The other risk is that of natural allergies. If you are allergic to pineapple, you probably already know that. If you haven’t ever tried pineapple until now, definitely start with a small piece and watch for itching, swelling, difficulty breathing (congested breathing) and skin reactions.
How to induce labor yourself
If you’re still really wanting to induce labor yourself, that’s certainly not to say there aren’t other methods that may or may not work better!
Read this WHOLE post I wrote on inducing labor at home – it’s one of my most popular articles!
Foods that induce labor
While pineapple might be a bit of a BUST, I’ve found that there is a lot of speculation about other foods that can potentially help.
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Believe them or not, if you’re really eager to get baby on his or her way out of the door, here are a few recommendations on where you might turn next for foods that INDUCE LABOR (wooh wooh!):
Supposed Labor Inducing Foods
- Black Licorice—known to contain glycyrrhizin, this lovely little treat (unless you hate it) might just stimulate the production of prostaglandins, which are lipids sometimes used to induce.
- Eggplant Parmesan—there’s a fun little myth that arose in 1980 that the recipe used at Scalini’s Italian Restaurant can send you into labor. Likely just a myth, though. Don’t knock it ‘till you try it, I guess?
- Spices—a lot of folks and even doctors can sometimes claim that eating spicy foods can send you into labor. Which ones and why seems to be up to largescale debate. Use this as an excuse to eat that favorite curry or the best Mexican food you can find (just be prepared for the HEARTBURN… youch!).
- Tacos—I don’t think there’s probably any magic in the combination of meat and corn or flour tortillas, so this is probably a throwback to the last one, with spices ruling the day!
- Balsamic Vinegar—why? No one knows. Which means it PROBABLY won’t work.
- Cumin—This one’s more of an old wives’ tale. No scientific approach at all, and definitely no qualifying factors or data to support why or whether it induces labor at all.
- Raspberries / Raspberry leaf tea—a few studies have actually supported the idea that raspberry leaf tea can make LABOR easier, but there isn’t any scientific indication that it helps with INDUCTION.
- Ricinus—Ricinus seeds are where you get castor oil, which has been a claimed home labor induction method for a long time. I actually have a great recipe for The Midwives Brew if you’re interested!
Should you try to induce at all?
When all is said and done, momma, the very best way to induce labor is to wait. You can definitely talk with your doctor if it’s just getting too hard. Sometimes they can give you other options.
If you get something else, I would LOVE to hear it. We’re always watching for new recommendations and if you’re comfortable sharing, COMMENT BELOW!
Wrapping it all up: Using pineapple juice to induce labor… ISH
The biggest and healthiest bottom line is that there’s a lot of value in going full term. Most doctors won’t even sniff at the idea of inducing until 40 weeks or so anyway (a woman is considered at full term by 39, per the American Congress of Obstetricians & Gynecologists).
Whatever you end up doing, I know you’ll do the right thing by your heart and your little baby! As with anything, this is a MILESTONE and not a HURDLE, momma. Take pride that you’ve come this far and enjoy these last (QUIET) days before you have a NEWBIE on your hands!
Whether or not you can truly say if you believe you can use pineapple juice to induce labor, the reality is your body knows what to do. Be patient and hang in there, and you’ll do great!
Happy labor and delivery, momma!
Related: How to Prepare for a Labor Induction