Does Midwives Brew Work to Induce Labor Safely?

Does Midwives Brew Work to Induce Labor Safely?
Does Midwives Brew Work to Induce Labor Safely?

A beverage known as Midwives Brew is said by some to have assisted in inducing labour. There is no proof that these drinks are effective, and the ingredients change. To be safe, before taking any mixture while expecting, get advice from a healthcare provider.

You've been marking the days for some weeks now. Your due date is marked on the calendar, but it still seems so far off. (And at this point, the prospect of having to wait a few more days to go into labour seems insignificant in comparison.) You could have held your child in your arms yesterday.

The idea of inducing labour is highly alluring, especially because the end of the pregnancy is approaching. You may be aware of midwives brew, a unique beverage that is supposed to aid in inducing labour. You put your child's safety and contents first, therefore it makes sense that you would want to know what's in it. We'll see to it that you're taken care of.


Consult a medical expert before attempting any home methods to induce labour. While it may be challenging to wait for the much-awaited arrival of the baby, it is not safe for either of you to induce labour too soon or with dubious techniques.

What’s in it?

While there are various recipes for midwives brew, the majority involve a mix of:
  • castor oil
  • apricot juice
  • lemon verbena oil
  • almond butter
We can't stress enough how crucial it is to use this midwives brew (or something similar) only with the assistance of your healthcare provider, so before making and consuming it, be sure to consult your OB or midwife. They can recommend or even approve of a particular recipe for you.

Having said that, not all midwives are aware of the existence of a "midwives brew," despite its popularity in some quarters. It's possible that you will be sharing the recipe with your medical practitioner!

Additionally, bear in mind that taste is typically not the selling factor for many ladies, therefore this drink doesn't stay down!

Is it safe?

To evaluate the overall safety of Midwives Brew, let us examine each of the constituent elements. It should be noted that the main purpose of the other ingredients is to cover up the taste of the castor oil, which is probably what causes labour.

Castor oil

Laxatives are among the most popular applications for castor oil. This is due to the possibility of intestinal spasms from castor oil. In a similar vein, it may cause the uterine muscles to spasm, which may result in contractions and the start of labour.

However, using castor oil internally can also cause severe nausea, vomiting, and diarrhoea. Put simply, it's nasty.

It's critical to be aware of the possibility of dehydration when using castor oil. Furthermore, contractions that remain irregular or become excruciatingly painful may be brought on by castor oil. Mom and the infant may get exhausted or experience more stress as a result. This is one of the reasons castor oil shouldn't be used while pregnant unless under the supervision and guidance of a medical practitioner.

One additional crucial thing to remember is that castor oil can be harmful to the unborn child and should never be taken before the full term of pregnancy.

Lemon verbena oil

Research on the usage of lemon verbena oil during pregnancy and labour is scarce. Ask your physician or midwife what they think of you consuming it.

Almond butter

This is an ingredient you should definitely be aware of if you have a nut allergy. However, it's usually safe for others.

If you are allergic to almonds, you might be able to use a different kind of nut butter instead. Consult your physician or midwife regarding a substitute component.

Apricot juice

A fantastic source of vitamins and minerals is apricot juice. It should be okay to eat apricots during your pregnancy unless you have a specific apricot allergy. (However, moderation is the key to anything!)

When do you drink it?

It's crucial to wait until it is safe to give birth before attempting to induce labour. Even though you can't wait to meet your child and put your pregnant body aside, it's best for them to remain safely inside you for as long as possible. If at all feasible, it's crucial to carry the baby until at least 39 weeks.

Additionally, when the body is prepared for labour, an induction has a higher chance of success.

Given these two facts together, the beer shouldn't be drank by most women until at least full term, which is between 39 weeks and 40 weeks, 6 days.

In certain situations, your doctor might want to induce labour before the scheduled delivery date. This is a medical choice that is typically taken with special consideration for your safety as well as the protection of your unborn child.

You should talk to your doctor about trying midwifery especially if they are scheduling a medical induction before your due date. In these circumstances, midwives brew might not be the best option, and you should let your doctor know about any attempts you make to induce labour on your own.

Is it effective?

There isn't much evidence to support the success of midwives brew, despite the abundance of anecdotal claims to the contrary. It is also difficult to determine whether castor oil is scientifically effective because there are few studies on the subject and the findings are inconsistent.

An earlier trial included 103 pregnant women who were at least 40 weeks along; half received castor oil and the other half received no therapy at all. Within a day after receiving castor oil, almost 60% of the recipients were in active labour. (Moreover, over 80% of women who underwent castor oil-induced labour delivered birth naturally.)

However, a 2009 study produced less encouraging results with castor oil. It implied that the effects of the oil on inducing labour are neither very beneficial nor detrimental.

Additionally, a 2013 assessment of research confirmed that castor oil is useful for inducing labour, but it also issued a warning that the calibre of the studies may cast doubt on the findings. Not to be overlooked: Researchers discovered that nausea struck every woman who used castor oil.

Thus, it seems that the formal scientific jury is still out for the time being. In other words, additional research is required — not just for castor oil but also for the components that it contains.

When people mention how well midwife brew and castor oil work to induce labour, the effects happen quickly—usually in less than a day. According to a 2012 study, post-term women who took castor oil had a three times higher chance of going into labour within 12 hours. Let's talk about fulfilment right away.

What are some alternatives if I don’t want to drink this nasty drink?

Here are some other options you might try if midwives brew isn't for you but you still want to start your labour. (Remember that none of these techniques can promise to induce labour.)
  • Exercise: When you're forty weeks pregnant, it might not take much to raise your heart rate—everything that does so counts! (Consider taking lengthy strolls, climbing stairs, etc.)
  • Membrane stripping: Not one to try at home, but discuss this possibility with your physician or midwife.
  • Spicy foods: Although many say it will truly induce labour, there are no scientific studies to support this. This isn't something you should attempt if you don't often eat spicy meals, you don't like the heat, or you already have heartburn during pregnancy.
  • Acupressure: Acupressure is one technique, similar to most labour induction techniques, to raise oxytocin levels. One may also employ acupuncture.
  • Sex: Generally speaking, it's safe, but if your water has already burst, it might not be. Consult a healthcare provider if you have any concerns or queries.
  • Nipple stimulation: Your uterus can contract and the hormones to start flowing by using a pump or hand stimulation. Be sure to first find out how often and for how long your healthcare provider is fine with you doing this.
  • Await the natural onset of labour: Although it's extremely difficult if you put your mind to another project, your body may decide that labour is about to begin on its own without the need for any specific techniques.

The takeaway

It's possible that the final few days of pregnancy feel like the entire nine months again! One way to initiate labour if you're tempted to take the show on the road is midwives brew.

But before you decide it's time to meet your baby, make sure your doctor or midwife is on board with this drink—or any plans you have to try to induce labour. Whatever happens, remember that your baby will arrive soon, even if these final days may seem endless.

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