Does Pineapple Induce Labor?

Reviewed on 6/11/2021
does pineapple induce labor
Some people swear by eating pineapples to induce labor. But does it work?

In most pregnancies, women will go into labor on their own after 40 weeks. But if you are past 40 weeks, it may be tempting to consider natural methods to increase your chances of going into labor. Some people swear by eating pineapples. But does it work?

Pineapple is thought to work because it contains an enzyme called bromelain, which breaks down proteins in tissue and may soften the cervix or encourage it to loosen.

However, there is no concrete scientific evidence to prove that eating pineapples can induce labor. You should always check with your doctor before trying any natural remedies.

When should labor be induced?

Labor can be induced using medication or other methods if necessary, in the hospital. About 25% of women will need to be induced. Reasons for this include:

When should labor not be induced?

Labor should not be induced if one of following medical conditions is present:

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What are the complications of labor induction?

Some of the complications of labor induction include:

  • Fetal distress: The medications used to induce labor can cause excessive contractions, which can reduce the baby's oxygen supply and lower the baby's heart rate, leading to fetal distress. This can be managed with tocolytic (anti-contraction) agents.
  • Pain: Induced labor may cause more intense contractions, which is often very painful. Often epidural analgesia is needed.
  • Infection: Some induction methods, such as rupturing of membranes, increase the risk of infection to both mother and baby.
  • Umbilical cord prolapse: Amniotomy may cause the umbilical cord to slip into the vagina before the baby.
  • Excessive bleeding: When uterine muscles do not contract properly after childbirth (uterine atony), excessive bleeding can occur.
  • Uterine rupture (rare): Uterus tears may open along the scar line of a previous cesarean delivery or major uterine surgery.
  • Increased rate of further intervention: Risk of emergency cesarean delivery and instrumental deliveries increase.
  • Failed induction (15% chance): Another cycle of prostaglandins or cesarean delivery may be required.

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References
Vrees RA. Induction of Labor. Medscape. https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/2500091-overview

Barclay L. Guidelines on Labor Induction Revised. Medscape. https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/706359

World Health Organization. WHO Recommendations for Induction of Labour. https://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/44531/9789241501156_eng.pdf?sequence=1

Galal M, Symonds I, Murray H, Petraglia F, Smith R. Postterm pregnancy. Facts Views Vis Obgyn. 2012;4(3):175-187. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3991404/

Cleveland Clinic. What Natural Ways to Induce Labor Actually Work? https://health.clevelandclinic.org/what-natural-ways-to-induce-labor-actually-work/

Kids Health. Inducing Labor. https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/inductions.html

Westmead Hospital. Natural Ways to Bring on Labour. https://www.wslhd.health.nsw.gov.au/ArticleDocuments/1346/Natural%20ways%20to%20bring%20on%20labour%20v3%20AB%20June%202019.pdf.aspx

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