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You’re finally in the last few days of your pregnancy and you’ll soon hold your little one in your arms. But when your due date has passed, waiting for labor to start can be a bit too stressful. Internet forums, Pinterest, moms’ groups, mommy blogs– you’ve searched it all to find DIY methods to try to induce labor naturally. Well, worry not.
When it comes to delivering your little one, safety is your primary concern. “Midwives brew” is a natural concoction, which has helped a lot of women to induce labor. This method is particularly intriguing because it is named after the professional dedicated to guiding women through labor.
So, What is a Midwives Brew?
Also known as German Labor Cocktail, the midwives’ brew is a blend of natural ingredients believed to naturally induce labor. This concoction originated in Europe and is trusted by most women to help naturally go into labor, that is, within a few hours.
It is also suggested to have a session with your doctor (OB) or your midwife/doula before you consume this drink.
How Does The Midwives Brew Work?
This homemade drink is made using castor oil, apricot juice, lemon verbena, and almond butter and is well known to inch the labor closer, that is in 24 hours. To know how a midwives brew works, let’s take a closer look at its ingredients.
Ingredients of a Midwives Brew
1. Castor oil
Since early Egyptian culture, castor oil has been known to induce labor. Castor oil can cause uterine spasms, which can lead to contraction and labor induction. Studies have shown that out of 10 women who took castor oil, 6 women went into active labor within 24 hours. But, it is suggested to consume castor oil after consultation with your doctor or midwife. This is because it can cause diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, and dehydration in pregnant women.
2. Lemon Verbena
This flowering plant from South America has a milder laxative effect than castor oil. Lemon verbena tea is thought by many women to induce labor, even though there isn’t much scientific evidence to support this.
3. Apricot Juice
Apricot juice is rich in vitamins and minerals. Even though it does not have any major function in inducing labor, it’s used in cocktails to enhance flavor.
4. Almond butter
The almond butter helps castor oil stick to your intestine rather than run straight through your body because of its stickiness.
Note: Do not consider almond butter if you are allergic to nuts.
How to Make Midwives Brew
As we now know the function of each ingredient, let’s look at the midwives’ brew recipe:
- 2 tablespoons of – Castor Oil
- 2 tablespoons of– Almond Butter
- 1 cup of – Lemon Verbena Tea
- 1 and ¼ cup of – Apricot Juice
- Lemon verbena tea should be steeped in boiling water.
- Now let it sit for about 10-12 minutes.
- Mix them into a smooth cocktail in a blender.
Note: You must only take the midwife brew after consulting your OB-GYN or midwife. Plus, you must be past your due date. Inducing labor before your due date may lead to deadly health complications.
Why Do Mums Use The Midwife Brew?
If you have experienced pregnancy before, you already know that it can be uncomfortable in the last few weeks. It feels like the pregnancy is going to last forever and it gets increasingly difficult to move. Therefore, mothers past their due date go for midwives who naturally induce labor.
The purpose behind using midwives’ brew is cervical ripening. It thins out, dilates, and softens the cervix so that the baby can come out. It stimulates the uterus’ muscles and contracts them. It is these contractions that help in childbirth.
When and How Should You Consume The Midwife Brew?
The midwives’ brew is best consumed after 39 to 40 weeks or for women having low-lying contractions. You can drink it warm on an empty stomach in the morning. Another alternative is that you can drink it cold or with ice cubes.
When Do The Contractions Start After Drinking The Midwife Brew?
Your body’s level of readiness will determine the answer to this question, hence the answer will vary from woman to woman. According to studies, women who used the midwives’ brew to induce labor felt the effects within 24 hours, while some of them claimed to have only gone into labor after 4-5 hours with a 3 cm rise in dilation.
But the bottom line is that you must be ready to go into labor when you take the concoction.
Are There Any Side Effects of The Midwife Brew?
One of the major concerns when it comes to midwives’ brews is safety. Luckily, the ingredients in midwives’ brews are natural, making it easier to discern their safety.
- Castor oil is the main active ingredient of midwives’ brews and has the most safety considerations. It causes the other muscle to contract, like the bowel contractions and intestinal. Thus, it is also possible to experience nausea, severe diarrhea, and vomiting, as side effects of the castor oil drink. But the risk is fairly low to affect the mom and the baby.
- Lemon verbena is incorporated in the recipe to lessen castor oil’s gastrointestinal effects. Lemon teas can be safely consumed and are used to calm the stomach, even during morning sickness.
- Almond butter is a natural ingredient that is most commonly found in the kitchen as compared to caster oil or lemon verbena. Unless you are allergic to nuts or apricot juice, you’re good to go.
Contraindications of Taking The Midwife Brew
If you are less than 40 weeks pregnant, never try to induce labor. It can be harmful and risky for the baby and the mother. Things like losing your mucus plug can create complications and increase the risk of infection.
Also, do not drink this brew if you have been detected with placenta previa. If you know that the baby’s position isn’t correct, wait until the baby is in the correct position before you drink this brew. Additionally, going for a vaginal birth after a cesarean can be sometimes risky because strong contractions can re-open your incision.
With an 85% success rate, the midwives’ brew is a natural concoction to induce birth. Despite the fact that that is a good number, there is a chance that it won’t be suitable for you. You could not be having contractions but rather normal adverse effects of drinking midwives’ brew include nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Be patient. Although this option may be challenging, it is typically the safest one.
- Make sure you are hydrated
- Talk to your doctor or midwife
- Go for a walk
- Meditate/ just relax
Your baby and your body are doing their best to help your little one make their debut. You’re in the last phase of your pregnancy and you will be holding your bundle of joy in your arms in no time.