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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.
What Is Midwives Brew?
Midwives brew, also known as the German Labour Cocktail, is a blend of natural ingredients that are believed to induce labor naturally. This magic concoction originated in Europe and has been trusted by many women to naturally go into labor 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 cocktail is made of castor oil, lemon verbena, apricot juice, almond butter and is said to bring on labor in 24 hours. But how does the midwives’ brew work?
Let’s take a closer look at the ingredients.
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 to 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, nausea, vomiting, and ultimately dehydration in pregnant women.
2. Lemon Verbena
This South American medicinal flowering plant is a milder laxative than castor oil. Even though there isn’t much scientific proof about this, lemon verbena tea is considered by many women to induce labor.
3. Apricot Juice
Apricot juice is rich in vitamins and minerals. Even though it has no major function in inducing labor, it is used in this cocktail as a flavor enhancer.
4. Almond butter
The almond butter helps castor oil stick to your intestine rather than running 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:
Midwives Brew Recipe
- 2 tbsp – Castor Oil
- 2 tbsp – Almond Butter
- 1 cup – Lemon Verbena Tea
- 1 and ¼ cup – Apricot Juice
Midwives Brew Preparation
- Steep lemon verbena tea in boiling water.
- Let it stand for 10-12 minutes.
- Mix all the ingredients in a blender.
- Use a blender and blend it well into a smooth cocktail.
Note: You must only consume it, after consultation with your doctor (OB) or midwife and if you are past your due date.
When And How Should You Consume The Midwives 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.
How Long After Midwives Brew Do Contractions Start?
The answer to this question depends on how ready your body is, so it depends from one woman to another.
Studies have shown that women who have tried to bring on labor using the midwives’ brew felt the result within 24 hours while some of them reported having gone into labor after 4-5 hours only, with an increase in dilation of 3cm.
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 Midwives Brew?
One of the major concerns when it comes to midwives’ brew is safety. Luckily, the ingredients in midwives’ brew are natural, making it easier to discern their safety.
- Castor oil is the main active ingredient of midwives’ brew and has the most safety considerations. It causes other muscle contractions, such as intestinal and bowel contractions. Thus, it is possible to experience nausea, vomiting, and even severe diarrhea as side effects of drinking castor oil. But its risk to mom and baby is fairly low.
- Lemon Verbena is used in the recipe to minimize the gastrointestinal effect of castor oil. Lemon teas are used to settle the stomach, including during morning sickness, and are safe to use.
- Apricot juice and almond butter are both natural ingredients. They are more common in the kitchen than lemon verbena or castor oil. Unless you are allergic to nuts or apricot juice, you’re good to go.
The midwives’ brew is a natural blend to go into labor with a success rate of 85%. Even though that is a good number, there are chances that it might not work for you. You might be experiencing nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea- all common side effects of drinking midwives’ brew, but no contractions.
Be patient. Well, this might be a difficult one, but most of the time it is the safest choice.
- 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.