Dr. Elizabeth Pryor answers the question, Do old wives' tales for speeding up labor really work?



Does walking help make labor approach faster? What about other old wives' tales? Do they work?


Many women believe walking helps and I have sent them walking in the mall to help bring on labor.

Another approach in making labor begin is sexual intercourse, believe it or not. There is a chemical release from the male that softens the cervix and prepares it for labor.

Old wives' tales include castor oil (which can get ugly), salsa or hot/spicy foods, and nipple stimulation.

Nipple stimulation could bring on contractions. A certain chemical is released from the brain that may stimulate labor. I do not recommend continuous nipple stimulation or stimulation over long periods of time because there is no way to regulate the release of the chemical and you may actually have too many contractions.

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