You are 41 week pregnant now, at the stage where you want to hold your baby in your arms – today.
As a young mother, you are counting the days to the week. Your due date hovers in red on the calendar, but the day seems far away. Now it has gotten to the point where the idea of once your labor started it is not as scary as the idea of being pregnant for some more time.
When you’re eager to meet your new baby, you may be willing to try almost anything to induce labor. As your pregnancy nears its end, the thought of inducing labor can be extremely tempting.
There are hundreds of ways available to induce labor on the internet today. You may have heard or read about “Midwives Brew” a special and most popular drink to help induce labor at home.
But your little one is your priority now. So it is imperative for you to know everything about it. So, let’s take a look at what is in this midwife brew and whether it is safe for me and her baby.
What is a midwives brew?
A mixture of castor oil, almond butter, apricot juice and tea is called “Midwives Brew”.
Midwives brew is a drink that is believed to help expectant mothers go into labor.
Midwives brew can cause cramping, diarrhea and difficult delivery.
You can consume midwives brew if you 40 weeks pregnant
Please remember that before using any midwives brew, ask your medical professional, OB, labor and delivery nurse or midwife. They will suggest a specific recipe for you.
There are multiple varieties of recipes available when you search for midwives brew to help induce labor. Most of them include natural ingredients:
1. Castor oil
2. Almond butter
3. Lemon verbena oil
4. Apricot juice
Do midwives brew naturally induce labor?
There are multiple anecdotal reports on the success of midwives brew, but more research needs to be done. If we look at castor oil’s scientific method of effectiveness, the results vary based on a few studies.
In previous scientific studies, out of 103 women who were 40 weeks pregnant, half were provided castor oil, while the other half had no oil. Among those offered castor oil, 60% of women went into active labor within 24 hours, with 80% giving birth vaginally.
In a 2013 study, the effects of castor oil to help induce labor were noted, but the quality of the study made the results highly questionable. Researchers also noted that women who took castor oil felt very nauseous.
So, for the time being, scientific research is still undecided on whether midwives brew effectively in inducing labor. A 2012 study suggested that when post-term women consumed midwives brew, they were three times more likely to go into labor.
Key benefits of midwives brew to induce labor naturally
As previously mentioned, a 2012 study showed that when post-term (more than 40 weeks) mother’s drank midwives brew, they were 3 times more likely to go into natural labor. This means that castor oil is a highly effective option to induce labor.
Another added benefit is that mothers can plan their delivery accordingly. Most pregnant women start contracting within 24 hours of consuming midwives’ brew. So that means they can plan their child’s birth accordingly and make sure they make it to the hospital or their doula on time.
The added bonus is that midwives’ brew is entirely natural. All products used to occur naturally and can be sourced organically so that they do not have added chemicals. This is perfect for saving the health of both you and your baby.
Dosage and side effects of midwives brew
You should not try to drink midwives brew before you know it is safe to have your child. While you may be eager to see your little one, you may need to wait a little longer and carry your baby to at least 39 weeks.
Also, inducing labor works successfully when your body is ready to go into labor. This means that midwives brews should not be consumed until full-term (between 39 – 40 weeks) for most pregnant womens.
Your doctor may want to induce labor before your due date in medical emergencies. This is a medical decision that needs to be made by your medical doctor. If your doctor plans to induce you before full-term, then midwives brew may not be appropriate.
Before you think of trying the midwives brew, you need to understand the negative side effects and possible body reactions to this labor inducing drink. That way, you are ready to combat it:
1. Nausea and vomiting – Ingredients like castor oil are known to cause dizziness, so do not drink this drink alone at home.
2. Dehydration and diarrhea – Midwives brew can cause diarrhea, so drink and replenish your vitamins.
3. Fatigue – After ingesting the midwives’ brew, you may feel sluggish and tired for a few hours.
4. Painful contractions – You may start feeling painful contractions, which may stress you and your baby post ingesting the brew.
You may have some of these side effects or none at all. So make sure that your OB or midwife knows that you are ingesting the midwives brew before you take it.
How can you use a midwives brew?
If you are past your due date and ready to go into natural labor, you can try using midwives brew. But do not drink this until you consult a doctor or midwife. If your doctor agrees that this will help induce labor, then make sure you are not alone at home when you drink this because you might incur side effects such as dizziness, nausea, and diarrhea. You may also experience painful contractions.
If you are ready to drink this concoction, then make sure you have it on an empty stomach first thing in the morning. Drink it within 30 minutes but do not force yourself to drink fast if you feel nauseous.
Drink about 20 oz of the total drink, and do not make another until 48 hours. As castor oil induces labor, it can be dangerous for you and the baby. Drinking too much of it may cause your contractions to be too close, which is dangerous for both.
What are the main ingredients in midwives brew?
If you want to look at the overall safety of midwives’ brews, let’s start by looking at the individual ingredients. In this case, castor oil is the main labor-inducing ingredient, while the others – lemon verbena tea, almond butter, and apricot juice are to mask its taste.
1) Castor Oil
One of the most important uses of castor oil is as a laxative. This is because castor oil causes spasms in the intestine and can cause spasms in the uterine wall muscles that induce labor. But, it can be highly unpleasant as castor oil is known to cause diarrhea, vomiting, and nausea. So, if you plan to take midwives brew, you must watch out for dehydration.
Another aspect you need to know is that castor oil can cause contractions that may turn painful. This can cause exhaustion or added stress on mothers and babies. This is a significant reason castor oil should not be used without a medical practitioner’s supervision during pregnancy.
2) Lemon Verbena Oil
There is not much research on the effects of the popular tea blend, lemon verbena or its oil on pregnant women. Please speak to your healthcare provider and midwife about their views before you ingest it.
3) Almond Butter
If you are allergic to nuts, this ingredient should not be ingested. But for others, this is usually safe. If you are allergic to almonds, then you can substitute this for any other type of nut butter. But before you make the shift, talk to your midwife or doctor about any other ingredient to replace this.
4) Apricot Juice
Apricot juice is a perfect source of vitamins and minerals. So, unless you are allergic to apricots, it is safe to consume them during your pregnancy.
Best midwives brew recipe
We’ve gathered all of the scientific evidence available to give you this complete guide to midwives’ brew, with everything from safety to recipes.
There are multiple midwives brew recipes with a variety of ingredients, but this one is the one most recommended and followed:
- 2 tbsp Almond butter
- 2 tbsp Castor oil
- 250 ml pure Lemon Verbana tea
- 300 ml Apricot juice
- Steep the Verbena tea into boiling water and let it sit for 10 minutes. Mix other ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.
- If you cannot find Pure lemon verbena tea bags (let tea bag sit for at least 10 minutes), then use mango nectar.
- If you do not get apricot juice, use pineapple juice instead.
But midwives’ brew has been known to taste less than pleasing and causes upheaval in the digestive system. So, it is good and better to be fully prepared.
Midwives brew, also known as the “German labor cocktail,” is a popular tea blend that is often recommended to pregnant women at the end of their pregnancy.
Right time to take a midwives brew?
Midwives brew should be taken at 39-40 weeks. This is more for the baby’s safety, and your body responds better to the induction method of a pregnancy once your baby has reached full term. Make sure that you drink everything in 30 minutes, so you have the maximum effect. This may be challenging considering the taste, but many women comment that adding ice, a tablespoon of sugar, or a piece of chocolate helps make the drink easier.
Who should avoid this brew?
Expectant mothers not at the 39-40 week stage should avoid drinking midwives brew. This labor inducing drink can harm your baby’s safety as it can cause you to start having contractions. Also, mother’s having placenta previa should avoid this concoction altogether. This may cause the mother to start contracting, which may adversely affect both the child and the mother.
Another reason not to drink this brew is if your child is not in the correct position for natural delivery. So, consult your doctor before you drink the midwives brew at home to induce labor.
What are the other ways to induce labor?
As mentioned before, not everyone has the same reaction to midwives’ brew. So, if it does not work for you, here are some other natural ways you can induce labor:
1. Eating Spicy food – Most women swear by this. But make sure you do not have any hyperacidity or gastrointestinal problems before trying this, as it may cause additional stress.
2. Sex – Sexual activity is known to help uterine contractions and helps move labor forward.
3. Nipple stimulation – Using a hand pump or manual stimulation, you can get your hormones going and induce uterine contractions.
4. Exercise – A trusted labor-inducing practice, try using a birthing or exercise ball or squatting to induce labor.
5. Wait for it to happen naturally – This may be the worst option, but your body knows what it wants. So, give it a chance to process the changes and alterations on its own.
FAQs on Midwives Brew
1) How long after midwives brew do contractions start?
After consuming midwives’ brew, contractions may start as soon as within 12 hours up to 24 hours.
2) Is it safe to drink midwives brew?
The ingredients of midwives brew are generally safe and natural. But there are side effects such as nausea, vomiting, severe diarrhea, dehydration, fatigue, and painful contractions.
3) What is the overall and average success rate of midwives brew?
Many comment that midwives brew has success stories of up to 85%, and multiple other mothers will tell you that it has done wonders to help induce labor for them.
4) What happens after you drink midwives brew?
After drinking midwives brew, you may experience side effects such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea because of the castor oil. If you experience this for more than 24 hours, contact your medical practitioner and seek help.
5) How many times can I drink midwives brew?
Drinking midwifes brew once in 24 hours is recommended, and no more than that. Midwives brew has multiple side effects, such as nausea, diarrhea, and painful contractions. This is why it is recommended to take midwives brew once daily to induce labor.
6) How can I ripen my cervix naturally?
Some ways to ripen your cervix naturally are:
1. Breast stimulation
3. Sexual intercourse
4. Spicy food
7) How do I get my midwives brew to work?
The best way to get midwives brew to work is by consuming it on an empty stomach. Drink it first thing in the morning to induce labor. Try drinking castor oil on a day when you do not have any other plans, as this drink can take you from growing baby to full-blown contractions in a short time.
8) What drinks induce labor?
We know castor oil helps induce labor as it is the main ingredient for midwives’ brew. But some other foods and drinks that commonly induce labor at home are:
2. Spicy food
3. Primrose oil
5. Balsamic vinegar
9) How did you feel after taking midwives brew?
A quick internet search will reveal that this drink is not known for its taste, so you may feel a bit nauseous when drinking this concoction. After drinking midwives brew, you can expect side effects such as nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting from the castor oil. If you experience these effects for more than 24 hours, contact your healthcare provider and seek medical attention.
10) Is midwives brew safe at 37 weeks? What drinks trigger labor?
If you are having a normal pregnancy, drinking midwives brew at 37 weeks is not safe as it may induce labor. If you need an early induction, contact your medical practitioner and discuss your options before taking the next step.
You can drink the following to induce labor:
1. Midwives brew
2. Castor oil
3. Pineapple juice
4. Balsamic vinegar
During the last stages of your pregnancy, you may want the 9 months to be over and done with. You may get the ball rolling and use midwives brew to kick start the process.
But make sure that you talk to your doctor or midwife before you consume the drink (or any other plans that you have to induce labor) to make meeting your baby sooner. But do not lose hope. No matter how long, your wait will be fruitful as your baby is almost here.
We suggest you to never try any home remedies to induce labor without speaking with your medical provider first.