Japan`s old wives tales for bringing on labor

We probably all know the old wives tales for bringing on labor in the west...

Spicy food, pineapple, dates/prunes, raspberry leaf tea, castor oil, walking, s*x, nip*le massage, acupressure, stairs and bumpy car rides and a few more.
How about in Japan?

The old wives tales or 陣痛ジンクス `labor jinx` that are common in Japan are...


Yakiniku - There does not seem to be any good reason for this, women in Japan tend to crave this grilled meat in their final weeks of pregnancy and then go into labor soon after.

Oronamin C - Although there does not seem to be any reason for this either, lots of women swear by this energy drink to bring on labor (be careful though, because it does contain caffeine).

Curry - Some people swear by spicy foods as a catalyst for labor. Mexican food or foods with hot chilis might help bring on labor. Be careful that these foods don’t give you indigestion in this late stage of pregnancy.

Raspberry leaf tea - This tea can strengthen and tone the uterus, and can help the muscles start to contract. Brew a cup by pouring 6 ounces of boiling water over one tea bag. Let it steep for 3 minutes. Let it cool and drink.

Moving around;

Walking - Walking can help stir the baby into moving downward in your body. Once the baby’s head puts pressure on the cervix, labor isn’t far behind. Try walking for 15-20 minutes. Getting out in the fresh air can also be beneficial.

Squatting - this exercise can open up your pelvis and encourage the baby to move downward. It can also strengthen the leg muscles which will help in the final stages of labor too, AND can help ease constipation and pelvic floor pressure!

Stair climbing - Walking up stairs will force your body to lean at an angle (about 40-45 degrees), which can help the baby move lower down in your body. Be sure to hold onto the handrail to make sure you are ascending the stairs safely.

Cleaning the floor - Getting down on all fours will help the baby into a good position. When the baby’s head puts downward pressure on your cervix, the cervix starts to efface, or shortens and thins out. Resting on all fours for 10 minutes at a time, several times a day, can help move the baby’s head into the optimal position.


Nip*le massage - Nip*le stimulation is another way to induce uterine contractions. Use your thumb and forefinger to roll the nip*le for 2 minutes. Give it a rest for 3 minutes. Continue this process for about 20 minutes. If you don’t feel any contractions, increase the rolling part to 3 minutes, with the rests lasting 2 minutes.

Interestingly, from what I have read, s*x is not recommended in Japan, because of the risk of infection or injury.

Since I am now 10 days away from my due date, I might just try my own mix of east and west!

Good luck,

Fran xx


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