Granny’s Induction Home Remedies

Photo courtesy of Lee Swanson

There’s a reason women have come up with so many crazy home remedies to induce labor: Being nine months pregnant is terrible.

If my experience speaks to most women’s at nine months, waiting for your child to enter this world is maddening. You become a crazy person — even crazier than the hormones have made you thus far. Every day, you find yourself praying for an end to come soon. Every day, you look for signs, hoping today is the day.

Are those contractions or just stomach pains from drinking milk past its expiration date? Did my water just break, or did I just laugh too hard? Did my awesome dream about bathing in a pool of Bisquick and lying out in the sun chanting “I’m a delicious pig in a blanket” indicate that I soon will be holding my own li’l bundle in a blanket? (Oh, come on! I can’t be the only person who had that dream.)

You know the truth. You know that it’s simply time to avoid Comedy Central and seek out a restaurant serving mini dough-covered hot dogs before that unfortunate bout of food poisoning knocks you on your rear. But still, you hold on to hope. Maybe today I will get to meet my child.

And when simply hoping isn’t enough and desperation seeps in, ladies in my position visit Granny’s old home remedy recipe box.

There are many home remedies that claim to dilate your cervix, cause contractions and induce labor. Just a few days out from my due date, I decided it was time to start exploring Grandma’s old induction secrets.

—Castor oil. Perhaps Nana’s most popular and well-known home remedy is drinking castor oil. And from what I understand, the baby may be vacating himself from his mother’s womb simply to escape its wretched taste as it filters through the umbilical cord. Some women take this foul-tasting oil mixed with orange juice or chased with ginger ale. Those lucky ladies who haven’t already grown their fair share of hair on their chest from the hormones may opt to take the castor oil plain. My limited research into Nana’s castor oil solution indicates that the oil irritates your bowels and can create a domino effect that eventually leads to uterine contractions. In addition to the awful taste, the oil can give your baby a case of the runs while he’s still inside you. Thanks but no thanks, Grandma. Next!

—Coffee trick. Another favorite of Granny’s secret home remedies is lovingly referred to as the coffee trick. To perform this absurd induction remedy, the mother-to-be must fill a bowl with a cup of freshly ground coffee beans and boiling water. She then places the bowl into the toilet and lets it float on the toilet water. Lastly, big ol’ Preggers is supposed to sit her tuchis down on the seat and let the caffeinated steam toast up her nether region. I know that women do a lot of strange and crazy things to their special area — read: Brazilian waxes — but getting a third-degree burn is not on my to-do list. Next!

—Sex. Ha-ha, that’s adorable. Next!

I was starting to lose hope. The spicy food remedy gave me heartburn. The pineapple remedy made me nauseated. Would I ever find a labor-inducing remedy that appealed to me? C’mon, Nana, help a top-heavy sister out! And that’s when I heard about the labor cake.

Cue clouds parting, sunbeams shining and angels singing.

—Labor cake. Labor cake is the tastiest bit of propaganda I’ve ever heard of. Whosever nana dreamed up this little ditty deserves a hug and a government job. Here’s the brilliant recipe: Buy a box of devil’s-food cake, and follow the directions. In addition to the regular mix-in ingredients, add a cup of sour cream, 2 cups of chocolate pudding and a bag of chocolate morsels. Voila! Labor cake. Of all the induction secrets I read up on, this one seems to have worked the least, but nine months in, with swollen feet and broken spirits, don’t we mamas-to-be deserve a little sugar shock while we play out this waiting game? I think so.

The oven is preheating, and I’m heading to the store as soon as I submit this column.

Oh, Grandma’s induction remedy, you may not work, but you will be delicious

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Chuck Briese, Oak Ridge Now

[avatar user="cbriese" size="thumbnail" align="left"] Chuck Briese has been a resident of South Montgomery County since 1988. He and his lovely and patient wife, Leslie, have six sons, with only one left to finish high school. Chuck has been a Cub Scout leader, a Little League baseball coach, a church youth leader, and a general troublemaker over the course of the past 25 years. He is obsessed with his lawn, and likes restaurants that serve food that fills up the plate. He has a tendency to tilt at windmills, which may explain why he started Oak Ridge Now.

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