If you’re reading this, you’ve probably heard that stimulating your digestion (AKA your bowels), like by drinking castor oil, can induce labor. But as I hope you’ve heard, castor oil is a big no and has some not-so-pleasant effects. (With still no baby in sight.) But what about other drinks that claim to aid with digestion? Can you induce labor by taking Metamucil? Experts say it’s not exactly recommended.
Kristen Burris, L.Ac, a women’s health acupuncturist and infertility specialist, agrees about the bowel stimulation and triggering labor link. “One common way women like to take the timing of their baby’s birth into their own hands is by trying to trigger labor induction by increasing their bowel movements,” she tells Romper in an email interview. But Burris notes there aren’t really any drinks you can imbibe that can induce labor safely — Metamucil included.
“There are many ways to increase bowel motility, thereby potentially increasing contraction rates to start labor, including increasing fruits and vegetables, drinking prune juice, and eating spicy foods. However, I caution patients against using Metamucil as a ‘natural’ laxative. My cautionary advice is not so much for the psyllium husk that absorbs liquid in the intestines, creating a bulkier but easier stool to pass, but rather the other unnatural ingredients in its various formulas, including Red 40, aspartame, and phenylalanine,” she says. “Food coloring wreaks havoc on small children’s nervous systems and should not be ingested during pregnancy. The artificial sweeteners contained in Metamucil are not safe for women, nor developing children, as they have several toxic chemical breakdowns that occur after ingestion.”
And even if you are more than ready to have your body back and to evict that bun in your oven, you may want to consider a few things first, according to Burris. “We all know how anxious and ready expectant mothers are to get their baby out when they are due or…