What the Yuck: Does eating Mexican food really bring on labor?
June 17th, 2011
07:48 AM ET

What the Yuck: Does eating Mexican food really bring on labor?

Too embarrassed to ask your doctor about sex, body quirks, or the latest celeb health fad? In a regular feature and a new book, "What the Yuck?!," Health magazine medical editor Dr. Roshini Raj tackles your most personal and provocative questions. Send 'em to Dr. Raj at whattheyuck@health.com.

Q: Does eating Mexican food around your due date truly bring on labor?

Although I have friends who swear this is true, there is no medical evidence to support their stories. By the time that due date finally arrives, most women are so uncomfortable and desperate to go into labor they'll try anything - even an urban myth like eating spicy Mexican food.

What makes these urban myths so compelling is we all know someone who tried it and then - surprise! - went into labor. But think about who tries these bring-on-the-baby tricks: Women who are at or past their due date! So they might have still gone into labor if they'd had Chinese food, or even broiled chicken, instead of chimichangas.

The truth is, there is no way to rush the process. Babies come out when they decide it's time. So eat all the Mexican food you want. You may not get a baby at the end of the night, but enjoying some chips and salsa should take your mind off your burning desire to get that kid out of you already!

Copyright Health Magazine 2011

soundoff (26 Responses)
  1. Tacos rule

    "Although I have friends who swear this is true, there is no medical evidence to support their stories." Time for a government study. I'm first in the volunteer line.

    June 17, 2011 at 11:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Mikel

    My two kids' mother ate Italian food the evening before she went into labor.

    June 17, 2011 at 12:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. iminim

    Does eating Mexican food bring on labor? Do Mexican women ever go beyond their due date? Yes they do sometimes go beyond their due date and no, Mexican doesn't induce labor. But it is a good excuse to indulge in a burrito and when you are 9 mos pregnant or more you deserve a treat!

    June 17, 2011 at 12:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. ser

    it may not bring on labor, but it will bring on something else....OFFFAAAHHHHH......splish splash plop.

    June 17, 2011 at 12:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Suzanne

    I don't know about statistics. All I know is this....my due date was March 20th. On March 18th I went to my OB, who told me not to pack my bags anytime soon, because the baby would be at least 10 days late. On March 19th I made a Mexican meal with all the trimmings. About 2 hours after the meal my water broke...

    June 17, 2011 at 13:13 | Report abuse | Reply
    • HJ

      You have just scientifically proven this theory to be true. Good Job.

      June 17, 2011 at 14:25 | Report abuse |
  6. Kayla

    Suzanne, I am deff going to try that because I dont want to wait around. I'm only 6 months pregnant but when the time comes I'll eat mexican ALL the time. 😀
    HJ way to be a smart@$$...jerk.

    June 18, 2011 at 12:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Elizabeth

    Dr. Raj, this is very serious. Some women do harmful things: a friend of a friend actually jumped up and down to bring on labor: she could have ruptured the placenta, killing her baby and herself. If a woman is very uncomfortable (some women are shy of saying how much they hurt), or vomiting, it is time to get checked by a doctor. I had a friend who was vomiting, and the on-call doctor said to go to the hospital in the morning. Her husband thought it just seemed a little too much, and he took her there. She was given an emergency C-section for eclampsia and liver failure; and she spent several days in the ICU (and her premature baby in the PICU). Pain is no joke. But if somebody likes Mexican food; it's good for them; lots of fiber.

    June 19, 2011 at 01:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. dancingfrog

    Well, my kids have all been over-due from 5 to 21 days. W/my 1st child should have had dark eyes/hair, I lived on Mexican food, after I got over morning sickness & could finally keep food down. I LOVE the food, & can *never* get enu'f!! If there's ever a study, I am past the childbearing years, but, I can do quality control of the food? No? Aaw please? 😉

    June 20, 2011 at 03:13 | Report abuse | Reply
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