How Long After Drinking Midwives Brew Does Labor Start?

As the date of delivery approaches, being anxious about delivery is quite usual. The thought of the post-labor phase is a relief in such scenarios. At this stage, hours seem like days, days like weeks, and let’s not even get to what weeks might look like.

This is the time you would reach out to anything that would accelerate the process. The special brew known as the midwives brew does exactly the same. The midwives’ brew is said to induce labor. Of course, it is a completely natural recipe, and there are multiple recipes involved. 

Before we dive into the details about how long after drinking the midwives’ brew does labor start, let us take a look at what are the common ingredients involved in the midwives’ brew.

Most Common Ingredients of Midwives Brew:

Though the recipe might change, here are some of the ingredients that remain constant for the effect they contribute to the drink.

  1. Castor Oil

Castor oil is the main ingredient in all recipes. The reason why it stands as the foundation of the drink is due to its laxative property. Castor oil is capable of inducing slight spasms in the intestine, similarly, it can also induce muscular spasms on the uterus wall. This induces labor.

Though castor oil looks like a harmless natural ingredient, the result of its consumption is uncontrollable hence risky. Consumption of castor oil can lead to extreme vomiting, nausea, and diarrhea leading to severe dehydration.

  1. Nut Butter 

Nut butter is a component that adds taste to the recipe. In general almond butter is used. In case of allergy, this must be avoided. 

  1. Apricot Juice

Apricot juice is a rich source of vitamins and minerals. This when consumed in moderation is good for the overall health too. 

  1. Lemon verbena oil

The main role of lemon verbena oil is to mask the overpowering presence of castor oil. It also acts as a sedative and has calming properties which are helpful during labor.

When to Drink Midwives Brew for Labor?

A healthy pregnancy period reaches its full term between 39 weeks to 40 weeks. On reaching this stage, both the baby and the mother’s body are ready to go through labor. Hence it must be taken care that in the urge to meet the little one, you should never rush in. Having the midwives brew anytime before this time frame can have an adverse effect on the mother and the baby. 

For the proper growth and development of the baby, it is necessary to continue the pregnancy till the 39th week.

The midwife’s brew is to be consumed only under guidance. It is vital to inform the medical on board and informed regarding the intake of the brew. While many might be against it, doctors do allow it as per the health condition and risk factors involved in the delivery. 

How Effective is the Midwives Brew in Inducing Labor?

There are not enough scientific research studies that back the idea of midwives’ drinks for labor.

While a study dated back in time reported that out of 103 full terms (40 weeks) pregnant women, one half was given castor oil for consumption whereas the other half was not given any treatment. It was observed that 60% of the women who were given castor oil went into labor in the next 24 hours. Around 80% of these women also had a normal birth.

Similarly, there are other case study reviews that cite the failure of midwives in inducing labor.

What are the Other Effective Ways to Induce Labor?

Let us look at the other practical alternatives if this drink is not your cup of tea. But let’s have the disclaimer out first. None of these steps guarantee inducing labor. These are only to ease you into labor. 

  1. Exercising 

Long brisk walks, up and down the steps are some of the basic exercises you can do as a 40-week pregnant woman. This is also more than enough to have your heart race fast. Better blood flow and oxygen circulation are definitely helpful.

  1. Spicy Food

Devouring some lip-smacking spicy food can also do the job. By the time you reach the last bite, you will have your eyes and nose running with your heart beating fast.

Though there is no scientific backup, a lot of women agree with this method.

  1. Acupressure

Acupressure is a method that helps the body to release oxytocin. During pregnancy, this will help in labor. 

Final Thoughts:

A look at the ingredient list establishes that castor oil is the main culprit in inducing labor and other ingredients are mostly used to mask the taste and smell of the castor oil. Its consumption is risky, hence do not experiment with the recipe by yourself.

None of the above-mentioned methods must be tried out without the permission and presence of a practicing professional. 


  1. How to induce labor overnight?

            Moving your body by mild exercises like walking and climbing stairs can help in inducing labor overnight. Other practices that help in the same way are stripping membranes (to be done by a doctor), relaxing, eating spicy food, acupuncture sessions, etc., which can induce natural labor. 

  1. Can a hot water bath help in inducing labor?

There are no scientific studies that confirm the statement. Whereas it is advised to not use very hot water for a bath during pregnancy as it tends to reduce the blood flow towards the baby. This can be stressful for the baby.

  1. Is castor oil a benefit?

Castor oil is antimicrobial and antiviral in nature. It is usually used in order to treat fungal infections. It is also used for hair regrowth. 

  1. How long does it take for castor oil to induce labor?

As per previous studies, it was observed that pregnant women at week 40 went into active labor after 24 hours of castor oil intake. This is applicable only for people who have reached the last term of pregnancy, and both the body and the baby are ready to undergo labor.