Midwives Brew: What Is It? Does It Really Work?

  • By: Sandra
  • Date: August 9, 2022
  • Time to read: 6 min.

If you’ve found yourself on this page after searching out the midwives’ brew recipe, I can guess that you are probably close to your due date (if not overdue!) and just plain fed up of pregnancy and ready to have your baby in your arms.

Perhaps you are eager to avoid a medical induction and so wish to induce labor naturally at home.

The Midwives Brew, also known as the German Labor Cocktail, is a natural method of inducing labor, said to work within 48 hours of ingestion. The recipe includes castor oil, almond butter, apricot juice and lemon verbena.

So, you’ve perhaps heard rumours of this mythical potion or found yourself desperately searching “natural ways to induce labor” or how to have a natural birth and found yourself here.

Well, look no further! Here, we are going to look at how to make Midwives Brew, what the research says about it’s safety and effectiveness, and some other methods you can use instead of drinking midwives brew.

But, before we do any of that, the most important thing that we can tell you is to speak to your medical provider before you do anything to attempt to induce labor at home.

A pregnant woman should certainly never even consider any labor induction technique before term, and never without the thumbs up from your medical professional.

What Is Midwives Brew?

What Is Midwives Brew

Midwives Brew is a blend of natural ingredients which is thought to be a safe, natural way to induce labor within hours of ingestion.

The recipe originated in Europe and has been in use for centuries, with plenty of reported success stories.

Pregnant women who wish to go into labor spontaneously, without medical intervention, often drink Midwives Brew as a natural induction method.

What is the Best Midwives Brew Recipe?

Midwives Brew can be made using a very simple recipe:

  • 2 tbsp Almond butter

  • 2 tbsp castor oil

  • 250ml pure lemon verbena tea

  • 300ml apricot juice

Simply steep the lemon verbena tea in boiling water- let the tea bag sit for 10 minutes.

Next, add the tear, castor oil, almond butter and apricot juice to the blender and blend until you get a smooth blended paste.

While most recipes use the ingredients above, you can substitute the apricot juice with pineapple juice or the verbena tea with mango nectar.

When is the Best Time to Take Midwives Brew?

Best Time to Take Midwives Brew

First of all, you need to get the thumbs up from your medical practitioner.

Also, wait until you are at least 39-40 weeks- not only for the safety of your baby, but to increase the possibility that Midwives Brew will work for you.

The closer you are to your due date, the more likely it is that your body will be ready for labour.

Be prepared in case it does work- if you are giving birth at home, have your midwife at hand, or if you are planning on attending labor and delivery, be ready to go.

Be warned- Midwives Brew is not a pleasant tasting drink.

Therefore, you might want to prepare yourself for this by having a nice drink to hand. It’s best to consume it within 30 minutes to get the maximum effect. It’s also recommended to consume Midwives Brew on an empty stomach.

How Long Does Midwives Brew Take to Work?

How Long Does Midwives Brew Take to Work

There is no exact time frame, but many women have reported Midwives Brew success stories within 48 hours of ingestion.

Ultimately, how long Midwives Brew takes to have an effect (if any) will vary from one expecting mother to another.

This is another reason to hold off until 39-40 weeks before trying midwives brew- the later you leave it, the more likely it is that your body is ready and the higher the likelihood that the blend will induce labour.

Some mothers report labor contractions within just a few hours, while other mothers find it doesn’t work at all. As with any induction method, the other thing to consider is that, sometimes, labour may commence spontaneously by coincidence, and not because of midwives brew at all!

What Does the Scientific Research Say About Midwives Brew?

Crucially, more research is needed before we can really comment for sure on the safety and effectiveness of Midwives Brew. A few studies have looked into this, however, these are generally small so scientific evidence is sparse.

Some small scientific studies have suggested that Midwives Brew is a safe, effective way to induce labor in many pregnant women.

One 2018 study found that 91% of their sample were able to give birth vaginally after consuming Midwives brew, with little to no complications or intervention required.

Another study in the same year found that the consumption of castor oil (an active ingredient in Midwives Brew) lead to a higher probability of active labor within 24 hours of consumption.

Another study, back in 2000, suggested that 60% of women who consumed castor oil went in to labor within 24 hours.

The issue is that there are not enough of these studies, and often the sample sizes are too small to generalise to the wider population.

Is Midwives Brew Safe? What Are The Possible Side Effects?

Is Midwives Brew Safe

Often, the expecting mother may consider Midwives Brew to be safe simply because it is made with all natural ingredient.

However, if you expect the concoction to send you in to labor and delivery, you have to accept that it may come with negative side effects too.

It’s absolutely essential that you speak to a medical doctor before you take Midwives Brew to induce labor. You would also want to wait until you are at least 39 weeks pregnant before inducing labor using any method.

Castor oil, the active ingredient in Midwives Brew, is known to induce labour, however, it is not widely recommended.

This is because castor oil is thought stimulate contractions- unfortunately, it’s also known for stimulating the bowels. Most women prefer not to worry about these digestive issues while they labor.

Additionally, the use of castor oil is associated with severe diarrhea, painful contractions, false uterine contractions, dehydration and nausea.

Some practitioners also consider the use of castor oil to increase the risk of the baby passing meconium in the amniotic fluid, which carries it’s own set of risks.

No matter what you read online, follow the advice of your healthcare provider first and foremost, in order to protect both you and your baby.

What are Other Natural Labor Induction Methods?

Natural Labor Induction Methods

If we’ve put you off castor oil, there are still many other ways to induce labour at home. As with midwives brew, the jury is out on how effective they are, but if you’re keen for a natural delivery without intervention, it doesn’t hurt to try most of them!

Your labor and delivery nurse will be happy to discuss these with you, but, in the meantime, we are happy to share some tips!

Many women swear by long walks, while enjoying some baby making time is probably considered the most effective natural method of labor induction.

Some moms swear by nipple stimulation, while others report that spicy food had them racing to labor and delivery!

No matter what methods you try, do try to relax and have fun- it won’t be long until you have your baby safely in your arms

Midwives Brew: Should I Try It?

The bottom line here is that every mom and baby is different and that it’s crucial that you seek medical advice before trying any labor induction method.

Midwives Brew is widely thought to be very effective, however, there are also side effects that you should discuss with your doctor before proceeding.

Nobody can tell you if Midwives Brew will work for you or what effects the castor oil might have, so really this is a personal decision that needs to be fully thought through before you proceed.

Whatever you decide, we wish you a positive birth experience and a healthy baby.

Don’t forget to come back to us if you’d like any advice on baby names, breastfeeding or diapers!