TitleWhat started your labor? Responses from mothers in the third pregnancy, infection, and nutrition study.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsBovbjerg, ML, Evenson, KR, Bradley, C, Thorp, JM
JournalThe Journal of perinatal education
Date Published2014 Summer

Many behaviors and substances have been purported to induce labor. Using data from the Third Pregnancy, Infection, and Nutrition cohort, we focus on 663 women who experienced spontaneous labor. Of the women who reported a specific labor trigger, 32% reported physical activity (usually walking), 24% a clinician-mediated trigger, 19% a natural phenomenon, 14% some other physical trigger (including sexual activity), 12% reported ingesting something, 12% an emotional trigger, and 7% maternal illness. With the exceptions of walking and sexual intercourse, few women reported any one specific trigger, although various foods/substances were listed in the "ingesting something" category. Discussion of potential risks associated with "old wives' tale" ways to induce labor may be warranted as women approach term.