Anecdotal evidence suggests that eating pineapple does not induce labor but instead ripens the cervix by stimulating prostaglandins, notes OBGYN North. However, no scientific evidence exists to confirm the effect of pineapple consumption on the cervix, as of 2015.
Pregnant women purportedly achieve a similar effect by eating licorice, notes OBGYN North. Licorice contains glycyrrhizin, potentially leading to intestinal contractions and mild diarrhea that may cause sympathetic contractions of the uterus, inducing labor. However, definitive research to support this claim does not exist.
In addition, some women report that eating spicy foods sends them into labor, notes OBGYN North. However, research suggests that eating spicy foods may be counterproductive during labor, since capsaicins in spicy food lessen the effect of endorphins, which are natural pain killers produced by the body.