Saturday, August 3, 2013

Labor Inducing Pregnancy Pizza

Here's the story of my labor inducing "Pregnancy Pizza".

When I was nearing the end of my pregnancy with Asher, I was very afraid of going over 40 weeks and ending up having to be induced in the hospital. So, I tried to find what information I could on safe ways to "naturally" induce labor to help get things moving along.

Among the various tips, tricks, and "labor inducing foods" I found were:

  • Going for walks
  • Sitting on an exercise ball (supposedly helps move the baby into position)
  • Eat Pineapple (pineapple promotes the production of prostaglandins which ripen the cervix)
  • Eat eggplant or, even better, eggplant parmigiana

I did all of the above. Starting at 38 weeks (because these things can take time), I ate pineapple like it was going out of style. Same with eggplant parm. I ate it in sub form. Mmmm. With a husband in the Italian restaurant business, I had to find out why eggplant parmigiana was on the list. I had this food on speed dial, but if it was simply a myth, the last thing I wanted was to be dealing with nightly heartburn from the tomato sauce along with all of the other wonderful last-week-of-pregnancy discomforts.

It turns out that the oregano and basil in the red sauce have both been known to stimulate uterine contractions. At 39 weeks pregnant, that's all I needed to know. I called John up that evening and told him to bring home a Margherita pizza with EXTRA oregano and basil.

That night, contractions started! They were inconsistent and very far apart, but they were happening (and painful). It lasted throughout the next day when I had some leftover basil and oregano laden pizza for lunch. That night, I had him bring me another "pregnancy pizza". The painful contractions were still happening, but some were up to an hour or more apart and some would only last a few seconds. I heard stories all the time about people thinking they're going into labor and then it just STOPS. So I figured this was inevitably going to stop, too. The following evening, after a leftover pizza slice for lunch, more increasingly painful and now consistent contractions, I was heating up a slice for dinner and my water broke! (This was 6pm on a Friday that I had to call John to leave the restaurant and come home immediately. Talk about timing!)

To make a long story short, Asher graced us with his presence at 5:59am the very next morning. He was 6 days early.

It's hard not to contribute the start of my labor to the magical "Pregnancy Pizza". We'll never know if that's what truly got things moving. As tasty as that pizza is (I'm having him bring me one home right now), it's a seriously delicious myth to bust.

If you live near Melbourne, FL, go to San Remo Italian Restaurant and ask for the "Pregnancy Pizza".



  • 14oz pizza dough (homemade or store bought for 16" pie)
  • 1/3 cup pizza sauce
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon of oregano
  • 2 large tomatoes, sliced
  • 1/2 cup Mozzarella cheese, fresh or shredded
  • 10 fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil

Pre-heat the oven to 550 degrees or as high as your oven will go. Use a pizza stone to prepare and cook the pie.

1. Knead, roll and stretch the dough to 16" in diameter and 1/8" thick.

2. Spread the pizza sauce on the dough lightly and evenly, leaving a 1/2 inch or so along the edge for the crust. Sprinkle with the garlic and oregano. Top with sliced tomatoes. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese (or if using fresh, arrange the cheese slices along with the tomatoes) then the basil.

4. Cook the pizza for 10 minutes or until golden brown.

5. Carefully remove pizza from the oven and drizzle with the olive oil. Cut into 6-8 slices. Enjoy!

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