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Legend Has It That This Spicy Pizza Induces Child Labor

According to a popular rumor among pregnant women, spicy food can help induce child labor, and while that has yet to be confirmed by medical specialists, a pizza place in Charlotte North Carolina has become a popular destination for mothers-to-be eager to bring their offspring into the world sooner.

Hawthorne’s New York Pizza and Bar in Charlotte is considering changing the name of its Buffalo Wings Pizza into “The Inducer” after dozens of pregnant women have credited it with helping them deliver their babies ahead of schedule. Tales of the labor-inducing properties of this medium-hot pizza have been circulating around Charlotte for over half a decade, and some women actually swear by it.

Photo: Hawthorne’s New York Pizza and Bar/Instagram

Charlotte Five recently investigated this local rumor, and talked to some of the women who claim to have benefited from the labor-inducing effects of The Inducer. The latest case involves Henley Schmiedel, whose due date was April 10. On March 31 she had decided that she had had enough of being pregnant and wanted to get it over with as soon as possible. While hanging out with a group of friends, they started talking about the legend of Hawthorne’s pizza, and decided that it was worth a try. They went to the restaurant, ordered the famous pie, and four hours later her water broke.

The legend can apparently be traced back to Ali Aldrich, who in 2010 she was almost due to have her baby. She couldn’t wait any longer either, and having heard that spicy food helps induce labor, she decided to try her favorite pizza, the Buffalo Wings Pizza at Hawthorne’s.

Photo: Hawthorne’s New York Pizza and Bar/Instagram

“Like most women in the last few weeks, I was ready to go,” she told Charlotte Five. “I barely could wait to see my baby girl, who is 6 now.” Ali had the pizza for dinner, went to the hospital that night and gave birth to a healthy girl the next morning. She has been talking about the miraculous effects of The Inducer ever since.

Aldrich is the one who recommended the spicy pizza to Kristin Kogan, who were approaching her due date when she decided to speed things up. Her water broke after finishing just one slice.

Photo: Hawthorne’s New York Pizza and Bar

“I think it’s amazing,” Michael Adams, the owner of Hawthorne’s, said. “When the first person posted that our Buffalo Wing Pizza induced their labor, several new moms followed up to say the same thing. I bet my wife wished she had known about the inducing pizza when she had our two kids at 9 lbs plus.” He’s now considering making the nickname of the pizza its official name.

As far as ingredients go, The Inducer sounds pretty ordinary – a pizza pie topped with mozzarella cheese, grilled chicken and a medium-hot Buffalo sauce – but pregnant women in Charlotte definitely consider it special.

Photo: Hawthorne’s New York Pizza and Bar/Instagram

Research doesn’t support this rumor, as confirmed by Dr. Leslie Hansen Lindner, an Obstetrician Gynecologist with Charlotte Ob/Gyn.

“Most evidence points to a signal from the baby’s adrenal glands—which is released to trigger contractions,” she said. “Spicy foods may cause some digestive upset, which in turn may cause or even feel like contractions, but this most often doesn’t lead to labor, unless the baby has already given the signal. It remains a mystery if this pizza actually works to cause labor.”

It’s too bad vegetarian moms-to-be can’t give The Inducer a try, right? Well, it just so happens that we also found a labor-inducing salad. It’s made at Caioti Pizza, in Los Angeles and it’s apparently just as legendary there as Hawthorne’s pizza is in Charlotte.

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