Any woman who has ever tried to induce labor at the end of a long pregnancy knows the struggle is real. But the owners of one Minnesota restaurant think they've found the perfect recipe to help speed things up — or, at the very least, they've cooked up a pretty tasty marketing stunt.
The Suburban in Excelsior, Minnesota, is now home to a special creation called the "Labor Inducer." The juicy, cheesy meal is already being praised by two locals who claim it helped induce their labor.
Kelsey Quarberg says she was the first to experience the burger's powers this April when the restaurant's head chef was testing new recipes to enter into the Twin Cities Burger Battle. Quarberg, who happens to co-own The Suburban and was nine days away from her due date, tried a sample of the then-unnamed burger.
She certainly wasn't expecting what happened next.
"While we were taste-testing the burgers in slider form, I loved the burger so much that I asked our chef to make me (another) full-sized one," she told TODAY Food. "I figured I was 38 weeks pregnant, so why not indulge? About six hours later, my contractions started."
Soon after, Quarberg gave birth to her first child, a son named Samuel.
At the time, Quarberg thought that her eating the burger shortly before going into labor might have just been a coincidence, but when it came time to name the delicious new dish, she didn't have to look far for inspiration.
"When we were picking a name for the Burger Battle entry we thought the 'Labor Inducer' was a cute name ... but had no idea it would work on anyone else," she said.
Over the summer, The Suburban added the "Labor Inducer" to its official menu. It's made with an angus beef patty, topped with American cheese, spicy Bavarian mustard, a few slices of honey-cured bacon, peach caramelized onions and a Cajun remoulade sauce, all served on a toasted pretzel bun.
In May, Quarberg said it worked its magic on another customer, Katy Engler, who gave birth to a daughter named Elise.
"The second woman came in for a date night with her husband on her due date," Quarberg said. "(Engler) didn’t know about the burger until she arrived, but said she had to order it since it was her due date. She also went into labor at midnight that same evening."
So will bacon and beef really help induce labor?
Dr. Donnica Moore, a New York City-based OB-GYN, previously told TODAY there's no clinical proof that certain foods or herbs will kickstart labor. (If you're past your due date, she did suggest speeding things up with sex or a little nipple stimulation.)
Even though no one food item can officially trigger labor, this isn't the first time women have turned to mythical meals to help get the process started. When she was pregnant with her second child, Hilary Duff tried eating the popular "Maternity Salad" from Los Angeles cafe Caioti Pizza Cafe. It's made with romaine lettuce, watercress, walnuts, pasteurized gorgonzola cheese and a super-secret dressing. Siri Daly also tried the salad and guessed the dressing may be laced with "castor oil, or Pitocin."
And women in the Atlanta area have been turning to an eggplant Parmigiana dish that a local restaurant claims has helped more than 1,000 women go into labor.
The Suburban clearly has a long way to go before it can claim that it's really helped women go into labor, but since they've shared the story of the burger on Instagram, Quarberg said she's seen a lot more pregnant women coming in.
"Suddenly we are the go-to spot for pregnant women in the Twin Cities" she said. On average, the restaurant co-owner says she's seen at least two pregnant women come in a day since she posted a photo of her son next to Engler's baby girl in September.
The cute name and even cuter babies may just be part of a clever marketing stunt but, regardless, the burger looks delicious and even captured third place when it debuted at the Twin Cities Burger Battle.
For now, Quarberg is content enjoying watching other pregnant women try the burger, even if it's just for fun.
"We had several women eat it over the weekend that we are waiting to hear from," she said. "In the long list of things to try to induce labor, eating this burger has been a fun one for women in their last weeks of pregnancy."