‘Like made up science’: Smashing potholes to induce labor? Indy couple says it works

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Most Hoosiers are sick of potholes, but one couple on Indy’s near north side says it helped them have a baby!

Stephanie Flittner noticed an increase in her contractions whenever her husband Andrew drove over a pothole. Their first child came a week late, and the Flittners didn't want to experience that again. So the couple hopped in their off-road Jeep Cherokee and spent five hours hitting the worst potholes in Indy.

"The bigger the pothole, it seemed like the bigger the contractions I was having," Stephanie said. "I didn’t know if they were doing anything."

The pair asked for input on social media with people helping them chart a 74-mile destruction course. "One person said, 'Hey drive this route it's great, and there's a great pediatrician on the right-hand side,'" Stephanie laughed. "Some guy planned a route for us, we couldn’t complete it," Andrew said.

The Flittners believe it worked! Their daughter Margot Lynne Catherine Flittner was born the next day on April 1. She was an April Fool's baby born out of a joke.

"Women are willing to do just about anything to get their babies out at the end of pregnancy," said Colleen Downey, co-owner of Indianapolis Doulas.

Doulas assist families before, during, and after pregnancies. Downey said most tricks, like eating spicy foods, don't help  induce labor, but she admits the bumpy driving could push the baby downward causing contractions. However that may be unlikely to cause labor.

"Like made-up science," Downey said. While the science may be unproven, Downey said some tricks can work, like drinking castor oil to help induce labor. But Downey does not recommend it because it can dehydrate the expectant mother during pregnancy. She said the dehydration is what causes the labor to occur. Downey added that sexual activity can also work.

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