(EXCELSIOR, Minn.) — As many as five women per day are visiting a Minnesota restaurant that has on its menu a cheeseburger named the “Labor Inducer,” according to the restaurant’s co-owner Kelsey Quarberg.
Quarberg, who owns The Suburban in Excelsior, Minnesota with her mom and sister, is the reason the bacon and cheese-topped burger got its name.
She was just over one week away from her due date with her first child last April when she and her mom and sister were sampling sliders made for an upcoming local burger competition.
Quarberg liked this particular burger so much she asked the chef to make her a regular-size version.
“That was literally the last thing I did before I went into labor,” said Quarberg, who finished eating the burger around 8 p.m. and started feeling contractions around 2 a.m.
Quarberg gave birth to her son Sam on April 10 and the burger — an Angus beef patty topped with honey-cured bacon, American cheese, peach caramelized onions, spicy Bavarian mustard and spicy Cajun rémoulade on a butter-and-salt-flavored pretzel bun — got its name.
“We knew that was the burger we wanted for the burger battle because it was the most delicious and we were trying to name it,” Quarberg told “Good Morning America.” “We were thinking of German names because of the mustard on it and we kept just coming back to this funny idea of it being the ‘Labor Inducer’ so we kept it.”
Quarberg and her family saw it as a funny coincidence that she had gone into labor so soon after eating the burger until the end of July when Katy Engler came into the restaurant with her husband and their newborn daughter Elise.
Engler, also a first-time mom, went into labor with Elise in mid-July just after eating the Labor Inducer at The Suburban. She and her husband went to the restaurant for the first time on her due date, July 12th.
“When we walked in they had a sign about [the burger] and it felt like a sign from the universe,” she said. “I had no idea they would have that there.”
Engler had gone to her 40-week doctor’s visit the day before and was told she showed no signs of labor. Since her doctor would not induce until 41 weeks, Engler said she went to dinner resigned that she would be pregnant for another week.
Instead, she ate the Labor Inducer that evening and, just like Quarberg, started feeling contractions about six hours later, around 2 a.m.
She went to the hospital and gave birth to Elise on July 14.
“At the time [of Elise’s birth] I was just tired and in pain but later on we couldn’t help but think it was an interesting coincidence,” Engler said. “So a few weeks later we went back to the restaurant with our parents and Elise.”
The Suburban shared the two birth stories on social media and pregnant women have been coming in ever since, according to Quarberg.
“We were eating there last night and every time we looked at the door a very pregnant woman would walk through,” she said. “Statistically, if women are coming around their due date, it’s got to have happened more.”
While there is an old wives’ tale that eating spicy food — like the two sauces on the Labor Inducer — could cause contractions and induce labor, an OB-GYN told Good Morning America earlier this year there is “no evidence whatsoever” for that theory.
Quarberg said she has thought that maybe just eating some “good greasy food” prompted her body to say, “Let’s do this.”
Engler said whether or not there is actual science to back up whether a food can induce labor, she understands on a very personal level why pregnant women are willing to try the Labor Inducer.
“I think at the very end of pregnancy, especially anyone who has gone up to their due date or after, is pretty desperate, at least I was,” she said. “I think people will try just about everything as long as it’s safe and this is a fun and delicious thing to do.”
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