Castor Oil to Induce Labor

For many years castor oil (derived from castor beans) has been used for many ailments. It is known for its usage of relieving constipation or inducing vomiting in some cases, which is similar to syrup of ipecac in recent days. Besides that usage, the castor oil has a lot of usage, and one of them is to induce labor. Many people use castor oil to induce labor because it is a bowel stimulant. When the bowels are stimulated, it may cause uterine contractions, in theory. There are many arguments whether this practice is safe or not, read on to learn more that may help you a lot later in your pregnancy.

How Does Castor Oil Induce Labor?

Castor oil stimulates bowel contractions, which in turn causes the body to release prostaglandins. Prostaglandins cause the intestinal muscles to contract. It can also cause uterine contractions because they are the same type of muscle tissue as the intestines, known as smooth muscles. Once the uterine muscles begin to contract, labor has begun. Castor oil can also cause mild dehydration, which can also cause the uterine contractions.

After you take castor oil, you will experience diarrhea in about 2 to 6 hours. Once the diarrhea begins, uterine contractions follow shortly after. When labor begins, the diarrhea tends to subside.

Is It Safe to Use Castor Oil to Induce Labor?

Women have been using castor oil to bring on labor contractions for hundreds of years. However, it has never been proven to be a safe way to induce labor.

Usually, when women are past their due date, they choose to use castor oil. In such situation, babiesinside the moms are more likely to cause meconium inside the amniotic fluid. There is speculation whether meconium is from castor oil or being overdue.

Physicians usually do not recommend castor oil for labor induction because of the risks and sideeffects for both mother and baby. While using castor oil to induce labor is effective for stimulating contraction, there are possible side-effects including abdominal cramping, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting. It can also cause some side-effects for the unborn baby.

Keep in mind that castor oil should never be taken for any reason before the 37th week of pregnancy.The decision on how to induce labor should be left up to the physician under the ensuring of hospital settings.

How to Use Castor Oil to Induce Labor

Castor oil is a liquid that is drank or used in food. The flavor and smell are very pungent and it is often very hard to drink alone straight from the bottle. Many women drink it mixed with another beverage. It can be mixed with fruit juices, put in a smoothie or mixed into any cold food. Castor oil tends to work better when kept cold.

Castor oil is sold over-the-counter and drug stores.The dosage of castor oil ranges from 2 teaspoons to as much as several ounces. It can also vary among different providers. Midwives recommend 2 ounces mixed with another drink to improve the unpleasant taste. The castor oil needs to be taken until bowel cramping is felt. It may be easier to take the entire dose at once then follow it with another beverage for best results. Take some water to wash out the oil that remains in the mouth. Following with a hot beverage like tea can help remove the oil, as well.

After ingesting castor oil, the effects come on within 2 to 6 hours. Cramping lasts for about 1 to 6 hours and then it may take another 5 to 24 hours to start labor contractions. If contractions do not begin within 24 hours, another dose may be needed.

The following video can help you understand how to use castor oil to induce labor:

Castor Oil Recipes

Castor oil is not very easy to drink by itself. Therefore, you can find some castor recipes to improve the taste of castor oil. You can tweak the recipe to your own liking. Always check with your medical provider on dosage, frequency, and the optimal time to take castor oil. For the most part, dosage is one ounce repeated at certain times. Here are some ways to make castor oil taste better:

1.    Smoothies

Putting castor oil in a smoothie can really help hide the pungent oily taste. Mix the appropriate dose of castor oil into a blend of juice, frozen fruit and yogurt. Although, you many need to higher volume fluid, the coldness of the smoothie willmake it easier to flow down to your body.

2.    Shots

Just put an ounce of castor oil into a small glass and “knock it back” all at once. Then follow with a fruit juice chaser of your liking. You can use a hot beverage like tea to help rinse out the oil.

3.    Omelet

Whip eggs together with the castor oil dose. Pour into pan and cook into an omelet. Top with salsa to further disguise the flavor. This is actually a pretty popular recipe, but the heat can reduce the effectiveness of the castor oil.