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Castor oil to induce labor? - Page 2

post #21 of 31
Hi there- I used castor oil and I have a mixed opinion of it.

On the positive side, my mebranes ruptured and I was put on a 24 hour clock for homebirth. After 7 hours of no contractions, my midwife suggested castor oil. I really really wanted to have this baby at home. 2 hrs after drinking a horrible glass of co and orange juice I went into active labor. And 9 hours later my husband lifted Eli onto my belly. It was a beautiful, wonderful birth.

On the negative side, I was sick, sick, sick for 2 days after the birth. I had chills, soft bms, and I was too exhausted to enjoy the bliss of having Eli in my arms. Eli was totally healthy and we had no meconium staining, so I feel very lucky.

After reading the post with all of the medical information about the dangers of co I felt like I wish I'd known more, but also relieved that I did what I did. Elis birth was so wonderful, and without co I would likely have landed in hospital.

I would not use co except to avoid pitocin or medical induction.

Best luck to you
post #22 of 31

castor oil

I swore that I would warn others about castor oil after my son nearly died after birth. I don't want to scare you, but please reconsider using castor oil. At 41 weeks I was given one more week to go into labor in order to give birth at the birthing center. My midwives suggested castor oil and I made the decision to use it. I was up all night with the most severe diarrhea AND severe pains and cramping in my entire abdomen. I was truly scared because my son didn't move at all that night. My body was experiencing total trauma from the oil. I went into labor less that 24 hours later. At the birth center my water broke at 8cm--full of chunky meconium. We had to continue our birthing at the hospital. I was severely dehydrated and needed iv fluids for a short time. (The birthing was still beautiful and amazing, though) My ds was born full of his own poop, and put on a respirator for 2 weeks. He was touch and go the first night. He definitely would not have made it had we not gone to the hospital. We couldn't hold him until he was a week old--that includes breastfeeding.
I truly believe that my body being in trauma from the oil caused him to go into distress, pooping his meconium in utero. We have no proof, but I don't need any. I don't want to encourage intervention, but my friend had prostaglandin gel on her cervix and that helped her to go into labor without pitocin.
My sincerest best wishes to you. Please let us know what happens.
post #23 of 31

What about nipple stimulation?

9 years ago when I was 8 days overdue with ds, I tried nip stimulation to start labor. I was desperate. This birth was a VBAC and the OB was threatening me with a repeat C-sect. I sat watching TV for about an hour or two (can't remember exactly how long), stimulating my nipples. Nothing happened, so I went to bed. A few hours later, I woke up in labor.

I also tried castor oil with my fourth baby. I had no idea that it was dangerous. My midwife said it was safe, although she didn't specifically recommend it to me. I was 7 days overdue and dh's work kept calling and saying "Did your wife have her baby yet?" (He had taken family leave, starting on my due date and they kept trying to get him to come back into work.) I was so sick of work calling that I downed some castor oil and was in labor 2 hours later. It was a long and difficult labor, although I don't think the contractions were any more painful than those I experienced in my other labors. I don't blame the castor oil for the difficult labor. My midwife felt the problem was that my uterus was "tired" from having been through so many pregnancies and that there was so much room in my pelvis that the baby had too much room. For most of the labor, he was lying sort of sideways and his head wasn't putting any pressure on my cervix to help it dilate. If I were to get pregnant again, I would not take castor oil.
post #24 of 31
Another great alternative to pitocin is a pill called Misoproctal (not sure of spelling). With dd #2 I was induced this way, I was 11 days "overdue" and so tired of being pregnant. It is a tiny pill that my midwife put in my cervix to get labor started. I had my first dose, half a pill, at 9:00 in the morning, then a whole one around noon, (labor was slowly starting but it was not painful, felt just like all the false labor I had been having), at 4:00 she came back but instead of giving me another dose she suggested breaking my water. So after careful thought I let her, it was the better alternative to having to start pitocin. After she broke my water the next contraction was very painful, I remeber looking at dh and saying ok this isn't fun anymore. Within less than an hour and a whole three pushes dd#2 was born! (dd#1 was there to watch her sister being born, it was so amazing!) It was shocked how I went from 4 cm to pushing in about 45 minutes. My body was really ready to have her once labor got going I guess. I don't feel that misoproctal caused me to have a intense labor or made it anymore challenging. There were no side effects and everything went really smooth.
post #25 of 31


Dear rocketmom,

Misoprostal is the generic term for Cytotec. http://www.rxlist.com/cgi/generic/misopro.htm Mothering has recently published an article about the dangers of inducing labor with this ulcer drug.

I'm very happy and relieved that your pregnancy ended peacefully.

For more information about Cytotec (Misoprotal) look here:


Even the company who manufactures this drug (Searle) has asked doctors to stop using it to induce labor.

Re:Cytotec® (misoprostol)

Dear Health Care Provider:

The purpose of this letter is to remind you that Cytotec administration by any route is contraindicated in women who are pregnant because it can cause abortion. Cytotec is not approved for the induction of labor or abortion.


Serious adverse events reported following off-label use of Cytotec in pregnant women include maternal or fetal death; uterine hyperstimulation, rupture or perforation requiring uterine surgical repair, hysterectomy or salpingo-oophorectomy; amniotic fluid embolism; severe vaginal bleeding, retained placenta, shock, fetal bradycardia and pelvic pain.
post #26 of 31
That cytotec & pitocin stuff is really scary.

I was 'overdue' with both my babes, and had a hard experience with second. My 4 yo guy's appendix burst on baby's due date & we had to be in the hospital for 10 days. I was uptight & dealing with sh*tty hospital staff--not conducive to relaxation! We joked about maybe having to rush home FROM the hospital if I went into labor! But really, I was scared.

After 15 days overdue, I had an ultrasound under the stipulation that I did NOT want to be admitted or pressured. Everything was fine. We started a schedule of alternative floral extracts & GOLDENSEAL tincture at 9 a.m--every half hour, alternating two droppersful.

The only problem was that my sac was so tough & old, it wouldn't break. It was almost 1/6 inch thick.

Contractions started within 4 hours, Labor at 8 p.m., Baby Maya born at 12:22 a.m. AT home. No puking or excessive pooping--really nice & easy.

My placenta had a few broken vessels--signs that it was getting ready to deteriorate--I was glad we gave her a push!
post #27 of 31
Just thought I'd put my experience with castor oil into the mix, for what it's worth:

My water broke three weeks before my due date. I didn't have consistent contractions almost 24 hours after it broke, so my Bradley instructor and my doula both told me about castor oil. I don't think they knew of any danger and I certainly didn't - so I took this "cocktail" of castor oil, OJ, and half a shot of vodka. I was very determined to avoid pitocin which I knew my doctor would be pushing as soon as I went to the hospital and told her when my water broke.

Anyway, it went just fine. I went into real labor about an hour after the castor oil and ds was born about 7 hours later. The diarhea for me was only at the beginning of labor and not too much - and there were no other side effects that I noticed.

Next time around I'll have to do a lot more research about it - last time my ignorance was bliss!
post #28 of 31
I used castor oil, and all it did was make me poop my pants.
Sex, nipple stimulation, uterine massage, 4 mile hikes...none of it worked. Baby was born via c-section in a hospital at 42 weeks. His cord was wrapped around him 5 ways and he wasnt able to decend. If the baby isn't ready to come yet,you can't force it.
post #29 of 31


I know that some of you have used Castor oil before. But I want to tell you that just because it worked with your previous children does not mean it will work with your current pregnancy. The reason why Castor Oil causes induction is because it is a toxin, it is a posion to the body and your body freaks out along with the babied body. I just want to say that I know a woman that did take castor oil with her children, the first two and no real problems. but the third child was killed, it stopped the baby's heart in utero and the baby was born stillbirth.

Please do not risk it just to speed it up.
post #30 of 31
It's so great to read this thread.

I had castor oil during labor - horrid mw at birth center recommended it (didn't realize she was horrid until much later and discussions w/other mamas). She gave me at least 4 oz. in a big paper cup - I cheated and didn't quite finish it. I had horrible, horrible cramping, uncontrollable diarrhea (?) for days AFTER my daughter was born, and it completely ruined any chance of my hypnobirthing technique working because I was rushing to the bathroom every 10 minutes or so.

Despite the supposed labor-intensifying effects of co, I hardly dilated at all in 18 hours (I came in at 4 cm and left at 4 or 5 cm, depending on which mw examined me) and they transferred me to the hospital (I came in with rom - or rather, leaking membranes)... Toward the end, there was meconium staining, and I was incredibly dehydrated. Dd's heartrate was too high and then dropping w/each contrax. A dr. used forceps, and then dd was taken away and kept away from me for a good 15 minutes so the drs and nurses could "work" on her. It turns out she was completely, totally fine and healthy - cord was wrapped around her shoulder and the co probably caused her to poop, but other than that she was just fine. I so wish I had known more - spent time LEARNING more - about co before I went into labor! The birth of my 6 mo daughter is something I still grieve intensely; next time I plan to birth at home, NOT use co, and even if my membranes begin leaking (as they did w/ dd - it was not a complete rupture - another mw in the hospital actually broke them with a hook when they started the pitocin), I will wait to have ANYONE check me internally until I am in active labor - which didn't happen on my own, ever, with dd.. but I'm sure it would have eventually. Doesn't Ina May Gaskin say, "there is no such thing as a stalled labor"?

It appears to me that although co has worked well for some people, the toxicity and potential side effects make it unacceptably risky. That is just my opinion!

Thanks to all for an informative thread!
post #31 of 31

I was wondering if there is any cases of castor oil induction causing excessive bleeding?

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