post #61 of 243
4/18/07 at 9:45pm
I did castor oil with DD and I had a qick labour. 9 hours start to finish. No mec. and no dirreahea/sickness on my end. I do think it sped my labour up too fast and didnt give DD a chance to turn but honestly it could have been a variety of things. I did sex, walking, nipple stimulation, jumping jacks , jump rope , cohosh, and was inserting EPO capsules (though much later than most people). I even stripped my own membranes. :
Ewwwwwwwwwww! The ahem, 'standard' way doesn't bother me, but that totally squigged me out.
|"Castor oil has been used safely for years. It is over the counter."
Aspirin has been used safely for years. Aspirin is available over the
counter. Because a drug is available over the counter and has been used
safely in one circumstance does not mean that it is safe to use during
The castor seed contains ricin - 0.2milligrams is a lethal dose. Ricin is
twice as deadly as cobra venom. The side effects of an overdose of castor
oil include diarrhea, liver cell death, kidney failure, convulsions and
shock. So the diarrhea that results from taking castor oil is in fact one of
its toxic effects that is causing this symptom.
There has been no research done to determine a safe level in pregnancy, now
to consider the risks to mother or baby. There have been some small studies
but nothing controlled or large enough to be of real value. Some of the
small studies have found that the risk of meconium staining in babies whose
mothers used castor oil was greater, other studies have found this not to be
So we have a highly toxic drug, no research of value, no information on safe
doseages and conflicting information on risks. This is an intervention.
Using castor oil to start labor is an induction. Only the mother can
determine whether or not the risks are outweighed by the benefits for her.
As others have mentioned, it is the mothers call whether or not she chooses
to use castor oil. But wrapping it up with a pretty ribbon and saying it is
ok because it is natural and not really an induction is just kidding
ourselves, and the mother! We do not know if it is safe, nor do we know if
it is unsafe. Being postdates is not a medical indication for an induction.
There is nothing wrong! An induction carried out because a woman is
postdates with no clinical signs of a problem is prophylactic - choosing to
intervene to prevent something that MIGHT happen.
I am not denying that choices can be extremely limited to women if they go
beyond 41 weeks. It may be that a woman is told she "risks out" of homebirth
because she has gone "postdates". She may decide that she is simply fed up
with being pregnant. It may be that this is a way to avoid an oxytocin
induction with pitocin. But this is still an induction. Let's at least call
it what it is.