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how long does castor oil take to "work"?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
As I'm coming up on 42 weeks, I'm looking at ways to avoid pitocin...
I have tried acupuncture, nipple stim, walking, cohoshes...
I'm 80% effaced and a bit dilated, and the baby is head down at 0 station, so I'm not sure why she's not ready to come out. :

Tomorrow might be the day I bring out the "big guns," which is to say, nasty nasty castor oil.

My questions is this:
How long after you take it are you in active labor? I have heard some scary stories about it being like 2 hours til pushing the baby out...

Does anyone have any personal, anecdotal information about how long it took?
(Yes, I do realize that it won't work at all if the baby is still not ready.)

Should I tell my husband not to go to work that day?
I am hoping for a nice long labor.... it's my first baby... I just want to get it started.
post #2 of 12
I don't have any experience with castor oil but I wanted you to know I've missed you in the Feb DDC. I understand not posting there much at this point but I've been thinking about how you're doing. Here are some labor vibes for you! : Best of luck getting this little one out of the great home you've provided him/her!

P.S. I love the sig!
post #3 of 12
The 2 hour labors are a result of overdose. Take 2 ounces, repeat with another 2 ounces in 4 hours. You should be having contractions by 6-8 hours after the first dose.
post #4 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by nashvillemidwife View Post
The 2 hour labors are a result of overdose. Take 2 ounces, repeat with another 2 ounces 4 hours. You should be having contractions by 6-8 hours after the first dose.


Thank you!!
That is good to know. Excellent.
Although-- I think I might have just had some bloody show, so.... hopefully, it won't be necessary. :
post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sarahn4639 View Post
I don't have any experience with castor oil but I wanted you to know I've missed you in the Feb DDC. I understand not posting there much at this point but I've been thinking about how you're doing. Here are some labor vibes for you! : Best of luck getting this little one out of the great home you've provided him/her!

P.S. I love the sig!
aw, really???? i tend to think that people don't even know i exist!

and yes, it's a bit depressing being what seems like the LAST pregnant person in a DDC.... . thank you for the vibes!
post #6 of 12
I took castor oil with DD. I was also 42 weeks. It didn't do anything to me except give me horrible diahrrea and intestinal cramps and a few contractions. It's gross, and I have heard SO many people say it didn't work for them.

FWIW, I blended 2 oz with orange juice, then waited two hours, and took the same again. It seriously made me want to vomit! I don't think it's worth it!

I don't think you need to tell your DH not to go to work. I think it works in something like 25% of women.

You'd probably be better off having your DH stay home from work and have sex like 5 times! Seriously! Amd it would be whole heck of a lot more pleasant!!


ETA: I'm sure you already know this, but try everything to avoid induction. Especially avoid AROM (having the doc/midwife rupture your membranes). Both of these interventions raise your chance of a c-section. If they schedule you for an induction you don't have to go. GL and I hope you go into labor tonight!!
post #7 of 12
I took two ounces and about twelve hours later I was having regular contractions.
post #8 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by AugustineM View Post
I think it works in something like 25% of women.
I don't think this is accurate. Where did you come up with that number? I know a lot of women just take it without consulting their care providers so there's not a lot of consistency. In my experience as a midwife it works most of the time, but I also have them take it in conjunction with sweeping the membranes and massaging borage oil into the cervix. Even before I started doing these other things the success rate of the dosage I previously posted worked much more often than just 25%.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1...?dopt=Abstract
"RESULTS: Fifty-two women received castor oil and 48 were assigned no treatment. Following administration of castor oil, 30 of 52 women (57.7%) began active labor compared to 2 of 48 (4.2%) receiving no treatment. When castor oil was successful, 83.3% (25/30) of the women delivered vaginally."

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1...ubmed_RVDocSum
"RESULTS: There was a significant increase in labor initiation ratio in the castor oil group compared with the control group (54.2% compared with 4.3%, p<0.001). Also, the mean bishop score in the castor oil group increased from 2.50 +/- 1.29 to 6.79 +/- 3.20 (p<0.001)."

Yes, it's nasty, and if you just take it by yourself without any other help from your care provider looks like it's got about a 50/50 chance of working, but (listen up): studies have also found that even if castor oil fails to put you into labor it greatly increases the chances that the subsequent hospital induction will succeed and prevent you from getting a c-section.
post #9 of 12
IMO- castor oil is going to give you intestinal cramps and diahrrea-- not contractions. Though it may help if your bowels are empty, in which case an enema is much more gentle

But, I would say keep hubby at home and have as much sex as possible- semen helps to dialate your cervix (and, well, freaky-but-true, the "cream" they use in the hospital is.... pig semen)...

Now if the option were c-section or castor oil, I'll take castor oil, thank you very much.
post #10 of 12
I took castor oil with my DS. It took me drinking it two nights in a row to start labor. The 1st night, I took 1 tbs and about 4 hrs later it cleaned me out (and all was fine by morning). I think I had contractions all the next day, but kept myself too busy to notice. The second night, I took 1 oz and 4 hours later, instead of diarreah, my water broke. DS was born 11 hours later. I mixed it with orange juice and it tasted fine but left an oily film in my mouth.
post #11 of 12
Do you have a midwife who can give you a herbal labor tincture or something? That might help.
post #12 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ~*~MamaJava~*~ View Post
Do you have a midwife who can give you a herbal labor tincture or something? That might help.

Already tried it.
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