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#1 of 22 Old 05-09-2004, 06:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have a friend due anyday now.....her OB is talking about inducing her since she will be "overdue" this next week.

She would like to try castor oil to avoid it....and of course came to me asking about it.

All I could offer her were bad stories of NICU babies w/meconium passage etc...cause that is all I know.

I have read so much on it and read conflicting advice everywhere.

So for those that have BTDT--what was your experience? How much did you use? how often? what did you do and how did things turn out?

I am not looking for negative stories or "don't do it's" cause I am sure she has made up her mind, and I just want to pass on some good information for her.

Thanks!

oh yeah, and one of my sites lists rubbing it on your belly and placing a hot towel over it..what is that supposed to do?

Jessica-
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#2 of 22 Old 05-09-2004, 06:48 PM
 
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I was trying to avoid an induction too, since I was going for a home birth. I only took one Tbsp. of castor oil (mixed w/OJ) because I was nervous. I went into labor two hours later. I don't know if it had any effect. I had a long 2nd stage, but no meconium at all. BTW, the castor oil didn't seem to make me go either.
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#3 of 22 Old 05-09-2004, 08:47 PM
 
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Okay, no judgements, just the facts. I had been in labor for two days and hadn't begun dilating yet. I was feeling pretty good and baby was doing well, but the midwife wanted to get things going. I took 2 oz. castor oil mixed with orange juice and tequila, basically Susun Weed's recipe from Wise Woman Herbal for the Childbearing Year. About an hour later I became extremely ill with vomiting, severe intestinal cramping, and diarrhea. I gave birth six hours later. Baby did not pass meconium.

You wrote: "I have a friend due anyday now.....her OB is talking about inducing her since she will be "overdue" this next week. She would like to try castor oil to avoid it...."

She could also trying saying "no" to avoid it...
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#4 of 22 Old 05-09-2004, 08:47 PM
 
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Okay, I have to admit I just don't get this.

If the whole idea of rejecting induction is to wait until your body is ready, what is the idea of using castor oil to induce labour?

I've heard lots of horror stories of women getting violently ill, with diarrhea, etc and then having to deal with labour after that has already drained them of their energy.

Why not just wait until nature decides it's time?

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#5 of 22 Old 05-09-2004, 10:37 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Piglet68
Okay, I have to admit I just don't get this.

If the whole idea of rejecting induction is to wait until your body is ready, what is the idea of using castor oil to induce labour?

I've heard lots of horror stories of women getting violently ill, with diarrhea, etc and then having to deal with labour after that has already drained them of their energy.

Why not just wait until nature decides it's time?
Well, a castor oil induction is MUCH different than a pitocin induction. I would imagine that statistically, castor oil has a much lower incidence of problems than pitocin (with all the accompanying interventions) does. Midwives have been using castor oil for centuries.

I used it twice with baby #1, after talking it over with my MW and calling a friend who had done it. I had been in prodromal labor for a week and REALLY wanted to get this show on the road.

I drank 1/3 cup (not sure how many ounces that is ) mixed with root beer on ice. I did get cleaned out, but did not experience the horrible intestinal cramping I was expecting. No labor. I did it again two days later... not much happened. I did a half dose one day later, and while I was still contracting regularly, it didn't move things into high gear like I hoped.

My water broke about 24 hours after the last dose... no meconium. So, it didn't work for me, but aside from the taste, it wasn't horrible.

BTW, in Ina May's Guide to Childbirth, she discusses castor oil. It is used regularly on The Farm, which has probably the best birth stats you will see anywhere. They do it more slowly than I did, with 1 Tbsp mixed with scrambled eggs in the morning, another Tbsp a few hours later, another a few hours later, etc. She says it works well.
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#6 of 22 Old 05-10-2004, 12:25 AM
 
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I tried it three mornings in a row - 2 oz. castor oil, 2 oz. vodka, 4 oz. OJ. It gave me horrible diarrhea and sporadic contractions, but no labor.

Of course, I also tried blue and black cohosh, nipple stimulation, sex, and miles and miles of walking. Still, the baby came when he was ready, 21 days past my due date,and a half hour before my scheduled induction. None of the folk remedies I tried worked, they just made me miserable. The castor oil was by far the most disgusting though.

I have a feeling that pitocin might not have worked either and I would've ended up with a c-section had I given in to the induction pressure earlier.

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#7 of 22 Old 05-10-2004, 03:43 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Piglet68
Okay, I have to admit I just don't get this.

If the whole idea of rejecting induction is to wait until your body is ready, what is the idea of using castor oil to induce labour?
uhm--the whole idea is not to avoid any augmentation of labor...it is to avoid pitocin.

Thanks for the input, I have forwarded some stories and more links to her.

Jessica-
college student and mama to 7 kiddos!
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#8 of 22 Old 05-10-2004, 05:27 AM
 
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I've used castor oil five times in my practice in three years. Of those five times, it only did not work once. The other times there were no issues with meconium. Besides, meconium is not the problem (though in a hospital setting it could cause further problems because of suctioning, x-rays, etc.) - it's fetal distress AND meconium combined. Meconium in and of itself is not a true sign of distress in a baby, especially one due or past the due date. It's fetal distress via heart rate patterns (or lack thereof) that is the problem.

Still, diarrhea and cramping is a hard way to start labor. Luckily, for most moms, the cramping doesn't last long and I make sure they've eaten well and are hydrated before doing it.

Then again, in your friend's situation, I'm likely to say she should wait it out or find a new provider. Easier said, though. Blech. Nothing will make her baby come unless it's ready - and by inducing her based on an arbitrary date, she's at a higher risk for cesarean section due to "failure to progress".
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#9 of 22 Old 05-10-2004, 10:35 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Piglet68
Okay, I have to admit I just don't get this.



Why not just wait until nature decides it's time?

Piglet--

Ideally, many of us would. Just remember that being past due can be a very vulnerable time when our care providers are freaking out. I know that when I was pregnant, I wondered why, after hearing so many times that 38-42 weeks is perfectly normal, my midwife was going nuts, ordering tests (at 6 days past my due date), all of that. More than anything, I wanted to birth at home. Also, It is hard to say no to a scheduled 42 week induction when everyone is so freakin' worried about the baby. I have to say--if my care providers had been more patient, I would have left the castor oil alone. But in the midst of it all, it is hard to ignore the pressure from everyone. I ended up feeling desperate to have that baby before the induction, no matter what I knew about waiting until nature decides.

Something I learned from that pregnancy--to be a better advocate for myself. It also helps to have the confidence from having done it already.
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#10 of 22 Old 05-10-2004, 10:53 AM
 
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thanks for the answers ladies. I hope I didn't sound judgemental, I honestly didn't understand the logic behind this. It makes a bit more sense now, especially after katja's post.

being someone who tends to get diarrhea and cramping very easily (one cup of caffinated coffee sends me into real distress), the thought of taking castor oil sort of freaks me out - especially if I then had to go through labour!!

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#11 of 22 Old 05-10-2004, 01:43 PM
 
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I did it three times trying to get my son's labor started. Technically you could say it worked the third time, since I did go into labor, but I had only one or two sips and poured the rest down the drain.

I almost did it with my second. Dr that was over the midwives would not let me go past 41 weeks because I was vbac. Since they wouldn't induce me, a c-section was scheduled. I went into labor on my own 5 days before the c-section date.

I didnt have the strong cramping, I did get sick to my stomach and have diarreha for about an hour. The nausea lasted a lot longer, but was managable. The first time I did it, I never even got diarreha, I guess I did it wrong.
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#12 of 22 Old 05-10-2004, 01:50 PM
 
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I took castor oil once, not for pregnancy but because of an intestinal problem. I took only 1T. 6 hours later, I spent 4 hours straight essentially dribbling on the toilet, was nauseous for 2 days, and had full-blown diarrhea for a full day, followed by intestinal problems for a week. I would never, ever subject my body to that again.

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#13 of 22 Old 05-10-2004, 06:32 PM
 
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I have used castor oil twice. With my first baby I had been in prodromal labor for a week. My midwives had me drink 4oz with OJ. I had diarrhea for about an hour, then a 2 hour nap, and woke to strong ctx. Babe was born 15 hours after castor oil. I didn't have diarrhea other than the one hour of clean out.

With my fourth baby (2nd and 3rd came 3 and 2 weeks "early") I was a week over again. I took 4oz castor blended with frozen strawberries and malt powder, it actually tasted good. I again spent an hour with diarrhea then went into labor immediately and babe was born 8 hours after castor oil.

Both castor oil babies were well done. My first lost her cord stump before she was even 24 hours old. Neither castor oil baby had meconium. I didn't get painful cramps(other than ctx) or nausea. I never had to make the decision to use castor oil based on threat of induction. Best wishes for a wonderful birth experience to your friend!!

Sarah
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#14 of 22 Old 05-10-2004, 06:54 PM
 
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Castor oil worked for me!
I was 2 weeks "over due", planning a homebirth, and was facing a biophysical profile the following Monday. So on that Saturday morning Dh made me a milk shake...and it tasted GREAT! He put the entire 4oz bottle of castor oil in the blender with some strawberry ice cream and about 1/2 a can of pineaple. By 1pm I got a little diarreah (sp?) but not bad. Only had to go a couple of times. And by this time I started having that warm menstrual cramp feeling. By 9:30 that night I was in LABOUR!!

However...
My water broke at about 10:30pm and there was meconium present but it was very diluted and not chunks.
When my son was born he did have to be aspirated becasue of the meconium risk. I don't think the meconuim was due to the castor oil though. There were alot more factors such as: 2 weeks post mature, 50 hour labor, sudden transverse positioning (resulting in c section) after 3 1/2 hours of pushing. Poor guy had alot of other things that made poop come out of his almost 10 pount little butt.

The bottom line...
I tried everything (except sex but that's a different story ) and nothing worked. Castor Oil did the trick for me. I give it a thumbs up.

Good luck to your friend. I hope she can avoid the induction.

Amy
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#15 of 22 Old 05-11-2004, 03:49 AM
 
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I used castor oil with my first baby. I was 40 weeks pregnant when my water broke, but after nearly 24 hours I still wasn't going into labor. My midwife told me that if I wasn't in labor by the next day, I'd have to go into the hospital to be induced. I drank about 4 oz. mixed with O.J., which gave me diarrhea, but no labor. I tried again after a couple hours and it worked. It was kind of sucky having diarrhea cramps while in labor, but I'd do it again in a second if I were put in the same situation. My son was born healthy without any meconium present. I don't know if the castor oil works for inducing labor unless you're ready. I know someone who tried it near her due date to get the ball rolling and she said it did nothing. I agree with everyone saying it's best to go into labor on your own, but obviously there are certain circumstances that change things. I'd take castor oil over pitocin any day!
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#16 of 22 Old 05-11-2004, 08:55 AM
 
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With my first I was 42 weeks and tried a few doses of caster oil. I pooped my brains out for 2 days but still no labor. I eventually had to have labor augmented by pitocin.....bummer.
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#17 of 22 Old 05-11-2004, 04:17 PM
 
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I had a castor oil "smoothie" after being in slllloooowwwww labor with my first for a day and 1/2. I think it was 2 oz castor oil in OJ, and something else, tasted sort of like a orange julias. gave me terrible cramps, but i get those anyhow from any sort of laxitive (including the prenatal vits that have a "stool softener" in them! eeek! found that out the hard way!). I dont know if it helped my labor along, but it did give me the runs and gas. Lovely. DS was stuck, so there was some meconium, but that was due to his position (hand on his head, elbow out) and the lenth of my labor (2 days... ugh!).... not the castor oil.

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#18 of 22 Old 05-11-2004, 04:30 PM
 
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ok you don't want horror stories...mine is one of those so i won't tell it.

but i will say that i drank about 1/4 c. of it mixed with root beer & ice cream and then repeated it an hour later. so maybe smaller doses would be fine. i would not tell ANYONE to use it after my experience.

hope all goes well with your friend.
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#19 of 22 Old 05-11-2004, 05:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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thanks for all your stories! I have passed it on to her. Her due date was yesterday and so she is making her decision now. Her ob wants to induce her on Friday so she has just a short time.

Jessica-
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#20 of 22 Old 05-12-2004, 12:32 PM
 
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Um, if she doesn't want to be induced she doesn't have to be. She has every right to say "hell no" to this impatient doctor.

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#21 of 22 Old 05-12-2004, 12:52 PM
 
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I used castor oil. I drank 1 oz. and was terribly nauseus for the rest of the evening. Pretty miserable and it did not start labor. I also tried: primrose oil, blue cohash, black cohash, sex, orgasms, swimming, spicy food, bouncing, nipple stimulation, stripping the membranes, foot massage, spinal realignment, long walks and a raspberry tea leaf enema. None of that worked either. I eventually went into labor spontaneously at 15 days pdd. Next time, I hope to just patiently wait until the baby is ready. I have longer cycles, so I think I have later babies too.

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#22 of 22 Old 05-13-2004, 09:54 PM
 
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I used castor oil and didn't have any problems. I had a malpresenting baby and 3 days of active labor for 8 hours and then nothing, active labor, then nothing My midwife suggested it to her apprentice over the phone without checking the position of the baby and the real reason I was crapping out. Anyway, I didn't have a problem with the castor oil, in fact, I credit the recent crapping to my lack of poop as dd descended.

My understanding of the way castor oil works is this- the molecules are too big for your body to know what to do with. You don't really digest it or absorb it, because your body is so freaked out by this thing it can't process that it forces you to evacuate it very quickly. This means that because it doesn't get into your blood stream, it doesn't cross the placenta. It's the stimulation of the lower digestive track that urges labor to progress forward. Which means that an enema can do something similar. The reason I think some babies pass meconium with CO is because starting labor without waiting for baby to let the first hormones fly creates a "hostile" environment for them and starts them out under stress. This is the reason I believe that one of the midwives in the practice I used (J, for those of you who know my midwives and their issues) is so freaked out about past due babies and the way they "tolerate" labor. I don't think it's the past-dueness of the baby that causes the problems, but the stressful environment created when they are pushed to be born.

I think in the right circumstances castor oil can be very helpful, but I consider those circumstances rare. I certainly didn't need castor oil, I needed a big hard baby head on my cervix!
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