castor oil efficacy - Mothering Forums

View Poll Results: did you take castor oil with any of your labors?
yes, i took it at/past my EDD and it led to progressing contractions within 24-48 hours 2 33.33%
yes, i took it at/past my EDD, and while i did go into labor soon after, i'm not sure that's why 2 33.33%
yes, i took it at/past my EDD, and i'm not sure if it had any effect on my labor 0 0%
yes, i took it at/past my EDD and it did bupkiss in the way of labor; i just had diarrhea 6 100.00%
yes, i did take it; it DID jump-start the labor; however, i wouldn't do it again 3 50.00%
no, i didn't take it, for reasons i will elaborate on in comments 3 50.00%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 6. You may not vote on this poll

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#1 of 11 Old 11-28-2007, 08:58 PM - Thread Starter
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i'm just curious as to this board's experience with castor oil. i've read so many various opinions and haven't decided for myself one way or the other but thought i would leave it as a last resort for it if get really desperate.
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#2 of 11 Old 11-28-2007, 09:10 PM
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I used it at almost 6 days overdue.. within 2 hours I started to notice light very spread out contractions that felt a bit diff. from BH's.. 6 hours after taking it I knew I was in labor, he was born 8 hours after the first dose It did have the usual not so plesant side effect but I didn't really mind.. I was desperate LOL. If I went overdue by almost a week again I wouldn't hesitate to use it.

Suzanne~ wife to Jesse, Momma to 3

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#3 of 11 Old 11-28-2007, 11:32 PM
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Didn't use it this last pregnancy, but did try it w/my 1st. Didn't work for me at all.

Alisha, Army wife to Nathan , Homeschooling mama to Scheeli (May 2003) , Bronwynn (Nov. 2004) :, Piper (Nov. 2007) , and Wesley (January 2010)
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#4 of 11 Old 11-29-2007, 01:21 AM
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I tried castor oil twice with my first. The first time was 3 days before my EDD... mostly because it was the night before my father's b-day and we thought it might be fun to have a baby on his b-day (especially since I was born on my grandfather's b-day). I woke up the next morning with extremely consistent ctx... but not progressing at all.

The second time was a week after my EDD and my mother needed to get back to work (she'd already been with us a week, and could only take two weeks off total... I really wanted her there for support after the birth). The next morning I thought my water had broken, so we went to the hospital... they told me my membranes were still intact, but I was in labor. Turns out there was also a thunderstorm that night, and L&D was overcrowded from people going into labor due to the change in pressure. I think the storm had more effect than the castor oil.

My second came 2 1/2 weeks early, so I never had the chance to try again... This time we're hoping to go early, but I'm planning to try other methods before resorting to castor oil again.

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#5 of 11 Old 11-29-2007, 02:32 AM
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Took it at 15 days past EDD with DD. No diarrhea but some contractions started up within 6 hrs. Course I also walked a ton, had a bat & a glass of wine & got out the breastpump for several lengthy sessions. Laboured all thry day 16 past EDD & DD was born at 17 days past EDD.
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#6 of 11 Old 11-29-2007, 02:46 AM
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With my first I took it right after EDD because I was being threatened with a transfer of care and it was my last change to have one of my midwives deliver me before the big deadline. I think I took one tablespoon. It wasn't much really. After about four hours I had one big poop. Had a few contractions. Had an overwhelming feeling this was it and got ready for the birth. Ended up drowsing off for a few hours and woke up in labor basically 12 hours to the minute more or less since I had taken it. I gave birth 12 hours after that.

With DD#2 my mom had arrived to help out with DD#1 after the birth and I really worried about using all that time before the baby was even born. And I had irritable uterus and was just ready to go and thought what the hell. So three days after my duedate I took CO (a bit more than the first time but still not some massive amount either), ate some fresh pineapple and drank a very small amount of black cohosh infused tea. Within 3.5 hours I had a few loose stools. There were more of those effects that time around than the first time with DD#1. I'd say no more than 4 hours after taking it I was definitely in full blown labor. I gave birth almost exactly 15 hours after taking it. And it was one of my most fast moving and intense labors ever. I kept feeling it was too early to go to the hospital because I'd gone from "oh yeah I think I'm in early labor" to "holy shit I'm feeling out of control" so quickly. Was terrified I was going too early. Walked in at 9cms and +1 station. I'd never had a baby at +1 station before I pushed them to that station so that explained why it was a different sensation for me.

I don't know if it's the CO or if taking it tells my body that I'm really and truly ready to have a baby or what but I had a baby twice within 24 hours of taking it and no real ill effects to speak of. I'd do it again in a heartbeat to avoid a chemical induction or the like.
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#7 of 11 Old 11-29-2007, 02:46 AM
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When I took it, I first asked my midwife to instruct me on the correct way to take it. She advised a certain small amount (can't remember now) at regular intervals (can't remember that either) for a certain period of time that I can't remember now.

I went home and took the first two doses, the last one around dinner time. Then I thought to myself "This is silly, my dd is only tomorrow, there is no reason to rush it!" So I didn't take any more and I went to bed around 10pm.

11:30 pm I woke up with the runs and cramping. Sure that it was just an after effect of the castor oil, I dealt with it myself and I was convinced that once my intestines were emptied I'd go back to sleep, but since I had to go to the bathroom every couple of minutes I stayed up and watched tv, running to the bathroom when necessary.

At midnight I heard a pop and my son was born at 1:30am.

I'm thinking that the castor oil was the reason my labor was so quick and it was scary to go that fast. I'm not doing it again. My midwife lives 2 hrs from me now and I don't want to do anything that would cause a super fast birth.
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#8 of 11 Old 11-29-2007, 05:01 AM
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I didn't have to take castor oil with my first-She came over three weeks early. Quite a surprise!

I did have two friends in my birth class who took it when they were almost 42 weeks and it did jumpstart their labors and their babies were born within 6-9 hours or taking the castor oil.

Christy-SAHM to my elf princess(4/06) and my little man (12/07). Married to the love of my life and expecting our pumpkin baby boy 10/09! :
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#9 of 11 Old 11-29-2007, 08:58 AM
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I took it with my daughter on her EDD because *I WAS DONE*. I had a FULL bowel cleaning with it! Not pleasant at all! I had a good bout of false labor that had me running to the hospital. Got sent home. Took castor oil 4 days later to try again--bowel cleansing-false labor-went to hospital-got sent home after an overnight of periodic monitoring. My doctor stripped my membranes--OUCH! never again!-and sent me home to sleep. I slept all night whilst in labor, in denial that I was ACTUALLY in labor, was woken up by my mother who had been timing my contrax as I slept and breathed through them and said it was time to go. Had daughter 2 hours later. Mec in the amniotic fluid, but she was fine.

The bouts of false labor were disheartening, and the diarrhea was some of the worst I have EVER had. Castor oil is NOT NOT NOT NOT NOT my friend and I will never take it again.

Karin, Wife to Dear Sweet English Husband~Soon to be Legally American. Mom to Zach~13, Lily~9, Alex~2, and Izzy or Zeke arriving July 2010! Living a life full of LOVE!
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#10 of 11 Old 11-29-2007, 10:35 AM
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I did it twice with DS, once about a week after my EDD and again maybe 3-4 days later. The first time I got diarrhea within a few hours and had that and somewhat regular but mild ctx for most of the day. Took a nap after dinner in case "this was it" and when I woke up the ctx had spaced way out and even a long walk didn't help them pick back up. Went to the doc a few days later and my cervix had not changed a bit since before the CO.

Second time, I didn't have a thing happen. Not even the diarrhea, and definitely no baby.

So I wouldn't try it again. I am not even tempted at 17 days past due! Especially now that my MW has explained to me more about how/why it works... there was a thread within the last week where I posted about that.

I think your body has to be ready for it to work, and if your body is ready then it's going to happen anyway! Just my two cents.
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#11 of 11 Old 11-29-2007, 11:14 AM
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i took it at the end of week 38 ....

1. it was IMOP not that bad, taseste youcky, but the jucie chaser totally fixed that

2. i took 4 oz and never really noticed anything yes i pooped a few hours later, but it was soft but not expolsove or watery or loose -- like i expected.

3. my contractions DID restart at 12 midnight after taking the stuff at like 8 pm, and pooping around11 .... but i didn't see any real connection -- i had lobored on and off all day anyway ...


no big deal, doesn't really work, just a lot of hype.

however if you ask my sister -- it was totally horrid and wored great

go figure


ps i was told one oz of CO with one or two oz of juice -- take two shots now and 2 shots in 15 to 20 minutes .... repeat in an hour if you want / need ....

Aimee + Scott = Theodore Roosevelt (11/05) and 23 months later Charles Abraham (10/07)....praying for a little sister; the search starts May 2014
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