Mothering Forum banner

Castor Oil Causes Fast Labours?

3370 Views 17 Replies 13 Participants Last post by  Yulia_R
My sil who is also a doula just told me that the doulas in her area are always on alert from the time a women takes castor oil because in their experience it can cause very fast labours in a multip. I never heard this before. Is there any truth to this?
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
nope. it can help start labors, but as far as how long it takes, it's completely individual.
Personally, I took it with my dd (2nd preg) 2 days before my edd. I had ctx for about 5 hours, then nothing. I will never take it again. It was gross and did nothing. ETA: some clients of mine have taken it and nothing has happened with them either.
With my first I was induced at 42 weeks and had a 20+ hour labor.

With my second I decided castor oil couldn't possibly be worse than induction. I took it at 40 weeks 3 days. Started contracting within 3-4 hours, baby wasn't born until 16 hours later. I think I would have been better off waiting for labor to start on it's own.

To any who considers taking it- always stress to take it in the AM after a good night's rest. I took it at 10 pm and got almost no sleep and a long labor.
I didn't think so.

I'm asking because my sil just had a birth that she almost missed and she assumed it was because the mother had taken castor oil. She asked another local doula about castor oil and she told her than in her experience it can cause super speedy labors in second time mothers. The ambulance driver that transported this women to the hospital told her the same thing.
I took castor oil with my 6th (my UC). While it did start labor w/ no problems I didn't feel like it sped thing along, though I did feel like it was quite intense. My labor was about 7 hours long which is about average for me. My ds was 13 lbs so that could have been the reason for the "different" type of labor I had with him. I also had a similar labor with my 7th child, also a big baby (10 lbs 2 oz).
I'm considering it, but I've also heard it increases your chances of the baby passing meconium because it relaxes her bowels too.... does anyone know more about this?
I've heard that too but I the way I look at it- Castor Oil just irritates the lining of your bowels, this causes cramping and releases prostaglandins which causes uterine contractions. Kind of the same idea as eating spicy foods or walking- anything that speeds up the bowel, causes a litlle irritation and prostaglandin release. If that were the case with castor oil I would think the same would be true of everything mom does

Originally Posted by frontierpsych
I'm considering it, but I've also heard it increases your chances of the baby passing meconium because it relaxes her bowels too.... does anyone know more about this?

I've heard this, too, but I think it's mostly related to babies being past their due date. Passing meconium is not a dangerous thing in postdates babies - if there aren't heart tones to point to fetal distress, I don't do anything about the meconium. Babies should NOT be suctioned at birth if they have meconium, too.

But that's another post!
See less See more
I am a castor oil mama- used it with my second under the direction of my midwife and guess what, had an accidental homebirth. So yes, it can cause rapid labor when it kicks in. I took it at 1 pm in the afternoon- contractions started at about 6:20 pm and son was born at 7:28 pm. I was dilated 4 cm when I saw the midwife that morning so I think like all the other remedies, if your body is not ready, it will be an unpleasant experience alone but if you are primed and ready but not contracting, you could be in for a wild ride. My son was fine but I had horrible tearing because he came so fast.
i took castor oil 3 nights in a row b/c i was overdue...when i did go into labor (finally..had contractions forever adn a day before tht), my labor was more than 30 hours long. so i think 1. what i did was stupid and 2. castor oil doesnt cause fast labors.
I admit it, I did it. I was huge 40 weeks and in the Navy, I had an 8 hour watch the next day and just couldn't face it, so I thought to myself...why not give the ol' castor oil a try?

First of all YUCK! What ever you do, don't mix it with OJ, just take it straight, it tastes lke a whole lota liquid lipstick. I took it at about 10 pm and at about midnight I had 1 am my water broke.

I went to the hospital and I was only 3cm...24 hours of pitosin later(double yuck I didn't want it but according to the navy they owned my body and would inject what ever they wanted into it) my big ol' baby came in to this world.

My advice, don't do it unless you are desperate because I really don't think my body was quite ready for labour...I think you should just let nature take it's course. If you can
See less See more
Actually no, they can not force you to accept pitocin, though they may have told you that. What a shame.

Anyways, I would never take castor oil nor would I recommend it to any of my clients. Induction, even with castor oil, is still induction and messing with Mother Nature. I have seen it cause contractions, ineffective ones that wear moms out without enough dilation so end up on pitocen...and c-sections.
This mom was 41+ weeks and had an induction date set. She was trying to avoid pitocin (and it worked!).
I took it with my first pregnancy. I took it around 10 p.m. I woke up at 2a.m. with contractions. My DD was born at 9 a.m. I don't know if it was because of the castor oil or not but I did have a fast labor
The castor oil molecules are too big to be absorbed into the body, that's how they work. They never leave the GI tract, but rather push on through rapidly, so the idea that the baby would get the same effect from the castor oil doesn't hold, however, it could make contractions that the baby couldn't handle causing the baby to pass mec, OR it could be related to the postdates issues that the baby may already be having.

FWIW, I've seen some nasty, long, ineffective labors started with castor oil.

Originally Posted by pamamidwife
...Passing meconium is not a dangerous thing in postdates babies...Babies should NOT be suctioned at birth if they have meconium, too....
Sorry, I feel really bad about going off the topic, but I'm 30 weeks along and therefore, I feel like it's too important info to miss (just in case, you know; I've never heard of it before).
Could you please give me some links on the subject?
sorry, double post.
1 - 18 of 18 Posts