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I've heard a lot of mixed things about castor oil... some think it's okay to use it, and some have say there are a lot of risks. I'm really not sure what to think.

Additionally... if it IS safe -- where would you get some?
 

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well, I don't know about any real "risks", there are some potentially unpleasant side effects including prolonged diarrhea, nausea and intestinal cramping.

Ideally, I wouldn't try it unless I really had to. Some women take it and they clean out their bowels and labor starts and all is well. Others have a much harder time and end up really dehydrated and sick of the cramping with no labor. I would only do it if I was at least at my due date - instead of risking a baby that may be a bit too early or not ready to come out for whatever reason (positioning, etc.).

Castor oil is often found in drugstores by the enemas.

Here's more information from a homebirth midwives email list: http://gentlebirth.org/archives/natinduc.html#Castor
 

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I have heard of anecdotal stories of increased incidence of meconium in the amniotic fluid, but that's the only really concerning thing I've heard. I'd never ever ever try castor oil again myself, though - I got to puke and poop all day when my midwife talked me into it, and still no labor until the next day, after everything had calmed down. I think I would rather have rested the day before the birth, yk? It was gross and awful!
 

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It may cause the baby to 'go' too. My MW didn't recommend it. I went 2 weeks past my due date.. gave birth to an almost 12 pound baby and only after about 4 hours of labor. Personally I would let mother nature take its course.
 

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I did it with DD when I was 1 week late and after 3 days of prodromal labour which had stopped about 30 hours before. I was still contracting before I took the castor oil about 1-2 times per hour so my body was definitely ready to do something.

I did a creamsicle...1 cup orange juice, couple spoonfuls of vanilla icecream and 1.5 ounces of castor oil...blend till creamy and chug.

I started contracting within 5 minutes and they came every 5 minutes right from the get go. The contractions were REALLY strong right from the start and I gave birth to my DD about 5 hours later. I kind of wonder what my labour would have been like if I had left everything alone but I was VBACing and didn't want to have the increasing interventions that I had with my DS so I wanted her out ASAP.

She was perfect in every way


Steph
 

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My Mil told me yesterday is was 'dangerous', but couldn't tell me any mor than that. I am considering using it ONLY if somehting like last time happens. My membranes ruptured and I was induced, and we tried for 2 days to get contractions to start. I hadn't heard about the meconium thing, so I guess that's a risk. It doesn't sound fun, but who wants pitocin?
 

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I have heard lots of nasty things about castor oil. I 2nd what Pamela said and not even think about that unless it was at LEAST my EDD, and even then, I'd be hard pressed to actually use it.

I have heard that while it's not technically toxic, it can cause meconium spillage in the amniotic fluid, and that's not a risk I'd be willing to take.
 

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what I read in one of the links above was that it was unlikely that CO would be able to get into the baby's digestive tract, and that the passing of meconium probably had more to do with those babies being past their edd than the oil itself. However, there where some other suggestions for induction. My dh really liked the idea that prostaglandin worked better when taken orally!
 

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I took it with my last pregnancy ~ I was one week late and Dh was headed out of town the next day if I didn't go into labor...also was having contractions on and off. I took the whole 4 oz. with an oj slush combo---just shot the co and chugged the oj. It wasn't that bad really. Took it around 12:30pm. It cleaned me out within the next couple of hours...went walking for the rest of the afternoon and had my son at 7am the next morning.
 

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I haven't read any of the other replies yet so I apologize if I repeat any thing.

With dd I was a bit over 2 weeks past due. My midwife gave me the ok to try castor oil at 40 weeks or so. It was awful! I had stomach cramps and diarhea all day long. And I didn't go into labor for two more weeks. Any way, my point is that the babe will come out when s/he's ready. This time around I will not be trying anything to get the babe to come befores/he is ready to come out on it's own.
 

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I think that taking co is a personal choice. One question you may want to ask is why would you take it? Is there a true medical reason to induce? What are your other options? How does the risk of taking co compare to the risk of pitocin induction. Surely if you read the pitocin package insert, you'd go with castor oil first. I was induced with #1 and am now at 42 weeks with #2, but will not do castor oil internally unless there is a medical necessity. I'd sure like to be more comfortable, sure like to hold my baby, sure like to shut everyone up who keeps asking about when, but those aren't good enough reasons to use it for me.
 
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