Castor oil to induce labor is a highly controversial issue because many people swear by its effectiveness, while doctors and midwives try to convince mothers-to-be that labor-inducing is not safe at all. If you are weeks over the due term and thinking of inducing your labor with castor oil in order to get rid of all those uncomfortable sensations, you should first find out as much as possible about castor oil and its risks.
This article will help you make informed choices about your baby and your health. If you scroll down, you will learn more about castor oil, about the way it works and, most importantly, about the safety concerns.
First of all, let’s take a look at some details regarding the castor oil origin and description.
About castor oil
Castor oil is obtained by extraction form the castor beans or seeds which are native to India. Through that process of extraction, a toxic protein called Ricin is being inactivated, making castor oil safe for use.
The result of the extraction process is a pale yellow liquid with a mild taste and odor.
Castor Oil Uses:
Castor oil is used as an additive and preservative in the food industry, especially in flavoring candy and chocolate. In southern Asia, people make use of castor oil in order to prevent grains from rotting during the year after harvesting. Additionally, castor oil is extensively used in the manufacturing of soaps, perfumes, pharmaceuticals, inks, paints, nylon, brake fluids, and lubricants.
Apart from these manufacturing uses, castor oil has been used as a natural remedy for thousands of years. It can relieve constipation, it can alleviate arthritis, rheumatism, back pain, menstrual pains, stomach aches, it can treat acne, scars, skin ulcers and prevent premature aging.
Additionally, it has anti-bacterial properties that inhibit the growth of bacteria and viruses in your body.
Castor Oil to Induce Labor:
Many people advocate that castor oil can be a very good alternative to natural labor-inducing, together with other methods such as spicy food, long walks or primrose oil. However, none of these methods have been studied enough in order to prove their effect upon labor.
How does castor oil work?
The common belief is that castor oil acts as a laxative, causing intestinal cramps which are later on transferred to the uterus. In this manner, the uterus is stimulated and starts contracting, labor is induced.
Women who are past their due term for giving birth, start feeling uncomfortable, experiencing back pains, bloating, thinking that their baby is in distress. For this reason, they turn to these alternative methods of inducing labor, even against medical advice.
On mommy forums and blogs, a great number of mothers confess to having used castor oil to induce labor successfully. They actually give some recipes with respect to the mixture that should be ingested for the proper effect.
Many of them mixed one tablespoon of castor oil with a glass of fizzy juice (Pepsi or Cola) to decrease a bit the laxative effect of the oil. Others mix castor oil with smoothies for a more pleasant taste.
However, there are serious safety concerns that should be taken into consideration before turning to castor oil to induce labor.
If you are over 40 weeks of pregnancy, but you don’t show any sign of labor, castor oil may provoke diarrhea and dehydration. If you take it, you might end up feeling serious contractions, but your cervix might not be ready for giving birth. This may cause great distress for the fetus, accelerating its heart rate and putting its life at risk. This is the reason why many doctors do not recommend castor oil to induce labor.
Some mommies who used castor oil claim that they regret the choice because it interfered with the labor in a dangerous way, making the contractions a lot stronger than they would have normally been.
It is very difficult to make such a choice when your baby might be affected by it. Therefore, if you decide taking castor oil to induce labor, try to make an informed decision and be aware of all the risks. Check it with your doctor!