Castor oil is often used by woman and midwives to induce labor without medical interference.
Why Does Castor Oil Work to Induce Labor?
Castor Oil stimulates the bowels which in turn stimulates the uterus (resulting in contractions) within 2 to 6 hours after drinking it.
How to Use Castor Oil:
Pregnant women are typically instructed to take 2-4 oz. of the oil, mixed with equal parts juice. Or, you can take it straight with a chaser. Come on ladies, it is the only kind of shot you will be taking this pregnancy, go big or go home!
Reasons Why Some Women Choose Not to Use Castor Oil:
1. Castor Oil can and has caused many women to have severe diarrhea during labor. As we know, labor is already painful and messy, adding diarrhea means more of the messy.
2. Castor Oil can bring on severe cramping that does not always lead to labor. Many pregnant woman are already in enough pain and adding to this pain with no end result (other than a few trips to the bathroom) is not always worth the risk.
3. For some, Castor Oil brings on contractions that are stronger and more painful than usual.
4. Castor Oil will occasionally bring on strong contractions that eventually stop because your body or baby is not ready, which may result in the use of pitocin or a C-section to deliver your baby.
My personal experience with Castor Oil:
I tried Castor Oil….three times. All three times were unsuccessful. The first time, I took two ounces straight, chased with orange juice. Afterward, I went for a two mile walk, did about 100 squats, and began getting cramps 4 hours later. “This is it!!!!” I thought. My cramps continued for about 3 hours, and just as I thought labor and contractions were beginning…they stopped. The second time I tried it…I took 4 ounces straight, chased with orange juice. I skipped out on the exercise and sprawled out on the couch for a few episodes of The Baby Story on TLC. One hour later, I had some severe back pain and cramping that I thought would lead to contractions. Instead, they led me to an hour spent on the toilet, cleaned out bowels and a bad after taste. Apparently, I was not ready to give up yet…I am certainly a stubborn pregnant woman. 3 days later at 39 weeks, I tried 3 more ounces….without any action whatsoever. So, would I do it again in desperation? Maybe. But I have never been one to truly learn my lesson.