Castor oil and pregnancy have a very old relationship. For more than 100 years now, it has been used to induce labor. It is considered to be one of the most effective and safe means for labor induction. This article provides some information the same.
When there were no proper medical facilities, people used to cure themselves with natural herbs like medicinal leaves, fruits, seeds, etc. Castor oil plant was one of those thousand herbs and was used to induce labor. By this, one can understand the significance of castor oil in our life. It is used in inducing labor pain during pregnancy at the time of emergency or if the delivery due date is over. Furthermore, it also helps in stimulating the bowel movement and is considered to be a good skin care agent.
Castor Oil and Pregnancy Induction
Normally, when the due date for delivery comes, the woman gets the labor pain by herself. However, in some cases, even after the 40 weeks of pregnancy there is no sign of labor pain. So for such women, there is a need of inducing labor pain. Castor oil is used for this purpose and hence, castor oil and inducing labor are very much connected to each other. Castor oil is extracted from the castor beans. It is actually a laxative to stimulate bowel movements but this results in cramps and tightening of muscles. These cramps also affect the muscles of the uterus and stimulate contraction which further induce labor. These are the benefits of castor oil and early pregnancy is the stage when one should avoid its consumption as a laxative. It is advised, not to use it before the due date or without consulting the doctor.
How to Use Castor Oil?
It has a very unpleasant taste and odor which may result in vomiting and nausea. To avoid this, one should take it with something which can minimize the effect of its disgusting taste. Here are some ideas for its intake:
- Take castor oil shots as suggested by the doctor and suck lemon immediately.
- Mix the shots with vodka or with milkshake.
- Suck or lick ice before having the shots, so as to make the tongue numb so that you do not get its taste.
- One can also have it with concentrated orange juice. Drink lots of water after having the juice.
- Ice cream lovers can blend ice cream with it.
Is Castor Oil Safe and Effective?
It proves very effective in inducing labor. For some it is effective in just one dose and some may have to take more than two doses. Although this is quite an old remedy for inducing labor, it may not work well with everyone. For some it may result in severe side effects and in some it may be very helpful. Here are some of the side effects:
- It stimulates bowel movement which may lead to excess dehydration.
- Contraction may, in some cases, put stress on the baby also.
- Secretion of meconium which is the first bowel movement of the baby in the amniotic fluid. However, there is no proof for this side effect.
- It may result in vomiting and nausea which can create problem if the labor has started.
- The worst side effect is when the woman is experiencing all the side effects but no sign of labor pain.
Although there are many other ways for inducing labor like pitocin etc., still many people prefer using castor oil. One can easily get this oil from any medical shop, however, it is very necessary to consult the doctor before consuming it.
Disclaimer: This HerHaleness article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.