Castor Oil Induction? Stronger Contractions? — The Bump
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Castor Oil Induction? Stronger Contractions?


I have heard that Pitocin and other medicinal forms of induction can (and usually do) intensify the pain of contractions, but I wonder if the same is true about Castor Oil inductions?

Anyone know?  I have a MW and she said they don't induce until 42 weeks and I am only at 29w6d so I know I'm jumping the gun, but I am determined to go med free even if I have to be induced with pitocin or anything (of course not being induced at all is my plan).

Thanks for the insight Big Smile

Re: Castor Oil Induction? Stronger Contractions?

  • I was induced at 41w5d with my DS. I took 4oz of castor oil per my midwives. They assured me contractions would not be more intense, and they weren't. I would totally do this again to avoid a hospital induction.
  • I was told not to use castor oil, but I did try all the other natural methods of induction... I went 15 days past my EDD with my first son and 10 days past EDD with my second son.  The first delivery I was induced with Pitocin and I will not lie, it brought on painful contractions, mostly because my epidural only took on one side (and in all fairness they did tell me it was turned as high as it can go because I was showing no signs of moving along).  My second son I did all the natural methods for a second time and it may just be coincidence but I ate tons of fresh pineapple and within 48 hrs. was going into labor on my own and had my son naturally within 15 minutes of arriving in my L&D room!  Hopefully you don't have to deal with any of this, but if you do end up past your due date, please read any methods carefully.  I heard castor oil is a very old suggestion and may be harmful to you and your baby.  But of course, everyone and every midwife/md is different.  GL!
  • I took castor oil (4oz) per my CNM at 41w 5d and had the baby 15 hours later. I had a really fast labor (6 hrs from start to finish) and it was pretty intense but I think that was not related to the castor oil but just due to how quickly my contractions ramped up into full active, hard labor.

    There is some evidence that says castor oil may cause the baby to pass meconium in utero but my understanding is that late babies are more likely to pass meconium anyway so it might be a correlation, not a causation. For what it's worth, my CNM practice has been around since 1983, is pretty conservative and has an incredible track record and they do castor oil inductions regularly.


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  • I took 2oz of castor oil and ds was born 8 hours later. It was my first labor so I had nothing to compare it too, but it wasn't that bad IMO. very fast though, 4 hours. I will definitely go this route again. 
  • I took castor oil and my baby was also born about 8 hours later. My contractions were intense, but I think that had a lot to due with the fact that they started at 2 long, one apart. My labor was just over 3 hours from first contraction to baby in arms. (1st child, so I don't have anything else to compare it to)

  • I took Castor Oil to help get my labor started with my first one. I was induced later on with pitocin at the hospital.

    I dont think the CO did anything except give me very frequent and thin bowel movements which did not make the process anymore enjoyable.


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  • I took 2 tablespoons of castor oil (not sure how many ounces that equals). DS was born about 14 hours later. He didn't have any meconium, but we were only 4 days "late." 

    It definitely cleans you out, but I don't think it made it more painful at all.By the time I was in hard labor, the CO had already worked itself out of my system. I actually liked that it cleaned me out since I was having a homebirth and didn't want poop in my birth pool during pushing! 

    If I need to, I would do it again without hesitation. FWIW. :-) 

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  • Ladies, did you take the castor oil by itself or did you mix it in something? If my doctor starts to talk induction, I would like to try castor oil to see if that can get things going more naturally rather than using pitocin.

    After 2 years of TTC, our daughter was born on Oct 31, 2011!
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  • The backup OB that I saw (our midwives have us get checked out by their backup OB at 41 weeks) suggested I mix in with a milkshake.  McDonald's (2 different locations) milkshake machine was not working, so I made my own with ice cream.  I ended up vomiting it ALL up.  I don't recommend that.  I later mixed it with OJ and in smaller amounts.  I was able to tolerate that.  I first did 2 tablespoons, then 2 more tablespoons an hour or two later.  I went in to labor and had my baby the next morning.  My labor was about 12 hours.  If you choose to do it, just make sure you stay VERY hydrated.  Good luck!

  • image FabulousMrs.P:

    Ladies, did you take the castor oil by itself or did you mix it in something? If my doctor starts to talk induction, I would like to try castor oil to see if that can get things going more naturally rather than using pitocin.

    I mixed 2 oz castor oil with about half a cup slushie (almost defrosted) orange juice concentrate.  

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