Thinking of Using Castor Oil to Induce Labor? Think Again!
Castor oil is made from castor bean seeds that are pressed, leaving behind a toxic compound known as ricinic acid. Many women swear by castor oil as an effective "natural" labor induction method, but there are so many dangers that accompany this folk remedy to negate its use by moms-to-be.
Castor Oil to Induce Labor - Does it Work, Anyway?
For the past century, castor oil has been widely used by women at home to start their labor and delivery. The fallacy of its use, however, lies in the fact that it doesn't work to induce labor - unless your cervix is already ripe and ready to go anyway! So the nasty side effects of this remedy (we'll discuss later on in this article) just add to any difficulties that accompany labor in the first place. So, unfortunately, many women who "swear by" castor oil for labor induction were ready to go into labor on their own!
Could Be More Harmful than You've Been Told
In some countries, castor oil is used to cause the abortion of the fetus from a woman's body in unwanted or unplanned pregnancies. In Mexico, women eat the seeds of the castor bean in order to cause permanent sterility. Women in India eat the seeds the day following birth in order to prevent pregnancy for the next nine months.
Perhaps the worst harm that could come from castor oil is to the unborn baby. In those births where this method has been used for labor induction, there seems to be an increase in meconium staining of the amniotic fluid - which can be dangerous for the baby. Drinking castor oil in quantities that is supposed to induce labor, it can also cause strong diarrhea and vomiting in the mother. This is turn leads to dehydration that weakens the birt, and can cause overly-fierce contractions. For these reasons, one must question why a survey of American Certified Nurse-Midwives revealed that as many as 93% of them recommends or use castor oil in labor induction.
Better Natural Way to Induce Labor - Maternity Acupressure
Maternity acupressure is a better way to induce labor at home, and has no unpleasant intestinal side effects and dangerous repercussions that are associated with castor oil inductions. Maternity acupressure relies on varying amounts of pressure and massage to specific pressure points on the mother's body in order to bring labor about. Acupressure has been used for thousands of years, not just for the induction of labor, but also for the relief of pain during labor and delivery.
Maternity acupressure works by helping to ripen the cervix and get baby into the position that he needs to be in for delivery. Mothers who use maternity acupressure during delivery also have a tendency to go through the labor and delivery cycles in a calmer manner which can also assist in a speedier and less-complicated birth. If your due date or estimated delivery date has passed, be sure to speak with your OB or midwife about using maternity acupressure to encourage your labor to start if labor induction for some reason seems necessary.
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