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  1. #1
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    Default *possible trigger* Castor Oil

    This post popped up in my Facebook feed today, and it got me wondering about castor oil being used in late pregnancy.
    IMG_1482934769.900442.jpg
    When I was pregnant with DD1, my DH's grandma told me that she brought on labour with 5 of her children by taking castor oil, and I found out later that this was something she recommended to every pregnant woman she came across. I never took it, because I'd read about how it was supposed to work and I couldn't think of anything worse than dealing with diarrhoea while in labour! It never even occurred to me that it could possibly work on the baby as well!
    Is this the case though? Is it actually this dangerous, or could the woman who wrote this post be blaming herself for an unlucky coincidence? (If it's really true and not a sort of scaremongering type of post - it was posted as this screenshot so I can't guarantee authenticity)
    I suppose I'm just interested in opinions and experiences? Particularly from a scientific point of view.

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    I'm not sure of the evidence or truth to this story, but I have also heard it is dangerous to the baby and really not recommended.

    I would never use it regardless because the idea of diahorrea in labour sounds horrible and my sister told me a story of a lady who was pushing her baby out and sprayed diahorrea all over the doctor and midwife 😳 Not sure if it's true, but it's enough to put me off ever using it for that rrason alone.

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    Default *possible trigger* Castor Oil

    I think it's probably a coincidence and the baby passed meconium either due to her gestation (ie overdue) or possible distress from the labor, but not because castor oil 'made' her pass meconium. Does that make sense?

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    The baby most likely had a bowel movement due to being a week overdue not the caster oil. That is one of the dangers of going overdue which is actually quite a scary thought. I had two tablespoons of castor oil myself yesterday at 39 weeks because the OB wanted to me to try whatever natural remedies I could to help contract and get my cervix dropping and ripening. She doesn't want to induce me even at my due date as it increases chances of c-section so we are trying to do a few things at home but she also did say that there is no proof any of this works. The idea of the castor oil is not to take that much that it makes you sick but enough to get your bowels contracting so that your uterus does the same. I haven't had the runs because I took a small dose but I've had more cramping which is good and will hopefully help bub to vacate sooner rather than later. I have no issues on going to my due date but going too far past it terrifies me because of the risks associated with it and bub consuming meconium is one of those.

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    How sad. My 4 month old was born with meconium. She was born smack on her due date. I believe she had a bowel movement because of my fast labour. I had planned to go home the same day but stayed overnight so she could be monitored and luckily she was fine.

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    Castor oil can cause irregular contractions which can stress the baby out and cause them to pass meconium. All the midwives I saw ensured I wasn't going to use it as a way to try and bring on labour when I was heavily pregnant because of this...plus the idea of it is just to give you diarrhoea to get your uterus to be irritated and start labour, which sounded like a horrific way to go in to labour to me so I was never going to do it.
    Last edited by Full House; 29-12-2016 at 05:50.

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    Default *possible trigger* Castor Oil

    It's funny how information varies so much because I have been having irregular contractions and the OB wants to see that continue as that is what prepares the cervix before labour kicks in. Without irregular contractions (which is how I've been told things start happening) then the cervix wouldn't drop or ripen so the actual point is to cause that to happen. If that stressed the baby then wouldn't every baby experience that because all labour involves irregular contractions to begin with (even though some don't feel them as much as others)?

    I haven't experienced any diarrhoea however I didn't have much of it. Just enough to wake my body up a little and I haven't gone into labour yet either. I think some go to extremes because I have read to bring on labour you need to drink over 60ml which is more than the couple of spoons that is a recommended dose.

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    I think it's probably a horrible coincidence. Maybe @M'LadyEm might be able to shed some light?

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    I don't know much about Castor oil as it's something we don't recommend to any of our women. I would hazard a guess to say that the meconium passed in that story is simply a coincidence due to gestation and the meconium aspiration was an unfortunate (but not common) side effect of Bub passing mec on the inside.

    Meconium can also be passed in utero as a sign of distress to the baby. Whether the castor oil caused that distress due to the diarrohoea/contraction relationship or not, who knows. All I can say is that I have never recommended castor oil to anyone and will generally advise against it because I can't think of anything worse than having gut pains and diarrhoea and bringing them on willingly and then going into labour with said gut pains and diarrhoea. Also, just because something is "natural" doesn't mean it's safe.

    For what it's worth I have seen very few babies who have been sick from true meconium aspiration. Most babies are actually perfectly fine if they're born with meconium liquor. So much so that the policy is now to stimulate them to cry at birth (if they're not already) rather than automatically try to suction the meconium away. There should always be a paediatric doctor available at the delivery just in case, but 9/10 they are not required.

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    That's made me feel much more reassured about the meconium situation! I really didn't react to the castor oil because I've had no gut pain or diarrhoea (maybe had too little of it because I was being cautious) but won't take anymore just to be safe. Are there any ways that you would recommend trying to encourage the body to get going?


 

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