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Castor oil during pregnancy and delivery

  1. Castor oil is a remedy made from the castor tree. It is known as a strong laxative and is available from pharmacies. In addition, castor oil has many other applications. Pregnant women mainly use castor oil to induce labor. Due to the stimulating effect on the small intestine, the uterus reacts with contractions. Weeping are set in motion. It only works when the body was ready for delivery anyway. Women who are less than 37 weeks pregnant should never use castor oil to induce labor. The drug can then be dangerous.

What is castor oil?

  1. Castor oil is also called castor oil. It is a powerful laxative. It is made from the fruit of the miracle tree (Ricinus communis). This tree is mainly found in the tropics. There it will be 12 meters high. Today we see the miracle tree all over the world. In the Netherlands we mainly find them as annual small perennial plants. The fruits of the tree are called miracle beans and are highly poisonous.

Use of this oil

  1. Castor oil has many uses. In households, the agent is used as a base for polishing wax. Castor oil also serves as a base agent for paint, ink and brake fluid. It is used in perfumes and bath oils. In the cosmetic industry, castor oil is used in products for healthy skin and as a hair growth agent. Castor oil is also used as a hair fixation and for creating longer eyelashes. It is also available from pharmacies as a laxative. This oil therefore has many different applications.

Pregnancy and childbirth

  1. Castor oil is also used during pregnancy. Women who are overdue or who have been due for a long time are sometimes eagerly waiting for the delivery. Castor oil was used in ancient times to induce labor.

How does that work?

  1. There are receptors in the intestinal wall that respond to castor oil. It is unclear exactly how this can be done, because the intestines do not react to similar substances. By taking castor oil by mouth, this medicine eventually ends up in the intestines. The small intestine is stimulated and the result is an accelerated bowel movement. This often results in diarrhea. In case of a blockage, castor oil has a strong laxative effect with a desired effect. Those who do not suffer from blockages will therefore have to deal with watery diarrhea. There is also stomach cramps.

So you are going to give birth to castor oil?

  1. Yes and no. When the body is almost ready for delivery, castor oil can be just the push in the right direction. Due to the abdominal cramps, the uterus takes over this rhythm. The result is the start of the delivery. The condition, however, is that the body is really ready for the delivery. This is characterized by softening of the cervix and the presence of exercise contractions.

Is it dangerous?

  1. The use of castor oil can be dangerous in certain cases. When premature contractions occur, there is a risk of premature labor. Before a gestation period of 37 weeks, we speak of premature delivery. The baby is not fully developed during this time. The lungs in particular are not yet mature enough to be able to do their job. Women who are less than 37 weeks pregnant and who suffer from premature contractions should not use castor oil. In addition, premature contractions must be reported immediately to the midwife or gynecologist. In some cases, an attempt will be made to stop the contractions. In other cases, an agent will be administered to make the baby's lungs mature more quickly.

Proven functionality

  1. It has never been scientifically proven that castor oil also works as a contraction stimulant. Women who were already on the point of giving birth often get contractions earlier and faster due to the use of castor oil. The stimulating effect of the intestines has an effect on the uterus, so that labor seems to start faster. Castor oil has therefore been used for centuries as a means to induce labor. Still, castor oil cannot replace the function of inducing contractions. Contractions that suddenly stop cannot be revived with castor oil. This requires a stronger agent, which is often administered via an IV and consists of hormones. This hormone is called oxytocin and it causes the uterus to contract. We also call this induction of labor.

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