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Castor Oil or Magnesium Citrate to induce labor

Last post 08-03-2009 10:21 AM by RobsGirl. 6 replies.
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  • 07-30-2009 9:22 AM

    Castor Oil or Magnesium Citrate to induce labor

    Hello-

    I am not a midwife but looking for information from the many experienced midwives I see posting throughout these forums.

    I am 37 weeks and 2 days with my 5th child.  My first delivery was a c-section 20 years ago and the other deliveries were all vbacs.  One was induced by my doctor.  My second child weighed 8 lbs 11 oz and I was in labor 31 hours.

    With this baby, as of July 22nd - he was already at 7 lbs.  I am concerned about another large baby and a long labor.  That is why my doctor induced me before but now because of new medical reports, they will not induce people that have had c-section.  They will try to deliver or at 41 weeks they will give me another c-section, which I do not want.

    I had a girlfriend that took castor oil a few days ago (she was 37 weeks, 1 day) and went into labor within 6 hours.  So I started to read online about this and got many varying views from 'pregnant mothers' - not healthcare providers.  Some say it works and castor oil cannot get into baby system and others say it gets into baby system, causes muconium and can kill the baby.

    What I am trying to find out is if Castor Oil or Magnesium Citrate could get into the babies' system and cause any medical problems such as muconium, respiratory problems, etc.  I do not want to do anything that will harm my baby but if I could take one of these in the hopes that it might possibly bring on my labor, it would be nice. Also, if they do not harm the baby - which is safer?

    I tried discussing it with the doctor at the practice I go to and she was unwilling to discuss it.  Because it is a form of inducing me and they dont induce because of the possibility of uterine rupture.  I tried to get her to state one way or the other if it would harm the baby but she was unwilling to indulge in the conversation at all other than dont do it.

    I hope I have given enough information and would appreciate any medical info, documentation, etc. that would make me more informed on these 'home' inducing remedies.

     

    Deidre

     

     

     

  • 08-01-2009 7:36 PM In reply to

    • RobsGirl
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on 02-04-2009
    • Mid-Hudson Valley, NY
    • Posts 364

    Re: Castor Oil or Magnesium Citrate to induce labor

    Excellent advice, scientistmom.  I second all of the above. I wouldn't put too much stock in ultrasound measurements.  I had a friend who had this happen with two of her pregnancies, so she was induced early-ish and the babies ended up being only about 6 pounds (when they were measured by ultrasound to be about 9).

    Mama, you can do this!!!  Your body was made to birth babies, even big ones.  Inducing, even "naturally", before your body and baby are ready is not always the best idea. 

    To answer your question, though, I really don't think magnesium citrate would induce labor.  I've never heard of it being used for that.  In fact, many mamas use it moderately (the pill or powder form) to calm down a cranky uterus that's having too many braxton hicks contractions.  Castor oil is not fun when taken internally.  I did it once at term (40 weeks), and it was not a fun experience.  I would never do that again.  In the midst of having all the nasty intestinal upheaval, I actually got a really scary contraction that wouldn't let up.  No one really knows if it can cause the baby to pass meconium or not, so its hard to say.   It did work to get labor going, but I was very dilated already (5 cm without being in labor) and it was my first baby and I didn't know any better except that I wanted the baby to come out.  So I took it.  I didn't have a wise woman to advise me to be patient and let the baby come when he was ready.

    Enjoy these last few weeks.  Do enjoyable and relaxing things.

    RobsGirl, 31
    Wife of one fabulous guy (34)
    Mommy of 3 awesome boys, ages 11, 8, and 4, and a precious 2 year old daughter.


  • 08-01-2009 9:57 PM In reply to

    Re: Castor Oil or Magnesium Citrate to induce labor

    I am just wondering about what amounts of castor oil you are talking?

    was 1 tblsp or 4 tblsp, was how many times did you take it?

     

    Bright Birth Doula Services
    http://www.doula4you.ca
  • 08-03-2009 5:39 AM In reply to

    Re: Castor Oil or Magnesium Citrate to induce labor

    I can certainly sympathize with you that you'd like your baby to be born without having surgery.  However, an induction is an induction, whether it's done with things that grow in your garden or things that were made in a pharmaceutical lab.  There are conflicting stories and information out there regarding castor oil.  Some people say that because the mother can become stressed from frequent bowel movements which can dehydrate her and major pooping cramps which can stress her out, that leads to stress in the baby and because of that, castor oil shouldn't be taken internally.  There's others who say that it's a 50/50 crap shoot ... so to speak.  50% of women have diarrhea, cramping, and labor and the other 50% just have diarrhea and cramping.  Others don't believe that and say that it's a miracle inducer.

    There is a method of using castor oil, however, which leaves out the woman having to ingest it: some women swear by soaking a towel/rag in castor oil, ringing it out, heating it in the microwave and then placing it on the lower segment of the mother's abdomen, by the mother's pubic bone will bring on contractions.

    However ... and that's a big HOWEVER ... you were 37 weeks when you posted. 37 weeks!  Babies can come just fine after 37 weeks and be born vaginally after a cesarean.  Unless you have the baby outside of you, you cannot weigh a baby accurately.  We've all heard stories of babies supposedly being 10 lbs and coming out much less and babies suspected of being itty bitty who come out quite sturdy and large.  Unless the doctor has some super duper machine or super duper powers that no one knows about yet--and I doubt s/he does--then it's impossible to accurately weigh a baby in utero.

    I'm actually a little proud of the doctor not discussing induction with you!  She may not know much about castor oil's use for induction and that may be her reason for not discussing it.  She wants to be on the safe side and probably is not going to commit because it could put her in a tricky situation malpractice-wise.  She's covering her butt.

    I realize you are afraid of surgery, but the urgency you feel may transfer to baby and the message baby's getting is not "Come out, come out, wherever you are" but "Stay inside!  It's unsafe out here!!"  Do you see how that can come across to a baby?

    Some women have tried massage to help relax them in these later weeks of pregnancy.  Others use acupuncture as a way of tuning up the body, getting chi to flow without stagnating. And still others just try to chill as much as they can until that baby decides to make an appearance. I'm not saying it's easy ... especially with others kids at home.

    There are a lot of women who come to these boards seeking induction help.  There are no quick fixes and midwives can't waive herbal wands and have babies come out.  I'm in no way chastising you!  But perhaps others reading about these kinds of things will realize that babies come out when they're cooked, when they're ready, and when they feel safe.  Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately), we can't predict when that will be.

     

    Susan
    Moderator

    I get up every morning determined to both change the world and have one hell of a good time. Sometimes this makes planning my day difficult. --E.B. White
  • 08-03-2009 10:21 AM In reply to

    • RobsGirl
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on 02-04-2009
    • Mid-Hudson Valley, NY
    • Posts 364

    Re: Castor Oil or Magnesium Citrate to induce labor

    Claudia Toms wrote a post here about how exactly to do the castor oil packs.  I think I personally would be more comfortable trying this external method over ingesting it (since I had a bad experience once with that).

    http://community.midwiferytoday.com/forums/t/688.aspx

    I do understand too that when there are things on a pregnant mama's mind it can somehow mess with the hormones necessary for starting labor.

    RobsGirl, 31
    Wife of one fabulous guy (34)
    Mommy of 3 awesome boys, ages 11, 8, and 4, and a precious 2 year old daughter.


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