Castor oil has been used for centuries by midwives to induce labor. However, most obstetricians discourage using castor oil for inducing labor as the method entails adverse side effects that are harmful both for the baby and the mother. The theory behind using castor oil to induce labor is that the strong laxative effect of castor oil stimulates contraction of the intestines, which irritates the uterine muscles and increases prostaglandin secretion that helps in inducing labor. Although, midwives vouch for the effectiveness of this strategy, it is not a desired method.
While certain ingredients are regarded as safe for the mother-to-be, there are others that have generated mixed opinions. Taking risks during pregnancy is an absolute no-no. So, it’s better to go through all the pros and cons of every ingredient before you decide to use any of them.
Here Is Why Castor Oil Should Be Avoided During Pregnancy
Dehydrates The Mother
Diarrhea caused by castor oil dehydrates the mother. Dehydration is harmful for the mother’s health and is a major cause of extreme weakness after childbirth. It prevents her from taking appropriate care of her newborn child. Moreover, it also slows down postpartum recovery.
Reduces Milk Supply
We all know how essential breastfeeding is for a newborn, especially the colostrum (yellowish milk that is full of nutrients that strengthen the immunity of the newborn). The dehydration caused by the frequent ingestion of castor oil has a tendency to lower the milk supply.
Taking castor oil to induce labor stimulates painful contractions. A number of women who had taken castor oil to induce labor claim that their labor pains were more painful than labor pain experienced during natural birth.
This is the most dangerous threat that comes with the deliberate usage of castor oil during pregnancy. While this oil is dubbed to be a blessing, it’s nothing but a curse for an expecting mother who is yet to pass 40 weeks of pregnancy.If castor oil is used to induce labor, its early use can lead to preterm delivery or even miscarriage Preterm birth can seriously hamper the growth process of the newborn and affect organ and cognitive development.
Keep in mind that all these are the risk factors associated with the consumption of castor oil and not its external application. In fact, when used externally, this oil increases circulation and promotes healing of the organs and tissues under the skin.
Increases Risk Of Meconium Aspiration Syndrome
Ingesting castor oil to induce labor can stimulate the unborn baby to excrete in the womb. The first fecal matter passed by the unborn baby is a dark green sticky substance known as meconium. Passing meconium in the womb is a sign of fetal distress. It increases the risk of the baby inhaling the meconium, which partially or completely blocks the airways. Meconium aspiration syndrome is a prominent cause of breathing problems in newborns.