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Castor Oil Induction

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These are easy to read and understand and are beautifully presented.

From _Midwifery Today_, Summer 1996, No. 38

"Calendars, clocks and choices" by Valerie El Halta, CPM, p. 36

subsection on "Non-violent induction"

Our recipe for moms who are at term or past dates, and who are anxious for their babies to arrive, is a simple one: We tell them to go on a date with their husbands, have a glass of wine with dinner, then go home and make love. We remind them that semen is a remarkably effective prostaglandin enhancer and can be very effective in ripening the cervix. It is amazing how well this prescription works!

The second technique I use when it is becoming more important for the baby to be born is stripping the membranes. I am aware this method is losing favor, but I feel it is a lot safer than using Pitocin or prostaglandin gels. Labor usually ensues in about 72 hours, and is enhanced by the couple making love.

I still feel that the safest method of induction is castor oil. Many other induction methods, such as amniotomy, are irreversible and often lead to cesarean section due to "failure to progress" or time constraints for ruptured membranes. The worst things that will happen if the castor oil fails to bring on labor is the mom will have some diarrhea and need some minerals replenished.

This castor oil recipe is not unpleasant for the mom and leads to good results: Blend 4 ounces of oil with just enough citrus juice (cuts the oil) to make it liquid. Have another glass of fresh juice, as well as a wash cloth drenched with hot water, at hand. Ask the mom to drink the castor oil mixture as quickly as possible. Then tell her to wipe out her mouth with the cloth to remove the oily residue. Next, have her rinse out her mouth with the fresh juice and spit it out. Finally, suggest she sit down to finish the rest of the juice slowly. The castor oil has no taste, it just feels awful, so this method really helps make it more palatable. The castor oil usually causes the bowels to empty within three hours. (We offer the mom "baby wipes" instead of toilet paper to prevent soreness.) Next, suggest the mom get into a very warm bath, and pour water over her abdomen. If a Jacuzzi is available, all the better! Contractions will usually begin while the mom is enjoying her bath.

[Some people suggest 2 ounces of oil with 2 ounces of frozen orange juice. Some suggest then adding a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Some people suggest adding *more* orange juice to cut the oil more. Some people suggest adding as little orange juice as possible to make the whole dose as small as possible. The only universal advice seems to be that it's best chugged.]

This Web page is referenced from another page containing related information about Non-Pharmaceutical Induction


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