This is one of the most widely asked questions by women. People want their children to be born on auspicious days so it is a general tendency among women to induce labor beforehand so that the auspicious day brings good fortune for them. In the process taking of castor oil can do so but it is best under doctor’s supervision. Midwives and doctors used it previously to induce labor but now doctors avoid it as several side effects were noticed. There is some research which shows that there is no significant proof that castor actually helps to induce labor.
There is another study which was done to see the effect of castor oil when given just around the time of birth. A total of 103 singleton pregnancies with intact membranes at 40 to 42 weeks referred for antepartum testing. Patients were alternately assigned to 1 of 2 study groups: a single oral dose of castor oil (60 mL) or no treatment.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:
Castor oil was considered successful if labor began within 24 hours after dosing. Groups were compared for onset of labor in 24 hours, method of delivery, presence of meconium-stained amniotic fluid, Apgar score, and birth weight.
Fifty-two women received castor oil and 48 were assigned no treatment. Following administration of castor oil, 30 of 52 women (57. 7%) began active labor compared to 2 of 48 (4. 2%) receiving no treatment. When castor oil was successful, 83. 3% (25/30) of the women delivered vaginally.
Thus the study concluded that:
Women who receive castor oil have an increased likelihood of initiation of labor within 24 hours compared to women who receive no treatment. Castor oil use in pregnancy is underreported worldwide. This small series represents the first attempt to evaluate the medication.