Natural Induction: Does Castor Oil Work?

I am 40 weeks pregnant with my fourth baby. On my last pelvic exam I was dilated to 2+ centimeters. My doctor suggested trying castor oil -- four ounces at a time! That sounded like a lot to me. I thought the general consensus was to try three teaspoons, added to juice. What do you suggest?


Peg Plumbo CNM

Peg Plumbo has been a certified nurse-midwife (CNM) since 1976. She has assisted at over 1,000 births and currently teaches in the... Read more

Castor oil can help to encourage labor in some women at full-term, though it won't work for everyone. Be aware that any method of induction has the potential for serious side effects.

If you do decide to go ahead and use castor oil, I agree that four ounces sounds a bit much. Three teaspoons is about right -- we usually recommend about one ounce of castor oil in six ounces of orange juice.

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