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Castor Oil and Meconium


When a baby is born, the first few stools that it passes are different from the later feces. This is because this early feces contains things that the baby has digested during its stay in the uterus such as bile, mucus, water, etc. Meconium continues for at about three days so the baby’s digestive system completely gets rid of the matter it consumed during its days in the mother’s womb. After this, the stool changes from its sticky dark form to a yellowish shade. This is because the digestive system of the baby has completely gotten rid of the waste the baby had digested during its time in the womb and is now solely digesting the milk the baby is fed.

In some cases, the baby’s bowel system might release the meconium before the birth. The meconium would then stay with the baby in the water bag and would enter the baby’s mouth, nose or ears. This leads to fetal distress, which can alter the heart rate of the baby and interfere with the respiratory system. This may occur when the baby is not born even after 40 weeks of pregnancy. In this case, the doctors have to use a machine to suck out the digested fluids out of the baby’s nose and mouth to relieve the baby’s breathing problem that may arise due to digestion of meconium in the womb.

Hearing tips from the internet and people around them, many pregnant women are not sure of what methods they can try to induce labor during the final hours of pregnancy. Although apparently, it is said that castor oil is good for inducing labor, there have been cases where pregnant mothers had castor oil for this but the oil ended up causing complications for the baby in the womb.  It is not necessary that every time a mother uses castor oil during pregnancy, the baby would end up passing meconium but the chances of this happening are quite high. Still mothers tend to use castor oil in the last few hours of labor to induce the labor and make the process of childbirth a bit easier for them. Despite this, using castor oil during early trimesters of pregnancy is absolutely not advisable.

Instead of castor oil, you can try other herbs and techniques for for inducing labor without risking your own or your baby’s safety. Some of the herbs and other labor inducing methods are listed below:

  • Pineapple contains enzymes that help in softening the cervix for the childbirth process.
  • Certain types of exercises including light squats and walking can also help induce labor. Make sure you check with your physician before trying out any exercises.
  • Cumin tea, mixed with sugar or honey to kill the cumin’s taste, is used for inducing labor.
  • Labor inducing acupressure points work like a charm for boosting dilation, softening the cervix and inducing labor.
  • The mother shall also try meditation in order to relax as relaxation is the key to a calm childbirth.


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