Side effects of using Castor oil

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When it comes to Castor oil, doctors have always had mixed opinions on the possible side-effects of consuming it for inducing labour.

It is better to go through all the pros and cons of a product before you use them especially during the crucial time of your pregnancy.


  • Diarrhea and dehydration

Consumption of Castor oil gives an inevitable diarrhea. It usually stops after you go into labour but it will lead to many other discomforts. The side effect of diarrhea is that you may experience severe dehydration. That aggravates the uterus and causes more pain to the mother. It will make you less able to handle the natural childbirth and would require medical interventions. Dehydration also has a long-lasting effect on the mother.


  • Meconium Aspiration syndrome

Meconium is the first faeces of your baby. It passes in the womb during the pregnancy and also after childbirth. Using Castor oil for inducing labour may speed up the pooping process of the unborn child. That can go ahead to fill the amniotic sac (where the baby is present) with meconium.

There are chances that the baby might aspirate the mixture of meconium and amniotic fluid (the fluid in which the baby floats in). This can totally or partially block the baby’s breathing and may cause irritation/infection in their lungs.


  • Reduces milk supply

Breastfeeding is very essential for a new-born. The colostrum (yellowish milk that is full of nutrients) helps to strengthen the immunity of the new-born. But the intake of castor oil may become a hurdle to the formation of milk. The dehydration caused by the castor oil has a tendency to lower the milk supply.

Breast milk is made up of about 90% water. Breastfeeding mothers are recommended to even up their water intake. But the dehydration may have several adverse effects on the baby’s health, including delayed cognitive growth and bone-formation.


  • Preterm delivery

It is advisable to all the expecting mothers to not use the castor oil before 40 weeks of pregnancy. The Castor oil may act as nothing but a curse before the 40 weeks.

If you are thinking of using Castor oil to induce labour then you must know its effects as well. The early use of Castor oil can lead to preterm delivery or even a miscarriage (when it is consumed in earlier months). It may even hamper the growth process of the new-born and affect cognitive development.


You must note that these are the risk factors that are associated with the consumption of Castor oil and not for its external uses/application. Castor oil is beneficial for many external applications. It is even used to prevent the formation of stretch

If there are no such medical compulsions, the most sensible thing to practice is to wait for the labour to occur naturally. If you are thinking of using Castor oil for inducing labour, it will be wiser to first consult your doctor.


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