If you look at Google, you will find that one of the more popular searches is how to naturally induce labor. There are many schools of thought on this. Some feel that labor should never be induced and that baby should come when baby is ready. Others feel that it's okay, as long as it is done responsibly--meaning that you are overdue and under the direction/monitoring of a doctor. That said, you should always consult with your doctor or midwife before trying any type of self-induction.
If you find yourself in a position where your doctor or midwife has given you the greenlight to naturally induce, you'll see you have many options. Good old fashioned intercourse being one. Some swear by eating eggplant (which never did anything for me). Of course, one of the most commonly used is castor oil. Thing is, castor oil tastes awful, and the texture is so bad it can make you physically ill. There are ways to make it more palatable, which include mixing it with certain drinks.
The first time I tried castor oil was during my second pregnancy. I had been having false labor for 3 weeks straight and knew baby was simply being difficult. After reading up on it, the beverage of choice seemed to be orange juice, so I used a 4 oz bottle of castor oil in a big glass of o.j. and chugged it down quick. All I can say is it was beyond awful. It made me awfully sick. I didn't vomit, but I wanted to. In about 12 hours however, it began to work, and my son was born shortly afterward. Icky, but a success...and well worth it.
The second time I used it I wasn't ready. I was just desperate to have baby, and even though I knew I wasn't ready, I tried it again. This time I used root beer, shook it well until it was frothy and chugged it. Oh goodness, I cannot tell you how wrong that was. I got SO sick and ended up vomiting about 4-5 times in a 2-hour period. Of course, it didn't do anything. Well, it did do one thing--it traumatized me so badly that I swore I'd never use castor oil again, even if I was 4 weeks overdue!
Several years later, it only took a very difficult and scary pregnancy to make me reconsider. Experiencing some medical issues that jeapordized me and my baby, I was scheduled for a hospital induction. However, I really wanted to try to do it naturally. I considered the unthinkable... using castor oil again. After my last experience, drinking it was simply not an option, so I looked for another method. One woman suggested putting it in scrambled eggs. My fear was the cooking would somehow diminish the induction properties of the oil. I was desperate, though, and decided to give it a try. I wanted to be assured I didn't taste it. So, my husband and I came up with this recipe:
4 oz of castor oil
1 cup of country hash browns
1/4 cup of onions
1/2 cup of shredded cheese**
*Since 4 oz of oil is quite a lot, I felt we needed 3 eggs to mask it. If you're doing 2 oz of castor oil, you could reduce this to 2 eggs.
**You can use more or less to your liking. If you avoid dairy, it can be eliminated from the dish. The cheese does help with the texture, but doesn't do much to mask the flavor.
First cook the hash browns and onions in a skillet until nice and brown. Use cooking spray--you don't want extra oil in there. Once done, put aside (use a bowl, you can then cook the eggs in the same pan). Beat the eggs and castor oil in a bowl until well blended. Pour into hot frying pan and cook until done. Now, the oil will make it runny and it will take about twice as long for them to firm up, but be patient, it will happen. Once they are done, add the potatoes back into the pan and cook a few extra minutes until mixed and heated through. Cover the top of the eggs with the cheese, turn off heat, and cover with lid. Let sit 2-3 minutes until cheese melts. Serve immediately with salsa.
Even though I had every intention of using salsa, I made a point to taste the eggs without and they tasted fine. I could not taste the castor oil. But, I really didn't want to risk it, so I made sure to put a generous amount of salsa over the top. The castor oil was not noticeable at all until the food began to cool down. At that point, I started to clearly taste the oil. Whoa, was that a bad flashback moment. A couple of minutes in the microwave and they were hot again, and I managed to get the rest down fine.
I ate about 90% of it. I will admit, even though I didn't taste it, I did get a tiny bit queasy after finishing. My mouth didn't feel greasy, but I wiped it out with a paper towel anyway (this was a tip that was relayed to me by a midwife). I had a burpy feeling, so I chased the meal down with a big glass of chocolate milk. I think this is important. Any kind of "watery" drink would have not mixed well with the oil and would have added to the sick feeling. Having something to "coat" your stomach is better. If you can't do milk, I would recommend a carbonated beverage so the bubbles would help.
Despite the slight queasiness, I managed to busy myself right afterwards and after about 45 minutes it had passed. My fear of the cooking somehow neutralizing the induction affect was unfounded. Within a few hours I was in labor and my baby was born about 9 hours later. I don't know if I would really recommend using castor oil in general. People argue about how hard pitocin is on the body in a hospital induction. Castor oil is pretty hard too, just in a different way. But, the plus side is that it IS natural, and if baby is not ready to come, it simply won't work. If you do find yourself in a position where you need to take it, I do recommend eating it in eggs as the best method.
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