Don't Call me Mama (8) - How to manipulate your delivery date

I'll skip my journey to the US for delivery because there was nothing special about it except that they didn't know I was pregnant especially because of the kind of top I wore. I told the immigration officers though, and all I needed to provide was evidence that I had enough money to sort my bills out.

I moved from New York to Houston to have my baby and then to San Antonio one week after delivery to wait for six weeks before returning to Nigeria.

By week 38, I was so ready to pop but my baby wasn't ready to come out, I guess.

I'm on a regular cycle of 26 days so I had 2 estimates due dates, one for 28 day cycle and another for my own 26 day cycle, which was just 2 days before the 28 day cycle one.

When I was 39 weeks, I was still 1cm dilated which is what I had been for the previous 4 weeks so I was slightly worried cos I didn't want to be induced to labour. I kept hoping that I would go into labour somewhere between 39 and 40 weeks but it didn't happen.

I had been researching the use of castor oil to induce labour naturally and after many considerations, I decided to use it on my 26 day cycle EDD.

Now here's the deal about using castor oil to induce labour

1. It's only safe to use when your body is actually ready for the process of labour. It is therefore not a short cut for those who are tired of carrying the pregnancy and don't want to get to 40 weeks. Hence, if you use it at 36 weeks for example, it might not work and you might even be exposing you and your unborn child to further complications

2. Castor oil has been used by our traditional medicine industry in Nigeria for a while. I first heard about it from my herbs supplier. It is also very common for women in the western world to use it. Some doctors recommend it but I don't think it has been approved by any medical body as a means to induce labour for pregnant women

3. If you don't like diarrhoea, stay away from castor oil. Before it induces contractions, it will first empty your bowels completely so you will keep rushing to and from the toilet

4. Some people say that just like castor oil gives you diarrhoea, it also gives your baby diarrhoea, thus making your baby shit in the water surrounding it in the womb. However, some say that since the baby is already mature and ready to come out anyway, that's why it's shitting. The truth is with or without castor oil, loads of babies shit around the EDD.
The risk of this is that the water (meconium) gets contaminated with the faeces and can give the baby infection if it is not delivered. Therefore it is very important that you only consider using castor oil when you are actually due. And yes, my baby shit in my womb, lol. I overheard the doctor tell the nurse but I already suspected it because the water was brown when it was broken. I knew this because the white towel used to clean me up was brown

5. Many people who used castor oil claim that their labour time was short. I suspect that if things go well, castor oil speeds up things in relation to how it would have been normal. First time mothers are always known to have very long labour but I had a short labour.

So on my due date, I was totally ready and told myself the baby must come out today. I took the castor oil early in the morning, around 7am. The diarrhoea started about 3 hours later. Labour contractions started about 3 hours after then and I will give the real labour story in a future edition

Why I used castor oil to induce labour

1. I was scared of being induced to labour which was bound to happen if I didn't go into labor 1 week after my due date. I didn't want to take chances at all

2. My mum has 4 children and she never had any of us on time. She always went a little over 41 weeks and she always had to use mineral oil to induce labour before we came out. It was beginning to look like this 41 weeks thing ran in the family and I didn't want a part of it. So I felt well if I have to wait for 41 weeks just like my mum, and still use castor oil, I might as well just use it now

3. Before I made up my mind, my mum kept pressuring me to use castor oil, like "when will you use it?" "Don't use it tomorrow, use it today." "Don't use castor oil, use mineral oil." ... And on and on it went. To be honest, her pressure played very little role in my decision because no one can make me do what I don't want to do.

Please note that I am not a medical doctor or personnel. The decision to use castor oil to induce labour is totally yours. While it is assumed to be safe, do your research before using it. And yes, use the castor oil bought from a pharmacy for relieving constipation, not the one used as hair products


  1. Waaaw so interesting about the castor oil. Based on your account looks like it really works!

    P.S I use the pharmacy castor oil in my hair, its so much cheaper that the hair grade one.

    1. Well, it worked for me.

      In Nigeria, the hair grade one is cheaper than the pharmacy one (which is actually very small in size)

  2. I laughed at 'the baby must come out today' because I know that feeling.
    I was given castor oil by the nurse in my first delivery,I didn't like the taste at all, nearly threw up.

  3. Well according to research by American ob/gyne, castor oil doesn't really induce labor, and has been known to cause complications. It really is dangerous to use, thank God it didn't have an adverse effect on you. The only proven way to induce labor is the one done in the hospital I.e using Foley bulb, pitocin, oxycotin etc. Please oh don't use again.
    Yay for short labor, you're lucky girl. I labored for 2days with my first that ended in a c-section. My second was going to look like an encore so I just jeje requested for another section. I can't shout abeg.

    1. Hmmm. I agree that there might be side effects, just like pitocin too has side effects, but mehn, c'mon, castor oil induces labour. People have used it for ages, even traditional medicine. This is one of those modern vs traditional medicine arguments that I'm not even ready to help them argue, lol. I know old people who used it to have smooth and short labour. And it did the same for me,.

      I'm so sorry about your labour experiences. Two days labour is no beans. Thank God you and your baby came out safe and sound.

  4. i heard about castor oil but did not even consider it because of the diarrhea side effect ... i used pineapple...yes pineapple. i ate a whole one between sunday and monday, my water broke on tuesday, a couple of days before my EDD. i ate another one right after my water broke

    1. Really? Wow. I truly believe natural foods contain all the remedy we need in this world for things that drugs have been manufactured to cure.

      To think I also love pineapples too... hmm


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