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Many women find themselves, as their due dates draw near, searching for ways to jump start labor. There are many “wives’ tales” going around such as castor oil and walking, but there are alternatives.
Ha! Walking is a wives' tale? And castor oil? My goodness. They are NOT, and I speak from experience. I was diagnosed with a missed miscarriage and had been carrying my dead baby for over 2 weeks before we found out. And my body was not responding. Walking was what got things jump started, and then we moved on to black and blue cohosh to help regulate the contractions that had begun during the long walk. Walking down the corridor might not do it, but that's not what "old wives" recommended in the first place!
As to castor oil, it works in the same way as the hospital enema does. It flushes out the bowels very thoroughly, and since the muscles down there are all interconnected often the uterus starts contracting along with the bowels. It works better than the more modernly acclaimed orgasm-sex method for starting contractions, and then you have a clean bowel tract with no risks of excretion during labor, which is why hospitals administer enemas. I know people for whom castor oil has worked brilliantly. The same thing applies with spicy or rich foods -- the muscles down there start working to process it, and often heavily spiced foods pass through more rapidly which starts the bowels and then the uterus contracting. Same principle, people.