Preliminary evidence suggests that castor oil may promote cramping of the intestines and uterus, causing labor in late pregnancies when taken by mouth. Its activity may be as effective as oxytocin and with fewer associated risks. Limited research suggests that leakage of amniotic fluid into the mother's bloodstream and signs that the baby has had a bowel movement while still inside the womb may occur after taking castor oil by mouth. Further studies are needed to determine the safety and effectiveness of castor oil in post-term pregnancies.
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