Three weeks after Kendra Caldwell and Joseph Duggar welcomed their daughter, Addison, the couple is finally giving fans a glimpse into that special day. On Monday, November 25, TLC shared a birth special for the couple. In two nearly-10 minute clips, the Duggar parents headed off to the hospital to deliver their little girl. Before that, though, the mom-of-two revealed she did something more than a little controversial: She drank castor oil to speed up her labor.
“I think we’re going to head to the hospital tonight because contractions have gotten around four minutes apart,” Kendra, 21, shared in the online episode. “So we did some castor oil, and it’s — it seems to be working. I would say we’re definitely in labor. It’s not transition, but it’s definitely labor.”
Castor oil has traditionally been used to speed up and induce labor, but in modern times can be quite controversial. Though some studies suggest it does induce contractions, it can be dangerous or, at the very least, unpleasant. According to The New York Times, it can cause nausea and has a laxative effect. Healthline added the contractions it causes can be irregular and painful, putting undue stress on both mother and baby. Because of its laxative effect, it can also cause babies to pass meconium before birth, which can lead to Meconium Aspiration Syndrome.
Scientific studies haven’t definitely proved whether using castor oil to induce labor is helpful or harmful, but ingesting it has garnered criticism on social media. “[Please] stop telling pregnant women to take castor oil to induce labor,” one Twitter user begged. “Don’t do castor oil,” warned another. “You’ll have 10 hours of false labor AND the s–ts. 😂😂” A third added, “Don’t do this! It can cause massive issues. My cousin used this and her baby pooped in the [womb] and caused infection!”
Though Kendra isn’t the first Duggar to take castor oil to speed up her labor, it seems to have been particularly risky in her case. Not only did she start experiencing contractions five days before her due date — ingesting castor oil is usually recommended for women whose due dates have already passed — but she also reported feeling nauseous during delivery. Her labor may have also sped up too much. Despite going to the hospital to give birth, he doctor was busy delivering another baby and she ended up delivering without him. Luckily, both mom and baby seem to have made it through without any serious problems, and they’re settling in as a family of four.
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