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  • Writer's pictureJoan Doglio Smith

Midwives' Brew Caution in Austin, TX

Updated: Jul 1

What is Midwives Brew?


Midwives brew is a drink made from Castor Oil and other ingredients intended for oral ingestion during labor. There are all sorts of recipes you can find online. When learning about herbs for pregnancy I occasionally referenced Susun Weed’s book “Wise Woman Herbal for the Childbearing Year." However, the one thing I don’t recommend is the use of alcohol in her recipe.

What are the potential benefits of Midwives Brew?

If a woman is approaching 42 weeks in her pregnancy there is an increased risk of abnormally low amniotic fluid. This can potentially lead to umbilical cord compression and fetal distress. Therefore, giving birth before then increases your chance for a healthy baby and lessens the possibility of an emergency cesarean. In addition, if the waters have broken and labor does not begin there is increased risk of the same occurrence. 


Is it safe to drink Midwives Brew?


We do not recommend that you take Midwife’s Brew without midwifery supervision. This is because ingesting Castor Oil can cause maternal exhaustion, dehydration, and an electrolyte imbalance. In addition, it could contribute to several other risks. These include stalled labor when the cervix is unripe, unfavorable fetal position, precipitous labor, and even postpartum hemorrhaging. Our midwives have used Castor Oil carefully and judiciously in selected cases. However, we always conduct client education and careful monitoring and use it only when the benefits outweigh the risks!


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