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Pitocin makes it hurt worse? - Page 2

post #21 of 51
I get the sense that you are looking for evidence vs. anecdotes so here's some quickly (should be working):

Here is the best description I've read in lay terms of the downsides and physiological workings of pitocin:

click on "why not schedule it" at the top to see the section that describes how pitocin works. An excerpt:
"Pitocin replicates oxytocin’s muscle, producing strong uterine contractions, but it does not pass to the brain. You don’t get the warm and fuzzies with the pharmaceutical version. Furthermore, it shuts down your body’s own oxytocin production. That means that when you get Pitocin in your IV — whether you’re being induced or just “augmented” — you’re missing out on the natural oxy-rush."

There's also some scientific-research-based discussion of pitocin induction here in the Millbank Report on Evidence Based maternity care:

An excerpt, with citations of studies:
"Synthetic oxytocin, which is widely used to induce labor, interferes with the functioning of a woman’s own oxytocin receptors (Phaneuf et al. 2000). This may adversely affect other important functions of a mother’s natural oxytocin release, such as reducing postpartum hemorrhage and contributing to attachment and the establishment of breastfeeding (Buckley 2004)"

And there is Childbirth Connection's "Guide to Effective Maternity Care" - you can download the pdf here, but you will have to register (well worth it, if you have an interest in facts and research on childbirth)

Here is an excerpt:
"Any agent that causes uterine contractions, whether it be a drug such as oxytocin or a prostaglandin...may also cause excessive uterine contractility. Excessively frequent or prolonged uterine contractions may affect blood flow from and to the placenta, which will in turn reduce fetal oxygenation. Uterine rupture is a further, though much rarer, consequence of excessive stimulation of uterine activity. The balance of evidence suggests that induction of labor with oxytocin increases the incidence of neonatal hyperbilirubinemia."
post #22 of 51
Thread Starter 
Megan, YES! I am looking for evidence, too.
post #23 of 51
I had 2 births, one with pit, one without. Pitocin is beyond evil when it comes to the pain. Pitocin contractions are way worse than the transition contractions I had laboring without pit.
post #24 of 51
Originally Posted by ctdoula View Post
If you have to ask, you've never been on it.
...or never not been on it. I knew a woman who had three kids. Her third was the only one where she went into labour naturally. She told me afterwards that she had no idea labour didn't have to hurt that much, because she had no idea the pain she'd felt with her first two was augmented.
post #25 of 51
i was induced with DS and i never want that agian. I am going as far as i can with this one. I was not anywere near ready i dont think. I was only dialated 1 cm and had been that way for only a week so i think i wasnt ready even though i was 9 days "overdue". As soon as they broke my water the pitocin gave me horrible contractions and i went ahead with the epidural which i felt bad about and i was in labor for 15 hours with pitocin. I just wished i could have been more informed. I was young and now i know i want to try natural for the next. Most of my friends did theres all natural and they all have 4 to 5 kids so i know it cannot be bad. I think if i had been better informed i would have decided agiants it but i felt as though it was a have to thing.I hated the fact of spending my whole labor experience in a bed at a hospital not able to enjoy any of it.
post #26 of 51
I noticed a HUGE difference in natural labor vs. pit-induced labor. I'm echoing many of the PP's thoughts on the differences. I hate to think that anyone having an induction would have to feel the ctx I had with my first labor which was the induction. Such a difference between the 2...having breaks between contractions and the normal crossing of the bloodbrain barrier, oxyrush,etc. made a huge difference! I was just so excited that my body went into labor on its own: It works!!! On a sad note I don't really know anyone who went into labor on their own, just lots of inductions just too bad....
post #27 of 51
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post
...or never not been on it. I knew a woman who had three kids. Her third was the only one where she went into labour naturally. She told me afterwards that she had no idea labour didn't have to hurt that much, because she had no idea the pain she'd felt with her first two was augmented.
All 3 of my babes have been pit induced labors.
w/ my first I had about an hour and 1/2 with an epi (about 17 hours in), then whamo! epi gone~ transition and pushing, i was thankful for the 1.5 hours at the time but even more thankful it was gone and I felt my birth. that labor was 21 hours, incredibly hard, I had no experience w/ labor before, didn't know, just went with the contractions.

w/ my second, full throttle pit, 14 hours of HARD INTENSE labor, no breaks in contracts., it was bad, I was out of my mind with the pain. took no pain meds at all. It made me fear my next birth it was so unbearable but my son was perfect. It was by far my hardest labor. Absolute torture. I truly thought I was dying. It was a 14 hour contraction w/back labor. My saving grace was moving and singing him down. My dh had an unbel. hard time with this labor.

my 3rd was again an induction w/pitocin~ again no pain meds~ the only necessary 1 of the 3 in my hindsight. My m/w was gentle with the pit (she wasn't there w/ ds), it was a whole other exper. than that w/ my ds. It was not the torture it was with him. It was my healing birth by far. For many reasons I won't go into here. It was intense, but bearable. In fact breathing her down, the highest part of my mind was asking me~ could I be this far? where is the pain I had w/Sam? It was excruciating for sure but I had breaks, I could breathe, I was focused, I was on top of the wave not under it like my second birth.

I'm sorry I don't have a pitocin free birth to compare. Maybe someday.
post #28 of 51
Originally Posted by LokiPuck View Post
ITA with what PP have said. My contractions felt like they were overlaping when I was induced. There was no "rest period" between them. I went from almost nothing to transition in just under three hours. Way too fast for my body and very intense.
Wait, were you there for DD's birth? I don't remember seeing you ...

Yes, this was exactly it. I had heard contractions described as curves, like a bell curve, gently sloping up and down. For me, I described it as plateaus: straight up from the beginning of the contraction to the peak, but then it stayed there for a REALLY LONG time--I had time to take two deep breaths and "sound" them out during each peak--then it slowly started down. Just as it was getting back to flat, another straight up leap began. YOWCH!
post #29 of 51
Originally Posted by LokiPuck View Post
ITA with what PP have said. My contractions felt like they were overlaping when I was induced. There was no "rest period" between them. I went from almost nothing to transition in just under three hours. Way too fast for my body and very intense.
oh yeah, same here. horrible. I'm so mad at myself for being bullied into by my midwives. I will never do it again. horrible labor
post #30 of 51
Originally Posted by Full Heart View Post
It increases the risk of uterine rupture, over stimulated uterus, fetal distress, hemorrhage, etc. No drug is without side effects. Yes, there have been studies done and the package insert lists those complications.

It hurts worse because it creates stronger contractions. Mine were off the chart on the TOCO. Which just before they were registering in the 40s. It increased it 3xs what they were.
TOCO (as in external monitoring) doesn't gauge strength of contractions, only that you're having them. To see the strength of contractions an IUPC is needed.
post #31 of 51
I've given birth three times, each time induced with pit, the last time being a true necessity.

The last birth is the only birth I didn't have any form of pain medicaiton with, and to be frank it really wasn't that bad at all.

Did it hurt, sure. Was it unbearable, not by far, in fact i'd do it again tomorrow without hesitation.

I think pit is way over used, I agree with all the research on risk, etc.

But I think that pit can be used and used with compassion and mimic a more natural flowing labor. It's just that not many hospitals/providers WANT to use it that way. Blasting the baby out is by far the preferred method.

All that said I think we do a dis-service to women to tell them it's just flat out unbearable, etc. We should be teaching women that when pit is needed, key word there, TRULY NEEDED, that it can be done in a way that is easier on the body and thus the woman. Let's face it, once you start pit you've left the intervention station and we need to be helping women minimize further interventions not tell them to go for more (epidural) because it'll be unbearable.

My goal with my last birth was to avoid a cesarean at ALL costs. No AROM, minimal exams, pit started at 2 and upped very slowly and by small increments over a longer period of time than usual. And you know what, it worked. No AROM, no meds other than the pitocin, a nice, otherwise normal, easy vaginal birth was achieved.

I'm no hero, I'm no superwoman, and in fact I'm a whimp that jumps for the motrin and takes 800mg at a time for headaches, period cramps, etc. I HATE PAIN. But the discomfort I had with my last birth was totally bearable, and I felt a great sense of achievement and accomplishment by negotiating my way throgh labor with minimal intervention.
post #32 of 51
i was induced with my first. the only thing bad about it waas that they wouldnt leave me alone. that made whatever contractions worse when i was arguing but that happened with my completely natural birth as well, arguing with my little brother about yanking on my son and atuff (he was ummm..9. yeah not wanting to listen lol)
i was induced from no contractions at all, but almost 2cm dilated at almost 43 weeks.
with my first, i kept telling them to leave me alone (they set up an epi when i was in the bathroom after my repeated sending away everyone.) that my pain wasnt bad, the worst contractions were about a 4 until the last hour or so, and with the contraction monitor in, that hurt, too. felt like it was trying to stab through my uterus, but that has nothing to do with actual contraction pain, kwim?
and i was on the highest dose for over 8 hours....ive said it before, but id much rather be in labor, even induced if its just like that for me, than have bad tooth pain. really.

post #33 of 51
The pitocin was harder (had both without pain relief) than the regular birth.

For me, it was because the contractions were consistently strong, and on top of each other.

In fact, I became so sad in my second birth when I was feeling like it was starting to hurt really bad but thought I had many hours to go because I actually got breaks (about 2 minutes apart compared to no breaks with pitocin). Suprise when the baby was born about 20 minutes later.

I vowed to never touch that stuff again with a ten foot pole. Ick.
post #34 of 51
April- I think you are right. However, most Ob's are trying to shoot the baby out. My pit was turned up VERY high with AROM. Anyway, the baby needed to come out but it was done in a way that was cruel IMO.

I am going to take that knowledge with me.

If I had known of a better way and been adament, I would have been.

I mistakenly thought my OB wasn't into hurting his patients (trust me, I think he hates women and I ran far away with my second, used a midwife).
post #35 of 51
I think it's just doing to depend on the person. It hurt no more to be on pit w/ my last 2 babies than it did the last few hours of Evan's labor. The only difference was I labored for 12 hrs total w/ Evan and only 3.5 hrs w/ Ilana (only the last 1.5 hrs hurt) and then 2 hrs this time w/ Olivia. It hurt no matter what IMO and the natural ctxs I had w/ Evan were right on top of each other too, there was little to no break till I got my epidural. It actually worked w/ him, not so much the other times. Yes, if you're labor is taking a long time on the pit, it's probably going to be worse b/c you're not going to get that build up of labor you genearlly get when going spontaneously. Thankfully I went in at 4 and almost 5 cm and it took no time to get them out.
post #36 of 51

conspiracy theory!

I am encouraged hearing that pit births can be so much different than natural. My first/only was inuced with pit. I had spent 9 long months reading and planning for a natural birth at the hospital. Ha! Boy was I wrong. I was only a week overdue and stupidly let the OB talk me into induction. I went in at 6am and by 10am was in the worst pain of my life.

I have a conspiracy theory that they wanted to put any thought of natural birth out of my head b/c my husband swears he saw them double the rate of the IV drip shortly after they started it and as I was beginning to contract. Maybe that is routine...whatever. I just know that by 10am I was in a fog of complete misery. No sooner would a contraction end than I would collapse and another one would start right back up. Definitely no "wave" like pattern - unless we are talking hurricane. The nurses were in my ear saying how I was not even 2cm dilated and how the pain was going to keep me from dilating and this could go on forever - they were like mean little discouraging devils on my shoulder.

So around 11:30 I buckled and took whatever drugs they would give me. Which in the end maybe saved me from a c section, who knows. The epidural took all the pain away and I pleasantly chatted away until 4pm when I started pushing. CONVENIENTLY my OBs office hours ended at 4pm so he came and I delivered at 4:20pm and he was able to go home to a nice dinner with his family. The convenience of it for them is the other element of my conspiracy theory.

In the end I tore horribly b/c I was pushing with all my heart, not feeling anything, waiting for them to tell me to slow down, when my son popped out into the world. I am now pregnant with #2, and am seriously contemplating homebirth, I just don't want to feel like such a victim the next time around.
post #37 of 51
My understanding is that a big difference is that you are just adding one piece of a complex hormonal process. So you don't have the natural highs produced in non induced labor.

I had pit twice. My experience is not as bad as most. I wouldn't hesitate to use it again if I had a medical reason to do it. With that said, WOW is natural labor and delivery SOOOO much better!

My first time was severe pre-e, I was on mag sulfate, really sick, and only 34wks. My OB encouraged an epidural asap once I felt contractions, because we needed labor to go quickly. My body wasn't ready, although they had given me prostaglandins on my cervix the night before to help. Contractions hit hard and fast, I was panicked by 3cm and got the epidural, I puked, couldn't breathe even with the epidural near the end, and by transition the monitor showed a flat line across the top with occaisional points down a bit - so one giant contraction basically! DS was born in 2.5hrs.

My second time I was full term, but PIH. I had been having increasing contractions, and was already at 4cm for the week prior to inducing. My OB just barely gave me pit to get things going, labor took off and DD was born 1.5hrs later. However, the contractions were not bad at all! I had breaks between them, and was shocked when I reached 8cm and they were still not painful. I think they were actually gentler contactions than my last labor, which was natural.

My third labor was intervention free, 3.25hrs from when we realized it was labor to birth. But it was a lot nicer! I felt more of a high in between contractions too, which I remember noticing at the time and enjoying! It seemed to help me get through contractions, because I knew in a few moments I would feel great again. I definitely did not have that with my pit induced labors at all!

post #38 of 51
My baby was wedged incorrectly in the birth canal because of the horribly strong contractions, which obviously caused a cascading effect of problems for both of us.
post #39 of 51
When you're laboring naturally, there is a gradual build-up, peak, and gradual taper to each contraction. A pitocin labor doesn't allow for that. The contractions are just peak, so you're pretty much slammed with each contraction without any chance to get ready for it.
post #40 of 51
Originally Posted by Ahappymel View Post
Being on Pit felt like being in the teeth of a dragon....natural birth was like being on the back of a dragon : ) It was intense but I was still in control.
You are rad!
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