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Pitocin and Jaundice Poll

post #1 of 66
Thread Starter 
I've noticed that everyone I've talked to that had their labor augmented with pitocin ended up with theri newborn having jaundice . So I'm just wondering if I could get a poll of how many people here had the same experience.

I'll start. My first labor ended up being augmented with pitocin after about 42 hours. I had about 6 hours of pitocin. Baby had bad jaundice. There were other factors in him getting jaundice (blood incompatibility) but I feel the pitocin made it worse.
post #2 of 66
You could start a thread with a poll on it if you want hard numbers Like:

Had pitocin, babe had jaundice
Had pitocin, babe didn't have jaundice
Didn't have, babe had
Didn't have, babe didn't have

But anywho, yup pitocin here and jaundice here as well. I had pitocin for 16 hours before Orion was born and an additional 24 hours afterwards (WTF they were doing is beyond me, I was also on Mag Sulfate and really not able to advocate for myself).
post #3 of 66
with my first: pitocin from the get-go---jaundice (bili was 21) and lethargy...and a NICU stay
post #4 of 66
I had pitocin--in spades! Tons! But no jaundice.

We did have a really scary latch problem, however, and the beginnings of lethargy. For the first week we fed on a two-hour schedule--if he didn't latch on and nurse 15 minutes, I pumped, and dh finger-fed/supplemented with pumped colostrum and/or formula. I think if the hospital lactation consultant hadn't been on the ball, we would have wound up either with jaundice/dehydration or with no breastfeeding. As it was the supplementation, though traumatic for me, was brief and helped to correct the latch problem.

I wonder whether the jaundice/pitocin connection is really a long labor/intervention/bad latch connection?

(Why am I so in love with the "/" key all of a sudden? )
post #5 of 66
Both of my homebirth babes were jaundiced.
post #6 of 66
Thread Starter 
How do I post numbers, Starmama? Do I need to start another thread? I wanted to do it like that, but I'm not sure how.
post #7 of 66
Had pitocin/no jaundice/no problems bf'ing
post #8 of 66
I had 30 minutes of pitocin with dd before I pushed her out.

She was a little yellow by day 2, her bili levels were at 12 (normal), but they put her under the lights 'just to be safe', a couple times a day for five days.

She had a yellowish tinge to her for six weeks after birth, even though her bili levels stayed between 11 and 12 the whole time. I lean more towards, her kidneys/liver didn't like the vitamin k shot or the hep b shot they gave her, rather than the pitocin.
post #9 of 66
A dose of pit, after ds birth, jaundice.

No pit of any kind with dd, jaundice.

It's fairly common after birth, there livers have a lot to get rid of.
post #10 of 66
My first two had pitocin, all three were long labors, lots of interventions ending with c-secs, all the newborn stuff except hep b, and breastfed like champs with no jaundice. Except my daughter who was in the NICU for a birth defect and didn't bf until she was 1mo. Then she nursed like a champ.
post #11 of 66
We never use pitocin prior to birth (we occasionally use it for pph), but alot of our babies at our birth center (probably close to 50%) are at least a little yellow on day two. I don't think any of the 250+ born there since I started have ever had to have light therapy or be hospitalized for it.

We attribute it to the fact that we don't clamp and cut the cord until it stops pulsating. More blood, so they probably take a little while longer to break it down. If the babe is breastfeeding well, it shouldn't be a problem.

Oh, and about 98% or so of our babies are breastfed, which we encourage immediately upon birth.

On a personal note, both my babies were jaundiced, pretty severely (though no interventions were needed); no pitocin, cord clamped immediately, but they both were born at 36 weeks gestation, and it is more common for premies to be jaundiced.
post #12 of 66
I wonder if it has more to do with delayed cutting of the cord vs. cutting right away? I read an interesting article that suggests that. It's very technical but interesting. Perhaps your observation on pit vs. no pit is because the pit births occur in the hospital, where it's standard procedure to cut the cord immediately. I don't know, just a thought.


Cord closure abruptly halts the placental supply of glucose to the brain (used in aerobic and anaerobic respiration); the neonatal liver (glycogen stores) must begin to maintain blood glucose levels. A major portion of the liver’s blood supply is from the hepatic portal vein that derives its blood from the mesenteric arteries. If the gut (and hence the liver) is not “copiously perfused,” hypoglycemia may result in a neonatal convulsion. Deficient perfusion of the liver may also be a factor in bilirubin excretion and “physiological” jaundice.
During the third stage of labor, transition from placental dependency to self-sufficiency in life support is well understood by most midwives, lay and professional; the term used is “transing.” Most physicians think (and are taught) that this physiological process is pathological. For the midwife-home-delivered baby, the pulsating cord is routinely allowed to close itself regardless of the condition of the child at birth. Few if any of these neonates need NICU admission; this is a strong indication that delayed cord clamping – transing - is not a routine cause of pathology (jaundice, polycythemia, hypervolemia, hyperviscosity).
My oldest had a mild case of jaundice and my youngest didn't. I had an epidural with both of them and no pitocin with either of them. The difference was that, knowing that my oldest had jaundice, I requested that the cord cutting be delayed until it stopped pulsating.

post #13 of 66
No pitocin, very mild jaundice that required no treatment. I wonder if it has something to do with cord clamping as well. I wonder if babies born via C-section have more jaundice. My baby had a very short cord so it was cut sooner than I would have liked.
post #14 of 66
I was induced with pit and my dd didn't end up with jaundice. I had an 18 hour labor.
post #15 of 66
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the replies! They have been very interesting. Perhaps the jaundice is caused by something more like early cord clamping. That would make more sense. It just seems like most of the people I've talked to that had pitocin also had jaundice....so I wanted to ask around to find out.

My second son had jaundice as well. Probably all of my children will have it because of certain factors. However, his wasn't nearly as bad. I had no intervention (homebirth) and his cord was allowed to stop pulsing. That probably made a big difference.
It just seems like sooo many babes are born with jaundice these days. I wonder why that is? Has it always been like that, and its only now that docs make a big deal out of it?
post #16 of 66
After 18 hour labor, I stopped having contractions (I was straving, tired and afraid of pushing.) So last 2 hours of on a low drip of Pitocin.

No jaundice. No problems BFing.

But I HATED that my baby was getting hits of Pitocin, so in my tired, couldn't hear the OB's voice, (the only voice that mattered to me/I could hear was my DH) I pushed really hard and tore (2nd degree vagina, 3rd perenium.)
post #17 of 66
if you do a google search, you will see the medical literature which links pitocin administration in the mother to neonatal jaundice. also, in the pitocin handout, it lists jaundice in the baby as a potential side effect.

pitocin is awful
post #18 of 66
#1--had pitocin, no jaundice
#2--no pitocin (or anything else)--baby had mild jaundice :
post #19 of 66
We have ABO incompatibility, I had pitocin for a few hours (maybe 3?), his cord was cut immediately (they wanted to take him for deep suction b/c of meconium it was not originally in our birth "plan") and Ds was jaundiced until my milk came in.

I find this fascinating...I have been concerned that if his cord had been allowed to stay intact until it stopped pulsating that he would have been MORE jaundiced b/c of the incompatibility...is that not the case?
post #20 of 66
I'm too lazy to look it up the studies. So someone tell me, what form does pitocin-induced jaundice take? Does it occur immediately after the birth? Or is it indistinguishable from breastmilk jaundice? How do they know there is a pitocin-jaundice connection? Is is just increased incidence, or something else?

FWIW, I've had three homebirths (no pitocin) and all of my babies have had jaundice, starting at about three days of age I think.
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