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Pitocin-how bad? - Page 3

post #41 of 57
I did not have a Pitocin induced birth - I was fortunate to be able to give birth naturally. However, I did end up with back pain similar to what you described. Mine was an intense throbbing from my lower back to my neck. My doctor said it was just muscle spasms from pushing so hard. Motrin took the edge off. So, yours may not have been caused by the Pitocin.
post #42 of 57
I was doing some reading on unassisted childbirth, and I read that Pitocin helps in only 5% of the cases in which it is used. Now if I could only remember where I read it... :

I had Pitocin. I had a traumatic birth. Some of the trauma can be attributed to the fact that I was very depressed during my pregnancy(baby's father left me when I told him I was pregnant) and didn't do the "right" research, but the rest is due to the hospital and the practitioners there.
I went to the hospital at 11pm and delivered the next day at 3:36pm. I thought my water had broken, but it hadn't. They admitted me anyway because I was having contractions I couldn't feel. I laid on my left side for 15-16 hours because they told me I *had* to do that. I was only allowed up to go to the bathroom. Around 4-5am, the contractions were so bad--every hour or so-- that the nurse talked me into a shot to help me sleep and relieve the pain. Not even 10 seconds after she injected this(I didn't even ask what they were giving me, because, after all, this is a maternity ward of a hospital, so they should know what they're doing ), I was able to fall asleep. I woke for every contraction and then fell back to sleep. It wasn't until the morning came, and a new shift of nurses, that I got the Pitocin. A lot of what happened next is blurry. I know I got another shot(of the mystery drug), but I am not sure when. I know that it made me drowsy as heck. I chose to be alone during DD's birth, so there's no one to tell me what happened.
I was out of state(not expected to deliver for a few more days), so I had one doctor examine me, but when I went into hard labor, he was doing an emergency c-section, so there was another doctor coming in to deliver DD. He came in, told me to push, and then screamed at the nurses as he threw off his gown, gloves, and mask, "She's nowhere NEAR being ready, why did you bother me?"
I was in so much pain, even with the shot they gave me, and it was all in my back. I had no pain anywhere else. The doctor came back, he broke my water, and sometime after that, after I was told I was endangering my child's life by not pushing when I was told, after an episiotomy, after I tore to the 4th degree, I did push out my daughter. Then he wouldn't let me hold her till he sewed me up--for an hour!
They kept me hooked up to the Pitocin for a long time *after* the birth, too. I was so out of it, I didn't even ask why.
So, after this novel, I had Pitocin for over 8 hours, horrible back contractions, and no problems with breastfeeding at all.
post #43 of 57
i had pitocin, when i started pushing. it was soo hard, but 5 pushes was enough...doc said it would have been longer without pitocin. who knows?
post #44 of 57

Pitocin-how bad?

I STRONGLY support homebirth in most cases...this is not one of them. I also did not go into labor by week 42 due to hormone problems. The last thing you want is to have to transport to a hospital because the birth is not progressing or the baby is in trouble. Since you know this problem is in your family I think it would be best to find a midwife who will support you and find a birthing center. My cervix was ripe and dialated at two cm when I was induced. Two treatments of cervadil in 10 hours produced nothing so pitocin was started. After 14 hours of slow labor I was at 4 cm and the baby's heartrate had skyrocketed. The baby was born via c-section. What a let down...but he and I are alive and well. I don't know how dangerous pitocin is but I do believe that it caused my baby's high heartrate which resulted in the c-section. My midwife offered me two homeopathics to take a week before the birth to see if my body would go into labor naturally. Maybe your midwife can do the same. Maybe they'll work for you! Our bodies are all different! Good luck and great planning!!!!
post #45 of 57
Originally Posted by clavicula
i had pitocin, when i started pushing. it was soo hard, but 5 pushes was enough...doc said it would have been longer without pitocin. who knows?
Interesting...with my first Pit-induced birth, when I was about to push, the Dr. said, "let's crank that [the Pit drip] up so she doesn't have to work so hard." That comment stuck in my mind; at the time I was so grateful to have a benevolent MD who would do all he could to help me.
post #46 of 57
I had a pitocin augmented labour with my third child. Her head had not been engaged at all but I had been dilated about 2cm for a week. I had started out at my local birth centre expecting a quick labour but ended up being transferred after dd turned transverse and my waters broke - and I mean everything went - the midwives were soaked as her head didn't move down over my cervix to stem the flow. This was after 2 hours of no change in her position despite walking, stepping up stairs sideways, squatting changing positions, in and out of the pool..... The midwives waited for an hour or so and in this time my contractions went wacky spacing out, then doubling up and still nosign of dd moving anywhere. Her head was stuck on my hip and between us we couldn't move it. My cervix was about 5 and also not dilating.

They arranged a transfer which was not pleasant (winding country roads) and we arrived at the hospital at 4am. The new midwives called a sleepy registrar who sited the venflon with me crying my eyes out. Then about an hour later after still no change they started the Pitocin.

At the time no one really told me why I need it, but now after talking to friends who are midwives they think it was probably the least worst option and the first way to try to force dd's head down and stop her slipping breech.
If it hadn't worked I would have ended up with a cs which I sort of imagined and is the only reason I refused an epidural. I kept saying to dh 'don't let them cut me open' and I thought that if I accepted the epi I would end up on a table before I could blink.

As it turned out dd did start to move down and after me saying I needed to pee and forcing them to let me off the bed for a while everything got moving and she was born at 8.02am. She had apgars of 10 and 10 and had not shown any signs of distress at any point during the labour.

The midwifes were astonished that I had done it without the epi or anything else and that it had been so 'quick' but it was the moooost painful experience of my life. I had experienced 2 ordinary labours and this was nothing like them at all. I was vocalising my pain and pushing it over into the corner of the room without respite for what seemed like a lifetime. Dh had no idea how to help me and neither did I because I didn't know what was happening to me.

I was totally in shock after she was born and we walked out of the hospital at 11am that same morning in a daze. I honestly cannot imagine dealing with how I felt as wellas a drug induced haze at that time. I spent days mourning her birth and thinking that this hadn't been how I wanted to bring a child into the world and I knowing that it didn't have to be so hard or horrible. I have made an appointment to meet a midwife to go through my notes from that labour and process it a bit more before ttc at the end of the year.

If a new baby also decides not to engage I will be doing all I can to encourage it to do so!
post #47 of 57
Pitocin is not used here in Alberta, Canada (I don't know about the rest of Canada), anymore because it is a dangerous drug. Inducing labour might have its place in rare instances, but it is done way too often. The medical community and society have taught us (and the sad part is that many of us believe it) that womens bodies don't work. They use some type of balloon instrument in the cervix to induce labour here, less nasty than a toxic chemical, but still invasive.

The best reference I can give you about birth and to trust in nature is Ina May Gaskin, pioneer midwife. She has a book. Check out her website: http://www.inamay.com/
post #48 of 57
Thread Starter 
You guys rock, thank you so much for the responses, stories etc. I do not have it all sorted out in my head yet but at least I feel more comfortable about not being induced etc etc. Now I am off researching...this has been wonderful! Thank you! Any and all comments etc people have feel free! I am quickly joining the no=pitocin camp.

post #49 of 57
Originally Posted by karinasusy
Pitocin is not used here in Alberta, Canada (I don't know about the rest of Canada), anymore because it is a dangerous drug. Inducing labour might have its place in rare instances, but it is done way too often. The medical community and society have taught us (and the sad part is that many of us believe it) that womens bodies don't work. They use some type of balloon instrument in the cervix to induce labour here, less nasty than a toxic chemical, but still invasive.http://www.inamay.com/
Um, I was given pitocin, like, 9 months ago. When did they stop giving it in AB?
post #50 of 57
Within the last year, I can't be too sure. But, it is what I heard from a mother that was induced in Calgary. Obviously, my source might not be accurate.
post #51 of 57
My advice is to trust your body, as long as the baby is ok and responding well to tests past your due date. I never progressed well with pitocin. Did you ever use pressure points/accupressure to help induce labor? There are areas on your hand, foot, and ankle that can help begin contractions. If you live in Orange County, there is a massage place that offers a special "induction" massage that has a 95% success rate!

Another suggestion is that if you do have the pitocin, try to reduce it or elimiinate it once contractions start happening on their own. It does take a few hours for the effects to wear off, however, so contractions may still be intense for a while. Good luck!
post #52 of 57

Being Induced

This next round I would really like some options and would like to avoid inducing completely.

If I needed to be induced I would try accupuncture or accupressure(reflexology) It brought on my labor and a friends quite easily.
post #53 of 57


My apologies to this list. I was incorrect in my last statement about pitocin not being used here anymore. It is something that I heard, but didn't confirm before my posting. A lesson learned for me (sorry!). As far as the effects and safety of pitocin, I'm sure a Google search will give you plenty of information. Below is a message I received about Pitocin:

Yes, they still do use syntocinon (pitocin) for induction/augmentation
here in Calgary at times.

The balloon instrument that you are talking about is a Folly Catheter.
They inflate it inside the uterus to cause a release of prostaglandins
(much like a cervical sweep I think) and sometime it will spur labour
on. I've only seen this used at the Peter Lougheed for induction, but
they might be using it at the other hospitals too.

In my experience, Syntocinon is normally used as the "next step" in
induction (after a ripening agent such as prostaglandin gel, cervidil or
the folly) or if the cervix is already thin and effaced and has started
to dilate but labour has not commenced.
post #54 of 57
Posting from Ireland. My friend had a history of hormone dependanyt diabetes and as a result to pushed into 'managed labour' at 40 weeks as she was told 39 weeks + was high risk.
Had her aters broken by amnio-hook (said it as very painful) - nothign happening for 12 hours. Put on pit, contractions spallared out of control. All she remembers was screaming in a black sea agony taking her past her pain threshold, even with drugs (which seemed to have very little effect) and she never dilated past 4cm. 5 hours after her contractions started she almost blacked out at one point from the pain. Was given an epi, on request - which slowed down the labour - so she was put on oxytocin - to speed it up again.
7 hours in, still 4cm. At this stage she as exhausted, hungry, the epi needed topping up and the needle needed repositioning. The telemetry monirot made it difficult for her to move around and the baby's hearbeart was slowing down. 14 HOURS AFTER SHE WAS PUT ON PIT, SHE HAD A C-SECTION.
Now for baby 2, she is insisting on an elective c-section at 39 weeks under epidural and vows to haveher tubes tied 6 weeks after the birth, as she never wants to risk labour again.
I think that's very sad.
post #55 of 57

Pitocin Worked Great For Me

After 40 hours of totally natural labor with contractions that remained 4 minutes apart but NO dilation, I consented to en epidural so that I could rest (I wasn't able to work with my contractions anymore due to being exhausted). I was given pitocin with my epidural which I don't remember consenting to (although maybe I did---I was so tired). Anyhow I slept for two hours (which was so needed), and, when I woke, I was fully dilated and ready to go. I had the most wonderful birth---went for one hour (the contractions were still 4 minutes apart). The epidural had partly worn off so I could feel the contractions but they weren't totally debilitating. We had a beautiful, smooth birth.

My mother and sister also had long labors (24+ hours) with trouble dilating. My mom had 3 natural births after the long labors, and my sister took pitocin after 24 hours of labor that wasn't progressing and delivered my nephew 4 hours later with no complications.

With my persoanl experience and my family history, I will try the natural birth again next time (and rest more for the first part of it as it will likely be a long haul), but if my labor doesn't progress after 40 hours (or whenever I get totally exhausted), I would consider doing a epi and pitocin again. Our birth was just so good.
post #56 of 57
This article explains how our own hormones work and how the use of artificial oxytocin affects us and our babies. It's fantastic and well-referenced too.

This is a snippet just on the use of Syntocinon - same as pit.

Induction and Augmentation
In Australia in 2002, approximately 26 percent of women had an induction of labor, and another 19 percent have an augmentation--stimulation or speeding up of labor—through either artificial rupture of membranes or with synthetic oxytocin (Pitocin, Syntocinon).In the US in 2004, 53 percent of women reported that they had Pitocin administered in labor to strengthen or speed up contractions.36

Synthetic oxytocin administered in labor does not act like the body’s own oxytocin. First, Pitocin-induced contractions are different from natural contractions, and these differences can have significant effects on the baby. For example, waves can occur almost on top of each other when too high a dose of Pitocin is given, and it also causes the resting tone of the uterus to increase.37

Such over-stimulation (hyperstimulation) can deprive the baby from the necessary supplies of blood and oxygen, and so produce abnormal FHR patterns, fetal distress (leading to caesarean section), and even uterine rupture.38

Birth activist Doris Haire describes the effects of Pitocin on the baby:

The situation is analogous to holding an infant under the surface of the water, allowing the infant to come to the surface to gasp for air, but not to breathe.39

These effects may be partly due to the high blood levels of oxytocin that are reached when a woman labors with Pitocin. Theobald calculated that, at average levels used for induction or augmentation/acceleration, a woman’s oxytocin levels will be 130 to 570 times higher than she would naturally produce in labor.40 Direct measurements do not concur, but blood oxytocin levels are difficult to measure.41 Other researchers have suggested that continuous administration of this drug by iv infusion, which is very different to its natural pulsatile release, may also account for some of these problems.42

Second, oxytocin, synthetic or not, cannot cross from the body to the brain through the blood-brain barrier. This means that Pitocin, introduced into the body by injection or drip, does not act as the hormone of love. However, it can interfere with oxytocin’s natural effects. For example, we know that women with Pitocin infusions are at higher risk of major bleeding after the birth43 44 and that, in this situation, the uterus actually loses oxytocin receptors and so becomes unresponsive to the postpartum oxytocin peak that prevents bleeding.45 But we do not know the psychological effects of interference with the natural oxytocin that nature prescribes for all mammalian species.

As for the baby, ‘Many experts believe that through participating in this initiation of his own birth, the fetus may be training himself to secrete his own love hormone.’29 Michel Odent speaks passionately about our society’s deficits in our capacity to love self and others, and he traces these problems back to the time around birth, particularly to interference with the oxytocin system.
That's the drug company's own leaflet on Pit. which makes for bloody scary reading! It is specifically warned against using for induction also for VBAC.
post #57 of 57
My OB was itching to give me a c-section. He just preferred them. After 12 hrs of mild, steady labor, I agreed to prostaglandin gel to speed things along. I wasn't dilating fast enough, and I knew that he'd send me to the OR if I didn't hurry it up. He offered to break my water, but we didn't want to start the clock, or to give me pit, which we new we wanted to avoid. The prostaglandin gel was the gentlest option, so that's what we went with. The nurse did warn me that in a small percentage of women, the gel would start hard labor. I was one of them. It was awful and I was stuck flat on my back. Soon after the doctor broke my water, which I didn't feel, and then started pit. I didn't feel any difference in the contractions at any point, though DH said that they looked much worse on the monitor.
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