what r your views on pitocin AFTER birth - Mothering Forums

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Old 02-02-2009, 04:32 AM - Thread Starter
 
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If I understood her correctly my Dr (who I like!) seems to routinely give pitocin after birth to stop bleeding, tighten uterus or whatever. I am not sure how I feel about this.
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Old 02-02-2009, 04:43 AM
 
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I refused it as long as I wasnt bleeding too much. It wasnt much of a hassle and I didnt "need" it.

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Old 02-02-2009, 04:53 AM
 
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My last midwife wanted to give me pitocin after birth, just as standard procedure. I refused it, and did just fine.

Nursing as soon as possible after birth will really help with bleeding and help contract the uterus. Drinking nettle infusion will really help, and there are several herb tinctures you can take that also have a strong effect, for the same purpose. I don't think pitocin is necessary as standard procedure in place of those other things -- why interfere if you don't need to? And why automatically have an IV hooked up to you when you're trying to get comfortable, recover, and nurse?

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Old 02-02-2009, 05:53 AM
 
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Unless you are in danger of hemorrhaging my birth center doesn't give it after birth.

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Old 02-02-2009, 06:13 AM
 
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I think it's standard for all or most doctors. Yet another thing they do that's unnecessary for most people. You can ask them not to, but they probably will anyway, unless you have no iv or hep lock. Pretty sure if you have those, they'll just give it to you that way & you might not even notice, otherwise they have to give you a shot.

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Old 02-02-2009, 11:27 AM
 
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I've had it after all of my pregnancies in the form of a shot. And I am someone who refuses everything, but I do accept this because I bleed A LOT. I've never had any ill effects from it whatsoever and will get it this time around, too.
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Old 02-02-2009, 02:20 PM
 
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I am wary of anything administered "routinely". Routinely usually means unecessarily.

If you do have a bleeding issue after the birth- then pit or methergin can be used for cause and not for a routine

For me-- I liken it to having teeth pulled because they MAY get a cavity.
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Old 02-02-2009, 02:31 PM
 
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I had two unplanned c-sections and routine was 2 bags of pitocin after birth for c-sections. However, my OB told them I didn't need both and I had less than one bag both times. I never researched it or requested less but my OB knew about my birth preferences and got me out of a lot of post c-section routines. However, I got that before I was diagnosed with two clotting genes. I hadn't thought about what to do when someone clots too well naturally - who is on blood thinners, but I'll go off them 24 hours before the c-section. This post brought up a good question that I'll have to ask my OB!
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Old 02-02-2009, 02:38 PM
 
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I agree that routinely doesn't necessarily mean it's needed. I would avoid it myself.

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Old 02-02-2009, 02:41 PM
 
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I'm sure it's not standard everywhere because I've had 3 kids (2 hospital and 1 midwife) and it's never even been mentioned. I know I didn't have it unknowingly because I didn't have an IV.

I asked 2 friends about this and they never had it either and they both have had 3 kids each in the hosp.

I have heard of using it to help stop bleeding if it's more than normal but never "just as routine."

I would refuse anything that's "routine" unless it's necessary.

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Old 02-02-2009, 02:45 PM
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It's fine for the treatment of hemorrhage. Otherwise not needed.

I did get pitocin after having both my babies due to heavy bleeding. However, I think that if I'd had a natural birth either time this may not have been needed.
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Old 02-02-2009, 02:52 PM
 
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Originally Posted by AnnR33 View Post
I know I didn't have it unknowingly because I didn't have an IV
I'm sure you'd know if you had a shot, too, but I wanted to mention, that the after birth pitocen is usually a shot in the thigh, if I recall correctly, and not necessarily in an IV.
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Old 02-02-2009, 02:56 PM
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They gave me a whole bag of pitocin on wide open after my second birth...it wasn't just a shot.

I also got some kind of suppository. I was bleeding pretty bad they said.

After my first birth I also got IV pitocin. It wasn't a shot.
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Old 02-02-2009, 02:57 PM
 
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Yikes! Was that "just in case" kind of thing or were you actually heavily bleeding?
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Old 02-02-2009, 03:00 PM
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Originally Posted by ani'smommy View Post
Yikes! Was that "just in case" kind of thing or were you actually heavily bleeding?
I wasn't really paying attention to my bleeding, and I was still pretty numb from the epidural so I probably wouldn't have known anyway. They certainly said that it was bad. It was enough to make me test borderline anemic when, afaik, before that I was fine.
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Old 02-02-2009, 04:11 PM
 
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I agree there are legitimate uses for it, but routine use is not the way to go.

I don't have sources for this, it's just what a very educated friend told me. I can ask her where she got this info from:

"Pitocin (synthetic oxytocin) can't cross the blood-brain barrier the way natural oxytocin can. However, if pitocin is in the bloodstream, it down-regulates the body's own production of natural oxytocin via a negative feedback loop. If a woman receives pitocin during or after labor, it can potentially inhibit bonding with her child and increase her chances of PPD, along with missing out on the birth high and all the other nice things natural oxytocin *in the brain* does."

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Old 02-02-2009, 04:17 PM
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I agree there are legitimate uses for it, but routine use is not the way to go.

I don't have sources for this, it's just what a very educated friend told me. I can ask her where she got this info from:

"Pitocin (synthetic oxytocin) can't cross the blood-brain barrier the way natural oxytocin can. However, if pitocin is in the bloodstream, it down-regulates the body's own production of natural oxytocin via a negative feedback loop. If a woman receives pitocin during or after labor, it can potentially inhibit bonding with her child and increase her chances of PPD, along with missing out on the birth high and all the other nice things natural oxytocin *in the brain* does."
That's more referring to using pitocin in LABOR, not as much for using it after birth during a real emergency. By the time you get pitocin after labor, you already have the 'birth high' going on if you had a natural birth. I mean I am sure it intereferes somewhat, but given that the other option is bleeding profusely, personally, I'd go with the pitocin in that case.
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Old 02-02-2009, 04:25 PM
 
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Moving from I'm Pregnant to Birth and Beyond.
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Old 02-02-2009, 04:27 PM
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Oh, and fwiw, I am having a midwife attended homebirth this time, and if I do have issues with bleeding after, I will try to eat some of the placenta before going to more drastic measures.
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Old 02-02-2009, 04:41 PM
 
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I am against routine Pitocin. If mom is hemorraging, yes, it can be a valuable tool that might save her life. But otherwise, it's not necessary.

I wanted to add that we had it on hand for my homebirth, but it was to be a last resort. I HATE Pitocin. We agreed to try everything else under the sun, short of transfer, before using the Pitocin.
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Old 02-02-2009, 04:56 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Talula Fairie View Post
That's more referring to using pitocin in LABOR, not as much for using it after birth during a real emergency. By the time you get pitocin after labor, you already have the 'birth high' going on if you had a natural birth. I mean I am sure it intereferes somewhat, but given that the other option is bleeding profusely, personally, I'd go with the pitocin in that case.
I agree with this because I've had it after all my births due to my heavy bleeding and the birth high and bonding were not inhibited whatsoever. I never had issues with the pit. being given to me after the birth. I've never experienced it during a birth so I don't know about that.
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Old 02-02-2009, 05:00 PM
 
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pretty much agreeign with the chorus here. When indicated for heavy bleeding, it is useful, as a "routine" intervention, it is often not needed. More importantly, I think it is telling about your doctors overall philosophy on birth..he clearly seems to think birth on it's own isn't "good enough" and that all births need "help" . this would concern me MUCH more than the possibility of simply getting an unecesary shot of pitocin. I woudl suggest a THOUROUGH discussion about your birth plan, focusing on the "what-ifs" because even the most intervention=prone doctor will tell you "as long as no complications arise, you can have..X, Y, Z..." the ptoblems arise when things don't go 100% textbook....what does the doctor think THEN??

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Old 02-02-2009, 06:03 PM
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I am against routine Pitocin. If mom is hemorraging, yes, it can be a valuable tool that might save her life. But otherwise, it's not necessary.

I wanted to add that we had it on hand for my homebirth, but it was to be a last resort. I HATE Pitocin. We agreed to try everything else under the sun, short of transfer, before using the Pitocin.
I totally agree with this and plan to do the same thing.
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Old 02-02-2009, 07:14 PM
 
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More importantly, I think it is telling about your doctors overall philosophy on birth..he clearly seems to think birth on it's own isn't "good enough" and that all births need "help" . this would concern me MUCH more than the possibility of simply getting an unecesary shot of pitocin.
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I couldn't agree more. That is a HUGE RED FLAG, IMO! I would not trust a doc who thought pitocin was always needed after birth in every case.

For me, my MW was concerned that I had some membrane retained. She massaged my uterus & more came out, but she was still concerned about some remaining.

She actually made a point to wait & see if DS would BF - of course knowing that that naturally releases more oxytocin to help the uterus clamp down (and... therefore... I might not need the synthetic oxytocin (pitocin.) But he wouldn't latch on, just wasn't interested. I'm on video saying, "C'mon, help me out!" But he wouldn't open his mouth. I already had a hep-lock (nothign in it though, just the tube), so she gave me a choice of pit "IM" ("Intra-muscular", a shot) or IV. I chose the shot so I wouldn't have to deal with the IV tube in the way. It was no problem at all.

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Originally Posted by chandasz View Post
I am wary of anything administered "routinely". Routinely usually means unecessarily.

For me-- I liken it to having teeth pulled because they MAY get a cavity.
Again, I agree, well said. I use that exact same analogy oftne about the routine administration of birth interventions (like "nothing by mouth").
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Old 02-02-2009, 08:08 PM
 
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I was given Pitocin at my 3 hospital births in three different states.The first one I barely noticed, the nurse gave me a shot in my thigh while they were handing me the baby.The second was a pitocin induction and it took forever to get them to stop it after the birth.My third was given in my thigh as I was protesting it.My last birth was a UC and I had no problems with my placenta or bleeding, it was also my shortest PP flow time.
Pitocin seems to be the wonderful routine thing, right up there with Vit K shot and eye gunk.

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Old 02-02-2009, 08:14 PM
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I am so glad to be doing a homebirth this time and not having to deal with the vitamin k and eye gunk bs.
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Old 02-02-2009, 08:32 PM
 
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I am so glad to be doing a homebirth this time and not having to deal with the vitamin k and eye gunk bs.
Oh yes, it gave me a giggle when we took our 4th in at 3 days old and the Dr was obviously resisting the urge to suggest the Vit K shot just in case.He finally got out, "that since the baby was 3 days old he guessed that it was fine without getting the shot but thats what they usually do right after birth."

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Old 02-02-2009, 08:49 PM
 
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In a normal situation, no thanks. I had one birth where I consented to some, but it was because I was still bleeding heavily after we tried other options. That was birth #2. I didn't need or have any afterward with the three following births.

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Old 02-02-2009, 11:04 PM
 
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what do you all think about delaying cord clamping and the shot of pitocin?

i've heard one school of thought that says it is dangerous to delay the cord clamping if the mother gets pitocin. the reason is that the uterus would contract so strongly against the placenta that the placenta would gush all this blood up the cord and into the baby.

what do you think?

my ob/gyn just let me know that the pitocin shot is "routine" for all births in hospital here. i was hoping to delay cord clamping for this baby if possible, and its kind of a bummer that it can't happen because of some BS routine procedure that shouldn't even be routine.
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Old 02-02-2009, 11:57 PM
 
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Originally Posted by AnnR33 View Post
I'm sure it's not standard everywhere because I've had 3 kids (2 hospital and 1 midwife) and it's never even been mentioned. I know I didn't have it unknowingly because I didn't have an IV.

I asked 2 friends about this and they never had it either and they both have had 3 kids each in the hosp.

I have heard of using it to help stop bleeding if it's more than normal but never "just as routine."

I would refuse anything that's "routine" unless it's necessary.
: re: refusing anything that's "routine".

I think it is standard in a lot of jurisdictions. In part because it allows the doctor to exit more quickly after the birth. In part, because it is widely accepted as a very "minor" birth intervention. The WHO actually recommends it as a prophylactic measure. (Of course, I've always considered that the WHO is setting standards for all the world - most especially the developing world. They do acknowledge within their recommendation that it is made because the mother may be at great distance from competent medical care if the bleeding develops into a more serious complication. Not that most doctors in North America would point that out!)

I have read that receiving routine pitocin after the delivery increase one's chances of a post-partum hemorrhage that begins more than 24 hours after the birth. Sorry, no source - you'll have to search it yourself. The gist of that criticism is that the pitocin shot overloads the body with something like many hundred's times the body's natural level - it completely overwhelms natural systems. Then, when the pitocin wears off, your natural resources (which have been knocked senseless) have to pick up more suddenly. Not a frequent complication, but can happen.

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