Risks of Pitocin

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iVillage Member
Registered: 07-05-2005
Risks of Pitocin
Wed, 05-08-2013 - 9:59am

A preliminary new study of the drug Pitocin, frequently given to women to help start or speed up childbirth, has raised concerns about its safety.

The study found that the use of Pitocin to induce or augment labor was linked to unexpected admissions to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) and to lower Apgar scores -- a test to check newborns' physical condition in the minutes following birth.

"These results suggest that Pitocin use is associated with adverse effects on neonatal outcomes," said researcher Dr. Michael Tsimis, a resident in obstetrics and gynecology at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York, in a statement.


Interesting.  Has anyone here had pitocin used to help their labor progress?  What was your experience with it like?

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iVillage Member
Registered: 05-07-2013
Wed, 05-08-2013 - 11:51am

I had pitocin with my last delivery.  Thankfully I don't think my little guy suffered any negative consequences of the pitocin, but I was not a fan.  I'm hoping to avoid it at all costs this time around. 

Jenni ~ Expecting baby #2 in January 2014! 

Community Leader
Registered: 04-18-2003
Sat, 05-11-2013 - 10:36pm

I have heard enough that I think there are plenty of women who would agree with Dragonflysong. There have also been some awful stories. I remember a young co-worker who decided to opt for a bit more invasive gel treatment rather than pitocin because of the research she'd done--prompted by me, :D


iVillage Member
Registered: 05-20-2013
Tue, 05-21-2013 - 2:56pm

I had to use Pitocin because I was only 2 centimeters when I was admitted but my water had broken and they didn't want to risk being in labor too long. Kinda backfired. I got the Pitocin at about 4:15 am. the contractions got really bad about 45 minutes later and progressed until I wound up getting an epidural at about 3:00 pm. All the times they checked me, I was still only 2 centimeters. At the same time, I would be turned every half hour and they would lose his heartbeat (they had an internal monitor). Then when they could find his heartbeat, they couldn't find my contractions, and vice versa. They eventually took me off the Pitocin and within a half hour I was up to 4 centimeters Surprised! I was heated.

Also, at around 6:15, they tried a different position (hands and knees) but every time I contracted, my little man's heartbeat would drop. I was given the option to keep monitoring but gave in and did the c-section. I truly believe that I didn't need the Pitocin and I wouldn't have gone through all that I did. Thankfully, he suffered no serious side effects.

Community Leader
Registered: 04-18-2003
Thu, 05-23-2013 - 6:46pm

There seems to be mixed reviews about internal monitoring. Some feel it should only be used for a high risk pregnancy, others it should be routine. It depends on the OB.


iVillage Member
Registered: 06-06-2013
Wed, 06-12-2013 - 10:40pm

I would wager that most women birthing in American hospitals will have pit used on them.  Inductions are all the rage, even though they increase the risks enormously.  OB's want to practice obstetrics 9 to 5 and it is at the expense of our newborns.  And many moms seem to play right into it.

Pitocin will cause your uterus to contract and if enough of your bodies normal labor causing chemicals were able to do their job before the induction, things may go well.  But a body that isn't primed for labor resists it.  You may have strong contractions but if they aren't causing cervical change then they are essentially useless or worse causing your baby distress.  That's why Sooooo many inductions result in c-sections.  

Cytotec or misoprostal worries me more than pit.  It can cause hyperstimulation of the uterus, causing unnaturally long contractions that can cause serious damage to a birthing baby.  It is linked to both infant and maternal mortality.  It seems to affect women dramatically different where a small amount can do very little to some women and have horrible outcomes for others.  It isn't even an approved drug for pregnancy, actually having been designed for stomach ulcers, which it does very little for but they found that it can turn the cervix to "mush"

Shame on our dr's for doing this to us.  In trying to convince us that we aren't capable of birthing without their medical assistance, they know better.