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How do you guys feel about pitocin?

11 years 7 months ago #47389 by merri
So being the pregnant med student that I am - I decided I wanted to go see a delivery at my hospital. I was able to see a vaginal delivery - and it went very well - and was a good experience for me.

One thing bothered me though - I'm not sure if I'm overreacting - or don't understand enough... so let me know your opinions.

I asked how many of the patients get pitocin - the OB (who is potentially may deliver me) and one of the nurses kind of laughed - and said - most. The nurse said more than 80%. I was shocked. They tried to explain to me that it was the same as what your body does on its own - just faster and more efficient.... that it doesn't hurt more....

Now - I don't feel like I can contest what they are saying because I'm only a med student - I don't want to question my OB's medical judgement - but at the same time - I thought pit was to help move labor along when it was needed. They made it sound like it was always needed. They also said that they like for the moms to deliver the same day... so then I was thinking - well is this best for the mom and baby - or just best and easiest for the staff?!

Am I overreacting? Is it really not a big deal?
I feel like I am somewhere in between. I don't want to have a home birth - not totally comfortable with that - but on the other side - I don't want a totally medically overmanaged birth in which I have no say.

I have already changed doctors and medical centers once - but now I am second guessing my decision. The worst part is that now I am at my hospital where I will most likely be doing my OB rotation next year - and I don't want to get on their wrong side as a student. Still - as a patient I don't know if this hospital will be the best for me.

Any thoughts?

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11 years 7 months ago #47390 by AnnaM
Stay HOME until your labor is well established and moving right along. If you live reasonably near the hospital, you could stay home until you start feeling urges to push and you would still make it in time. At least stay home until you start feeling like you would want pain meds or an epidural.

Don't pressure your doc to induce you at 40 weeks exactly, or even earlier like some folks do.

The nurses and docs who say there is no difference between natural contractions and those induced by exogenous pitocin are full of it.

Hire a doula.

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11 years 7 months ago #47391 by merri
I do live close less than 2 miles - so that's good. But they said if my water breaks I have to come in no matter what...

I def don't want to be induced - so that's not an issue.

I really want a doula - trouble is that they only allow 2 people (the same 2 people) in the room a time. My husband works away for a week, then home for a week (out of the country - gone, no way to be back for several days). So he may or may not be there, and my mom is coming out for sure. So if I hire a doula and he is there, I'll have to kick my mom out...due to their 2 person rule...

Is it reasonable to push them on having 3 people potentially? I think in my case it is...don't want to be a trouble maker, but also want to have a good experience.

Should I look into going to another hospital which is more flexible if they are not willing to budge? I'm 32 weeks already... I guess I could go back to my original doc.

I'm really not that demanding - but this pitocin issue just does not sit well with me. If I really don't want it - can I refuse it? I have no problem taking it if it's medically needed, but it sounds like what they think is medically justified is warped...

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11 years 7 months ago #47392 by aurora
I'm surprised about the doula comment. Most MD's I know loathe doulas because they are often aggressive and give medical advice without a license. Our practice didn't allow them.

I'm not even pregnant yet but I'm debating whether I want to use a birthing center instead of having my (former) practice deliver me. I like the idea of not being on a conveyor belt for delivery (I know how hospitals work, I worked in OB) and the water labor sounds excellent. I, too, am afraid of offending the doctor I used to work with (and I still wish to have a good relationship)

"A goal without a plan is just a wish." - Antoine de Saint-Exupery

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11 years 7 months ago #47393 by swissmiss
Ok, I do think ob's may be too quick to start pitocin. It is due to a lot of factors. One thing to know is that you don't have to come in right away if you rupture your membranes. As long as the fluid is clear and you're not in the kind of labor that would bring you in to the hospital (and no fever, etc) then you can stay home - at least for several hours.

I totally agree with annam that staying home as long as possible is a good idea - for a lot of reasons. If you are in good active labor, making good progress, there will be no reason to start pitocin. I do think a lot of use of pitocin comes from admitting women who aren't really in active labor (including unnecessary inductions).

Another good option is delivery by midwife in a hospital setting if that exists where you live. You may not want to switch at this late in the game but that would be a good option for others who want to avoid intervention as much as possible.

That all being said, pitocin can be a great thing when needed and not overused so I wouldn't start off my labor totally against it if needed.

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11 years 7 months ago #47394 by residentmom
You can refuse anything you want, just weigh what they are telling you and do your own research in advance. I think pitocin can be useful in some cases, but I wouldn't say I ever used it in the majority of cases. Sometimes a hospital will have a culture of trying to get things done quickly, which may be the case there.

ResidentMom<br /><br />"If you bungle raising your children, I don't think whatever else you do well matters very much." --Jackie O.

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