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How do you guys feel about pitocin?

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11 years 4 months ago #47401 by Sweet
Quick personal experience recount:

I waited until my labor was well established with both of my babies before going in to the hospital (rule of thumb: if you can carry on a normal conversation without too much distress, you do not need to be at the hospital if you only live 2 miles away).

With baby #2, at 8cm my progress slowed considerably and I was encouraged (maybe even cajoled) to agree to pitocin. I declined, very sweetly, and asked for a little extra time, then asked the staff for a 10 minute break with complete privacy (i.e., unless the monitors at the nurse's station were showing something really scary, I did not want them to come into my room). I spent those ten minutes methodically massaging and stimulating my nipples (sorry, too much info perhaps :o ). My labor picked up where it had left off and our son arrived about 90 minutes later (45 minutes of it were spent pushing).

Just something to add to your list of harmless things to try before having to take pitocin.

P.S. And yes, pitocin-induced contractions are much more intense (as reported by a cousin who had labors both with and without it), but it can be medically unavoidable in some cases.

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11 years 4 months ago #47402 by AnnaM
Agree with the recommendation for reading Ina May's book, and would also recommend her 1st book "Spiritual Midwifery" which is now in its 4th edition, I believe. Just reading story after story about natural births and how they went convinced me that if they could do it, I could too.

And thank you for mentioning exercise, mamabear. I forgot that one. When I was pregnant with my first, I started the Jane Fonda pregnancy exercise program and did it religiously throughout pregnancy. I know my physical endurance increased tremendously while I was pregnant, and it came in very handy when it took me 3 hours to push out my 10-pounder. I don't think I could have done it in my former couch-potato state.

Today I watched my former 10-pounder, at age 24.5, jump out of an airplane at 14,000 feet. I'm not sure which was more difficult, giving birth to him or watching him jump out of a plane, but we both survived, then and now.

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11 years 4 months ago #47403 by Baby Einstein
First baby: stayed home until 7cm, fantastic epidural, no pitocin

Second baby: induced (b/c 5cm dilated - is that really an indication to induce at 37w0d?), pitocin throughout, epidural didn't work

Guess which one I preferred? :p


Merri, I agree with what everyone said:
- stay home as long as you can
- ask why they want to give you pitocin
- reserve your right to decline if you don't feel it's necessary after discussing it with your doctor (assuming he's there)
- keep an open mind!

As for the 2-person rule without switches, that's a bit strict. Ask your doc if there's any flexibility. If doc is okay with it, usually the nurses won't make any big deal out of it. I was supposed to have only 3, but they allowed 5 (maybe because I was the med student, who knows?).

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11 years 4 months ago #47404 by merri
Thank you all for the suggestions and support - I don't know why this has to be so difficult... I have a lot to think about/read about in the next few weeks.

I understand that I have to consider everyone's needs (mine, my baby's, and the doctors) - just sometimes hard to determine how they can all work together. I want to be flexible - and I know that the will take good care of me, just the more I learn - the more I doubt. I like to be educated about my decisions, but so many things seem to be in direct conflict...

BE - my med student friends will probably be able to sneak in a little more easily - it is strict! However - our hospital had a baby kidnapped a few years ago... so I understand it somewhat...

Sweet - thanks for the TMI tip ;) great idea!

Luckily I am not a high risk patient - probably one of the lowest risk that they've seen in awhile really! I wish I could say I've been the model pregnant woman (exercising, eating perfectly) - not the case... but somehow in good-ish shape. Have not gained an excessive amt of weight. I will try to walk more and get physically stronger so I can endure the possibly long labor.

I really appreciate all of your help - this is a very hard time for me, can be very lonely. I don't like to doubt myself, my decisions - want the best outcome of course.

Also I think about my family members in other parts of the world who have way less say - and far fewer options and are less educated about the process - and I have to be grateful...

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11 years 4 months ago #47405 by romd

Originally posted by merri: I don't want a totally medically overmanaged birth in which I have no say.

I would definitely recommend talking to your OB beforehand AND again during labor about what you want and don't want (pitocin, episiotomy, etc). So long as you do it nicely and respectfully, don't worry about offending anyone. It is your body and your baby. For my first child, I was started on Pitocin without my knowledge, even though I'm a MD (I probably would have agreed to it since the baby failed to descend at all and I later ended up with a C-section, but the annoying fact was that no one said a word or bothered to discuss it with me until I was crying over the much stronger contractions.)

Originally posted by mamabear: In the end, my OB, CNM and of course, my doula, were all on the same page and helped me have the birth I wanted - a peaceful, quiet, joyful, drug-free, pain-free, comfortable, natural childbirth! I honestly didn't think it was going to be possible...

Is that really possible? Drug-free AND pain-free? When my first baby failed to descend, the OB stopped the epidural for about an hour to see if I would be able to push better, but I was in so much pain that I couldn't stop the tears from streaming down and I had no strength to push with the pain. (I'm expecting to deliver any day now with #2... Unfortunately I'm high risk so a CNM is not an option but I still would love to know how to get through labor with less drugs and less pain.)

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11 years 4 months ago #47406 by merri
So ... I went over to my OBs' office to get some paperwork and ended up talking to one of the OBs that may deliver me. She had a much more "normal" approach - and said I should make a birth plan but be flexible. She was very supportive and said that I have the right to ask for less intervention if I want it. I'm seeing her officially next week, so hopefully we can work something out. I hope she is on the day I deliver!!! I felt so much more at ease with her... so hopefully she can at least help me lay the best plans and prepare me for the unknowns...

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