× Family & Parenting

How do you guys feel about pitocin?

11 years 6 months ago #47407 by mamabear

Originally posted by romd:

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.) [/b]

Argh! I typed up my reply from my iPhone and somehow lost it!

Anyway, it's just as well as I needed to edit it!

I wonder if you were experiencing back labor for baby #1. If so, there's a way to remedy this with an age old manuever known commonly as the belly lift. There's also a book called "back Labor No More" which explains the basic physics behind why back labor causes pain as well as how the belly lift relieves the pain and allows the baby to descend quickly.

As for your other question - yes, it is possible to have a drug-free, pain-free birth. In fact, it's even possible to have an orgasmic one! :scratchchin:

Sorry my answer is long and rambly. Typing on an iPhone in the wee hours adds to the rambly-ness. And as you can see, after having such a profoundly alternate birth experience from what most expect, I am compelled to share! In fact, feel free to send me a private email if you want to discuss more.

Best of births to you, romd! Hope you stay calm and relaxed and read about the belly lift!!!


P.S. Can you tell that this is part of the reason I want to go back to school to be an MD/PhD?!

"To see a world in a grain of sand,<br />And a heaven in a wild flower,<br />Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,<br />And eternity in an hour." - William Blake

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11 years 6 months ago #47408 by mamabear
merri -

I'm glad to hear your OB has put you at ease! Do you know who would attend your birth if your OB is not available? It would be great if you can go over your birth plan with any/all OBs who may be attending your birth. When you're in the middle of labor, it is easy to just go with whatever is being suggested and give up easily on your preferences. Sometimes, it's only because your OB needs to be reminded of what you wanted. I recommend bringing copies of your birth plan to the hospital, too.

Best of births to you!

"To see a world in a grain of sand,<br />And a heaven in a wild flower,<br />Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,<br />And eternity in an hour." - William Blake

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11 years 6 months ago #47409 by asunshine
My experience a few weeks ago-
My water broke, so I had to be admitted. I had weak, irregular ctx. We waited for "real" ctx to kick in for 6 hours, then my OB was okay with starting the pit slowly (increasing 1 milliunit an hour). Eventually it had to be cranked up full blast, but I felt like the decision to start the pitocin was a shared one, however inevitable.

The whole staff knew I was a nurse, and my OB knew I was a nurse and med student. I think they were even more responsive because I was in health care. (Remember it works both ways--if your doc totally treats *you* poorly, that can get back through the grapevine at your medical school, and it affects if you'd ever refer to him/her once in practice. So it behooves them to treat you well, too!)

I didn't know pit was an anti-diuretic, and that L&D wards LOVE cranking in the fluids. Ask if all the fluids are necessary if they're free flowing in. I don't know how many liters I got, but I was so swollen the skin on my feet was about to crack and my breasts were so swollen I had trouble breastfeeding. Be warned!

Your birthing experience will probably be completely different than what you imagined it, but it will still be okay. Pitocin might end up being a total non-issue for you anyway. I had been hoping to labor at home a long time, try the tub, avoid an episiotomy...but no dice. But I was also expecting it would hurt beyond belief, I'd need an epidural, and that I'd go uncomfortably past my due date...which didn't happen either. So it will all turn out, and you get a beautiful baby no matter what!

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11 years 6 months ago #47410 by nonny2
I have long felt pitocin use is unethical. Doctors don't always have the patience (or time) to allow lengthy labors to progress naturally (sorry for the phrase pathdr!) Something I have been thinking about...do you guys think it is at all possible that the overuse of pitocin has anything to do with the rise in autism? Oxytocin is the hormone of bonding/attachment. Could flooding little developing brains be changing their chemistry? Downregulating receptors or something? Either way, I think drugs make labor more difficult, like attempting to fun a marathon on opiates or on shots of epi...

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11 years 5 months ago #47411 by rositabean

Originally posted by merri:
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?!

You absolutely SHOULD be questioning your OB's medical judgement. Much of OBs labor and delivery practices are not evidence based and are mostly done for convenience and/or liability concerns, not necessarily because it is best for the patient. They should have just told you "we like our moms to deliver monday-friday between the hours of 9am-5pm. Will will intervene as much as possible to try to get you to comply vaginally. Should you be unable to comply a C-section will be arranged."

Sadly most women don't have any medical training or background so they are even more hesitant than you to question the infallability of their OBs medical judgement. This is why the C-section rate is excessively high in the US and why women rarely have a natural childbirth anymore. And for the record, a natural childbirth is one involving minimal to no intervention and medications. An induced, AROM'd, episiotomied birth is not natural even if the baby did come out the vaginal canal. You should know that every intervention increases your risk of ending up with a C-section and that this is a major surgery with attendant complications both short term, for your next pregnancies, and can even affect your insurance coverage.

If your OB is already saying things you mentioned in your post you should RUN, not walk to find another provider unless you have some high risk factors that would risk you out of a more natural approach to childbirth.

Your body will go into labor when it is ready and will produce the hormones necessary to birth your baby, and if you relax the labor pains are absolutely manageable. If you nurse your baby right after delivery your body will produce the needed oxytocin and you won't need pit to get the placenta out and to get the uterus to contract. And don't let anyone yank your cord/placenta. Be aware that in the hospital if you sign their general consent, you are basically signing away all your rights. You are better off refusing general consent and consenting to specific things as they come up, though the staff may not be too pleased if you refuse to be put on their conveyor belt o' birth. And if you must go to the hospital, stay home until you feel "pushy", don't go in just because your water broke either unless you have some complicating factors.

You might want to do some reading, Ina May Gaskin is great, Henci Goer too. Consider a birth center birth if you are averse to homebirth.

I have had both a low intervention hospital birth with an excellent OB and a natural homebirth/waterbirth with an amazing licensed midwife, and you couldn't pay me enough to have a hospital birth again despite having a pretty good experience. The big difference is the approach to pregnancy and delivery. The medical model (which I trained in) treats pregnancy as a pathological disease needing treatment and intervention and the attitude is that something must go wrong and women can't possibly birth without our help. The midwifery model treats pregnancy as a natural physiologic process that seldom needs anything more than support for low risk women who are absolutely empowered to birth without intervention.

I was so super low risk with both my pregnancies and in the hospital I was stressed out fighting for my "rights" and at my homebirth I have never felt so relaxed and powerful in my life with my only focus on birthing this baby, not questioning and battling inane policies and procedures which exist solely for the convenience of others.

Remember, you are pregnant, not terminally ill and your body knows what to do in a safe and supportive atmosphere.

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11 years 5 months ago #47412 by Doc201X
A natural childbirth TO ME is what the heck I say it is, which seems appropriate since there seems to be MANY definitions of what a so called "natural childbirth" is INCLUDING those WITH drugs. :rolleyes:

I'm willing to bet 1 million epidurals that the "definition" of "natural childbirth" was NOT determined by a woman. :mad: It's just that is seems easy to sucker women into following along with these 20th centrury BC definitions of experiences OUR bodies have! :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

Husband to wife: " You'd BETTER not get an epidural because I don't want my kids born addicted to drugs! And I don't give a rat's booty if you do tear your perineum, suck it up like a "real" woman!" :banghead:

My Scientist/Physician Journey

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