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Explore Induction with Pitocin

What to Know about Pitocin

  • Pitocin (an IV medication used to stimulate labor) increases stress on your baby and your uterus and makes contractions more difficult to manage.
  • Pitocin use requires an IV and continuous electronic fetal monitoring (EFM), which restricts your mobility and raises your risk of an epidural and cesarean delivery.
  • The World Health Organization (WHO) believes that administration of Pitocin to stimulate labor is often used inappropriately.
  • The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) notes the risks of Pitocin use and recommends cautious decision making.

You’ll Need Pitocin If:

  • Your labor is slow as determined by your care provider and doesn’t respond to movement, position change, and hydration.
  • You don’t go into labor spontaneously by 42 weeks of pregnancy.
  • You have a uterine infection.
  • You have severe pregnancy-induced hypertension.

How to Avoid Unnecessary Use of Pitocin

  • Be patient waiting for labor to begin and to progress.
  • Remember that your body knows how to give birth.
  • Surround yourself with helpers who trust birth.
  • Stay confident.
  • Use all the comfort measures you’ve learned.
  • Don’t agree to have labor induced because your caregiver says your baby is getting too big.
  • If your water breaks before contractions start, or if you go past your due date, discuss with your caregiver natural ways to stimulate contractions, such as drinking a bit of castor oil in juice, stimulating your nipples and being active.
  • Ask, “What if I wait?” if your caregiver is insistent about inducing labor.

Keep Labor as Safe and Healthy as Possible if Your Labor is Induced with Pitocin

  • Make sure your helpers give you continuous emotional and physical support.
  • Actively seek comfort in response to the pain of contractions.
  • Remember that your body knows how to give birth.
  • Visualize your baby rotating and descending through your birth canal.
  • Keep moving and changing positions as much as possible.
 

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