Pitocin Induction For Labor: Is it Necessary?

[TRANSCRIPT OF ANSWER]

“Induction can have some negative impacts on you, your baby and labor. The negative impacts for mom for let’s say a Pitocin induction is that in most institutions you would be confined to a bed. You would also be confined to an external fetal monitor, which would mean sometimes limitation of movements, uh, if they allow you to move at all or getting out of bed. Uh, we know that laying in bed has a negative impact on labor, which would require a higher dose of Pitocin.

Pitocin: What are the Risks and Benefits?

Pitocin is a very powerful drug. It can be a lifesaving drug. It can be, and it is one of the most used drugs and obstetrics. It is again, can be very necessary in lifesaving at certain times, but it can also be the most abused. There are strict guidelines now as far as, how high the dosage should be and that mom should get rest.

The uterus needs to be rested. Pitocin can, if not managed and titrated properly can overstimulate the uterus, which can have neonatal, impacts as far as how the baby is tolerating the labor. It can have negative impacts on mom as far as her pain level or probably be much higher. 

If you’re on a Pitocin, induction for a prolonged period of time. It can even impact your postpartum and your risk for postpartum hemorrhage. 

Pitocins is Lifesaving When Moms Have Severe Problem

We know that Pitocin is the number one drug that is implicated, right or wrong, but is implicated in most malpractice suits when there is some neonatal damage. Again, this may be lifesaving, incase of where moms have severely high blood pressure, diabetes, there are other issues that the baby needs to come out. It can be lifesaving, especially the use of Pitocin postpartum, for postpartum hemorrhage.

Side Effects of Pitocin

But as far as induction, that would be the most common effect. Sometimes, babies are also impacted postpartum or in the neonatal unit because of what the Pitocin does to, mom’s function of the kidneys. It can make the baby more at risk for being jaundice.

A certain amount of jaundice is normal, but it can, increase the severity of the baby’s jaundice. There is some question with some lactation consultants that the use of, for a prolonged induction on Pitocin may have some impact on mom’s lap, let down and breastfeeding. 

Discuss With Your Care Provider

These are all ongoing studies, but it brings to question, just because we’ve used a drug for a hundred years doesn’t necessarily mean it’s safe, but Pitocin is an extremely powerful drug that has very positive but also very negative, effects on mom and baby. So you need to be sure that you have that discussion with your care provider and that you understand what your choices are and what your options are.”

Sheila Love, CNM
RN, BSN, CNM, MSM, EFM-C. Certified Nurse Midwife. ADN, 1980 Broward County Community College, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, BSN: 1992 Florida International University, North Miami, Florida. CNM: 1997 Frontier School of Nurse Midwifery, Hyden Kentucky. MSM: 2001 Master’s in Midwifery, Philadelphia... Read More