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What exactly is it about pitocin that can increase your chances of a c-section??

I am wondering because I have to be induced on monday and I really dont want to but I have to if I have not had this baby by then.
Im praying that it doesnt led to csection. I cant get an epidural due to health reasons so im hoping the I can handle the contractions..
But what are the reasons that being induced leds to a csection?

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Asked by Chas21 at 10:50 PM on Apr. 22, 2009 in Pregnancy

Level 9 (369 Credits)
Answers (19)
  • I have had two c-sections and one vbac...I never heard that the pitocin lead to more c-sections. It is used to induce labor contractions. I had it with my second child, the vbac and I obviously got by without a c-section. I know the pitocin didn't lead to my first or last c-section either. We had other complications.

    Answer by army_wife2000 at 10:54 PM on Apr. 22, 2009

  • The pit drip makes the contractions come on stronger and harder than normal labor. Soemtimes the baby can not tolerate this as well and the heart rate will drop, leading to a c/s. Also it can raise the blood pressure of mom, also leads to c/s. If the baby is malpositioned, like the head isnt preessing in the right way on the cervix, the pit can push so hard it wont let the baby reposition itself, which leads to a failure to progress, which leads to c/s. There are sevearal more reasons, but those are the most common. You do not have to agree to an induction if you dont want to. My advice though is if you do, ask for the cervidil, it will help to soften your cervix to let the pitocin dilate you more effectively. And stay moving, change positions, and ask about not turning up the pitocin if you are contracting regularly. Most hospitals will come up the dosage every hour, and if you are already contracting good.

    Answer by AK_aries at 10:57 PM on Apr. 22, 2009

  • Several things.

    First, pit is often used in women who are just not ready to go into labor. Instead of backing off the induction and trying again later, many doctors just do a C-section when a woman doesn't dilate.

    Second, induction automatically means continuous fetal monitoring, which increased the C-section rate exponentially when it was introduced in 1978. Normal fluctuations in the baby's heart rate can sometimes be read as danger signs, so a C-section is performed when the baby was never in any danger.

    Third, pit creates contractions that are different from natural contractions. Stronger, longer and closer together. They put too much stress on the baby.

    Finally, pit increases the need for epidurals, because it's more painful than regular labor, and having an epi can stall labor, or make it very hard to push out a baby. So doctors do a section.

    Why are you being induced? Are you sure it's necessary?

    Answer by Ati_13 at 10:57 PM on Apr. 22, 2009

  • I also wanted to add, that alot of c/s's are not necessary, try to educate your self on what is a valid reason and what isnt. Like failure to progress, not a valid reason, failure to progress is defined by alot of hospitals as less than 1 cm per hour. Alot of times changing position will help baby to press more effectively on the cervix. There are other reasons too, but bottom line dont be scared into one, know the different scinerios beforehand.

    Answer by AK_aries at 11:00 PM on Apr. 22, 2009

  • I should also say that I had an induced labor wth my daughter and did it without pain meds. It was painful, and I would have taken the pain meds if my nurses hadn't talked me out of it so many times. By the time I really REALLY wanted them the contractions were so frequent and so strong I couldn't ask for them any more. I did have her vaginally, thank the gods, but I definately never want to be induced again.

    Answer by Ati_13 at 11:00 PM on Apr. 22, 2009

  • I got pitocin and didnt get a csection. Ati13 is very right. Those contractions were UNBEARABLE and since the baby wasnt dropped her head was being pushed into my lower back! I was horrible going from no contractions to contractions every 3mins in a matter of an hour. Good Luck! I got an epidural which can lead to more csections, but im not lying when i say you will probably WANT it

    Answer by HunnysFarAway at 11:03 PM on Apr. 22, 2009

  • I think it's just that if they are giving you pitocin it's because you aren't going into labor naturally, so you are already at an increased risk of a c-section.... so if it doesn't work you'll need a c-section, but a lot of times it will work and you won't.

    Answer by stepmom929 at 11:13 PM on Apr. 22, 2009

  • I would like to add that you NEVER have to be induced just because you don't give birth by the date the doctor gives you. There are no increased risks of still birth until AFTER 42 weeks, and human gestation goes naturally to 42 weeks, so you aren't even overdue until you pass the 42 week mark. Your doctor is using scare tactics, obviously...

    Pitocin makes the contractions intense. It forces your body to do something it may not have been ready for. Which is why it increases the risk of a cesarean. Pitocin can cause the baby to go into distress, it increases your risk for placental abruption and uterine rupture. It is a synthetic oxytocin that is overused.

    Answer by celticreverie at 11:34 PM on Apr. 22, 2009

  • All reasons mentioned above! Also, I wanted to chime in and agree that you do NOT have to be induced. It's just a matter of saying "NO!" Will you irritate your doctor? Possibly, but who cares? I know women build relationships with their doctors, but let's just say that hypothetically you are induced and it does fail and you do end up with a c-section and your baby does end up in NICU for respiratory issues and you end up with some sort of infection. Those are worst case scenarios, but say those really did happen, looking back would you still be worried about upsetting your doctor by saying "NO?" Further more, if you have health reasons that keep you from being able to have an epidural, then you really should not be induced. That leaves only the option of general anesthesia in the event of a c-section, and that alone carries it's own risks. I would be more than happy to share more info with you if you would like to PM me.

    Answer by Lilbeamercomin at 1:02 AM on Apr. 23, 2009

  • I agree with alot of the PP's. Remember, the doctor works for you! You can tell him no about anything. It is your baby, your body and your birth. Doctors OFTEN do not do things based on scientific evidence. There is NO REASON to induce just because you have passed some arbitrary date. 40 weeks is average, but anywhere from 37-43 weeks is still completely normal. One woman on here even went to 45 weeks and her baby is just fine! Ask your mom & grandmother how long their pregnancies were, assuming they weren't induced. Some family lineages gestate longer than normal. I would not even dicuss induction until at least 42 weeks. If your doc schedules an induction, just dont show up. Dont go to the hospital until you are pushing, or, even better, dont go at all!

    Answer by TanyaR1024 at 9:00 AM on Apr. 23, 2009

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