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Were you given pitocin in the delivery room? Study reveals the dangers to newborns.

Posted by on May. 8, 2013 at 3:26 PM
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2 moms liked this

Common Labor-Inducing Drug Pitocin Could Harm Your Baby

by Michele Zipp

newbornPitocin is too often given to women while at the hospital in labor. Watch almost any mainstream documentary type show on birth and you'll lose count how many times they say "pit." Pitocin is a drug. It's a synthetic hormone meant to mimic your natural oxytocin. We all know that nothing is as good as the real thing. Pitocin gives women more intense and therefore unnatural contractions. It tries to speed the body along in labor when it's not ready, often stalling it, and can lead to a c-section that probably wouldn't have happened if Pitocin was never given in the first place. Natural birth advocates know that there is an evil side to inductions and this drug, and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) have finally revealed the truth after an in-depth study.

Pitcoin is bad. It has adverse effects on newborns. It's dangerous for our babies and puts their health at risk.

There are always going to be times when drugs during labor are good and needed. And the same goes for Pitocin. But the way it's given out currently, it's misused and it's over-prescribed. It's perhaps seen as something to speed things along, when birth (in most cases) shouldn't be rushed. Up until now, many believed Pitocin to be generally safe for babies. Mom got the brunt of the side effects. But the ACOG had to admit the truth after researchers at Beth Israel Medical Center in NYC found that the use of Pitcoin increased a full-term newborn's risk of going to the NICU and resulted in lower Apgar scores.

More babies who were full-term had to unexpectedly go to the NICU for more than 24 hours when born to mothers who were given Pitcoin. Baby's Apgar score was also lower -- it's something used to evaluate a newborn's health just after birth looking at heart rate, how the skin looks, responses, muscle tone, and breathing rate. The babies born to mothers who were given Pitocin had lower scores -- less than 7 in most cases. A score of 8 and above is considered good health.

The study looked at over 3,000 full-term deliveries from 2009 to 2011. Primary Investigator Michael S. Tsimis, MD, said:

As a community of practitioners, we know the adverse effects of Pitocin from the maternal side but much less so from the neonatal side. These results suggest that Pitocin use is associated with adverse effects on neonatal outcomes. It underscores the importance of using valid medical indications when Pitocin is used.

Clearly, Pitocin isn't as safe as many thought. This hopefully will serve as a warning for doctors and nurses to stop giving it out to pregnant mothers unless it's absolutely necessary. And moms-to-be should know they have the right to refuse it as well. Interventions are not always needed. And when they aren't, what ends up happening is unnatural -- one intervention invites another intervention and far too many end up being given labor inducing drugs like Pitocin only to have their bodies (essentially their babies) telling them it's not time. They are not ready to birth. But with clocks ticking in a hospital, this is one of the big reasons the c-section rate is so high.

There is also a case where a newborn is believed to have gotten brain damage after his mother was given Pitocin.

On the heels of the American Academy of Pediatrics trying to scare people about home births, I'm so happy the ACOG came forward with this revelation. All involved with birth should get along, should learn from each other. Because this shouldn't be a war on who birthed "best" or most naturally. This should be about how can we birth babies and make sure they are safe and healthy -- with all the knowledge we know. For each woman, and each baby, that birth journey is different. But it shouldn't be unnecessarily hindered. We shouldn't be induced when we aren't ready to birth. We shouldn't be given drugs many of us don't need that ends up putting our babies' lives at risk.

Does this study change the way you view Pitocin?

Image via Jan de Graaf/Flickr

by on May. 8, 2013 at 3:26 PM
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by on May. 8, 2013 at 3:42 PM

I've always knew this about pitocin..this isn't the first study to show the negative side effects of pitocin as I have done a lot of reading about it before this study came out. I will refuse pitocin at all costs unless ABSOLUTELY necessary.. and no going over my due date is not a medically emergency and does not mean pitocin is necessary.

by on May. 8, 2013 at 4:26 PM
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My mother adamantly told her doctor that she did not want pitocin and they gave it to her anyway.

There is a lot of money influencing the modern maternity experience.

Makes me think of the quote, "Don't let your baby do drugs. Have a home birth." lol

I had a home birth so I could avoid the risks associated with hospital policies.

by Bronze Member on May. 8, 2013 at 4:27 PM
This really shouldn't be a surprise.
by on May. 8, 2013 at 5:36 PM

 I was never given it.

by on May. 8, 2013 at 6:33 PM

I had it with both of my kids .But i always have a hard time so they have to always induce me .But i never had trouble with it .And it never hurt my babies.

by Platinum Member on May. 8, 2013 at 6:36 PM
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This is common sense. I can't believe it has taken so long to publish something like this.

by on May. 8, 2013 at 6:38 PM
Not surprising...

I had it with ds1, not ds2.
by on May. 8, 2013 at 6:45 PM
I had an epidural with my first, and it slowed the labor so they gave me "a tiny bit" of pitocin. My second was breech, so they flipped him and since I was eight days late, they induced.
My third I went all natural. When he was born and they were prepping me to deliver the afterbirth, the nurse came up with a needle and prepared to stab me in the leg with it. I asked her what the hell she was doing, and she told me it was pitocin, to help the uterus contract and get the afterbirth out. I almost kicked her. I didn't go through all that trouble just to have drugs at the very end! The doctor told her go back off.
I hate drugs. They make my body feel so icky.
by on May. 8, 2013 at 6:55 PM
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Quoting wyntermommy09:

I had it with both of my kids .But i always have a hard time so they have to always induce me .But i never had trouble with it .And it never hurt my babies.

Your natural time of delivery may not be the typical 40 weeks. Due dates are often wrong.

We can't always be sure what affect things have on our babies. Many things aren't realized until a child has become an adult.

by on May. 8, 2013 at 7:00 PM
No mine due dates was right. I am just high risk so I had to get induced with my kids.
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