Friday, December 6, 2013

Pitocin Vs. Oxytocin

Pitocin Vs. Oxytocin
Check out this short article, then read on....

In my opinion, the biggest problem with the use of Pitocin for labor is the dishonesty surrounding its application.  I really believe that if women were made aware of the real risk/benefit ratio, that far fewer women would elect to induce and/or augment labor.
Induction is the introduction of Pitocin to make labor start.
Of course there are medical reasons to use this, but it is absolutely unethical to use it in 90% of pregnancies.  A successful Pitocin induction requires that some of the processes that signify that labor is imminent are already taking place (arguably making the use of Pitocin superfluous anyway).  The cervix is ripened/soft, the cervix has begun dilation, the baby is low/engaged are a few examples.
If the body is telling us that it is not ready to go into labor, Pitocin will likely either A. Not work, or B. Create unnatural, strong contractions that may exhaust mom before labor begins (labor is not the having of contractions, it is the changing of the cervix caused by contractions with all the previously listed elements present), cause fetal distress, create the need for pain medications that can further cause fetal distress, causing the higher incidence of Cesarean Section when these meds are used.
Augmentation is the introduction of Pitocin to make labor stronger/faster.   Many of the same risks as induction apply.  Augmentation often takes place early in the labor process, and is really just about speeding things up.  Following the 5-1-1 rule that has recently been accepted by ACOG will help women avoid this intervention.  Staying at home until contractions are FIVE minutes apart or less, lasting for at least ONE minute, for the duration of at least ONE hour.  If you have specific medical issues that require you to go sooner to the hospital, than follow those guidelines, but in touch with your providers during your early labor, but stay home and wait for this 5-1-1 to avoid routine augmentation.  See Ina May's Guide to Childbirth, the Sphincter Law for more information.

It seems to me that the hospital business would prefer to keep us intentionally uninformed of all the potential risks that are associated with its use because if it was applied for the purpose of convenience (which it is, most of the time) and there were complications that fell within the parameters of potential effects (which there are undoubtedly are in many births in which pitocin is used) the hospital might be on the hook for A LOT of lawsuits.  Uniformed people are easier to manipulate and control.  In order for the hospital to make the profit that their shareholders expect, there must be a certain amount of turnover in those rooms.  It has to be able to be projected, and then manipulated to increase profit.  You can demonstrate this by looking at the induction/cesarean rates in countries who don't have their hospitals privatized vs. our "for profit" model.

This DRUG is used frivolously, with known, common,  undesirable, effects.

This drug packaging (meaning the bag that is hung on the IV pole) is often labeled as "Oxytocin" to further  confuse and manipulate people who may have heard that "Pitocin" is bad and "Oxytocin" is good, but haven't done the extensive research to know exactly why, or even that one is produced naturally by the body and one is manufactured.  It is not Oxytocin in that bag.  It's a LIE.

For information about how to avoid this very common practice, which will likely allow you to avoid an onslaught of other common practices, please join me in my classroom at the Eastside Birth Center in Bellevue, Wa.  I have both a weekly series and a workshop style class both scheduled to begin in January.  If you are not local or unable to attend classes, you can purchase the curriculum here:
or here:

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