**This post powered by The Confident Mother Birthing Course.
Late in your pregnancy, your doctor may suggest induction or augmenting your labor with pitocin. It’s supposed to help stimulate contractions, make them stronger, and progress the delivery of your baby.
Sometimes there is a warranted medical need for this. Most times there isn’t.
Negative Pitocin Side Effects On Babies
Because Pitocin is a synthetic drug that’s meant to simulate your natural Ocytocin hormone, it’s considered safe in all situations for you and your and baby. But recent research says otherwise about pitocin side effects on newborn babies.
A researcher at the Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City conducted a research study of over 3,000 women and their newborn babies. All the women had the use of Pitocin in their system during their deliveries.
Here are the negative outcomes seen with their babies:
- increased likelihood of time in the NICU (neonatal intensive care unit)
- a correlation of baby’s APGAR score as less than seven (one a scale of 1 – 10)
Both of these are things you don’t want. So let’s dig a little deeper into why.
Time In The NICU
Your baby could be admitted to the NICU for a large variety of reasons. In essence, if they want your baby there, it’s not a good sign.
The trouble with this is that it means your baby’s natural body processes are interrupted.
- you cannot have relaxed skin to skin time with your baby
- there’s a greater likelihood they won’t take to nursing well
- other synthetic drugs or supplements may be introduced into their system
- the bonding between you and your baby is strained
Your baby is removed from everything that they naturally need. Yes, of course, there are certain situations where your baby absolutely needs additional assistance that may be immediate. Those times can be times when babies’ lives are saved. I’m not discrediting those situations at all.
If introducing an intervention, like pitocin, will cause greater difficulty for your baby to start their life, I hope you definitely consider all the factors involved.
What I AM saying is that if introducing an intervention, like pitocin, will cause greater difficulty for your baby to start their life, I hope you definitely consider all the factors involved.
Lower APGAR Scores
APGAR scores are simply an evaluation tool that care providers will use to diagnose if your baby is under additional stress and may need assistance right after birth. Essentially, the higher the score, the better. But if your baby has a score of seven or less, you know that they had some difficulty being born and may be under duress.
There are some things you can do to decrease the likelihood of you ever even needing Pitocin at all. So let’s do all we can to make sure that you don’t even have to worry about these possible risks in the first place!
Preventing The Need For Pitocin
There are a bunch of things that you can do in order to avoid this drug. It will take an active commitment on your part, but I know you’ll be great! 🙂
Here are many of the things that will help ensure that you don’t need Pitocin.
- discuss with your doctor about your desire to greatly avoid it
- have it outlined in your birth plan that you don’t want your labor augmented
- don’t give into the pressure of an induction if it’s not medically necessary
- be open about the fact that if your baby is ‘late’, it will still come when it’s ready
- encourage your body to naturally induce your labor on it’s own
- keep your labor progressing by moving as much as possible and relaxing when needed
- consider breaking your water if your labor seems to have plateaued
- use essential oils that help stimulate your labor contractions naturally
- make sure your husband is on board to defend you against the staff if the need arises
I would say that the most important thing is being in an open discussion with your doctor about the fact that you don’t want Pitocin unless the life of your baby is at great risk. You may have certain circumstances where the risk of negative effects on your baby are far less than if you didn’t use the Pitocin.
Only you can make that judgement call and I know that you’ll do the best you can for your baby. Please, by no means, don’t feel guilty if you have used Pitocin in the past or wish to use it with your next birth. There are far riskier things in comparison. I just want to make sure that you knew there are risks in this case too.
If you’d like to know about all of the things that you can do to have as natural a birth as possible, check out my Confident Mother Birthing Course where I get into many more things that will help you have the birth that you desire.
You’re doing great! I’m so glad that you’re taking the time to research your options to make the best decisions for your family. Please let me know how I can help in any way. 🙂