As a woman with PCOS who struggled to get pregnant, I was beyond ecstatic to learn I was to become a mother. I was looking forward to pregnancy and all the wonderful things that came with it. But as a new mother to be, I was anxious and scared of going through labor. Even more frightening was when I learned that I would be induced as a precaution for uterine growth restriction. I didn’t know then the lasting effects Pitocin would have and how it would even affect my second NON PITOCIN pregnancy.
- 1 What is Pitocin?
- 2 Why Use Pitocin?
- 2.1 Preeclampsia
- 2.2 Gestational Diabetes
- 2.3 Uterine Growth Restriction ( My case)
- 2.4 Premature Sac Bursts or Low Amniotic Fluid
- 2.5 Prolonged Hotel Stay – Baby doesn’t want to leave after 42 weeks in utero.
- 2.6 Infection in the Uterus or something is wrong with placenta
- 2.7 Baby is Stressed or Heartbeat is Fluctuating
- 3 When to Not Use Pitocin
- 4 Differences in Regular Labor Vs. Induction:
- 5 Wish
What is Pitocin?
Pitocin is a synthetic version of oxytocin, a chemical which is naturally produced by our brain. Pitocin is artificial and used to jump-start the labor process. It is administered through an IV drip and in my case was started in the morning at 8 a.m.
Why Use Pitocin?
Inducing labor may be necessary for a mother or baby due to health consequences as:
Uterine Growth Restriction ( My case)
Premature Sac Bursts or Low Amniotic Fluid
Prolonged Hotel Stay – Baby doesn’t want to leave after 42 weeks in utero.
Infection in the Uterus or something is wrong with placenta
Baby is Stressed or Heartbeat is Fluctuating
When to Not Use Pitocin
Coveted Due Date
When I was set to deliver my daughter her due date was 11/11/11. However, I had to be induced early and she arrived on 11/7/11. After she was born, she was in NICU for a couple of days. When we were leaving the hospital on 11/11 it was packed! The nurses said many parents wanted their child to be born on this coveted date of 11/11/11 and scheduled their babies to be born on this day. Some babies were induced very early, just past the 33 week mark and were in NICU struggling to survive.
I prayed for those babies because it hurt my heart to know their parents had risked their baby’s life on a birth date.
Schedule and Convenience
Don’t let anyone, doctor or family member, pressure you into having the baby to fit his/her schedule. Just because the doctor wanted to go out of town that weekend or family members want to see the birth of the baby, it’s not worth the price you or the baby will pay. It’s a lesson I learned the hard way.
Pitocin Complications for Baby
My first child, Ellie was induced because the doctor diagnosed me with Uterine Growth Restrictions. The doctor was worried because I nor Ellie hadn’t gotten any bigger after so many weeks. It took a couple of days to get scheduled to be induced and it was only four days away from her due date. If I had to do it again, I would have just waited for Ellie to come naturally but I was scared for my baby and the what if’s…
After 8 hours in labor Ellie was born at full term only weighing 5lbs. 6 ounces. After checking my placenta, the doctor said it looked just fine. She was just a small, beautiful baby girl.
But the Pitocin had caused Ellie complications:
Transient Tachypnea of the Newborn
Newborns who have a very fast or labored breathing in the first few hours of life have lung condition called Transient Tachypnea of the Newborn. This is caused when babies born via rapid vaginal delivery or C-Section do not undergo the usual hormonal changes of labor and thus have trouble breathing.
Babies whose mothers have Pitocin Inducement have higher chances of developing jaundice. Ellie had a short bout of Jaundice in NICU.
Lower APGAR Score
An APGAR test is performed on newborns minutes after they are born to assess them on how they tolerated the birth process. The newborn is tested on breathing, heart rate, muscle tone, reflexes, and skin color. Pitocin is known to increase the chances of newborns having a lower APGAR Score.
Because of the factors for APGAR test and Transient Tachypnea, Ellie was admitted to the NICU for 3 days.
Pitocin Effects on Mom
Since my first labor was induced, I did not have a point of reference on labor pains until my son was born. There is a drastic difference in a non induced labor and normal labor.
Differences in Regular Labor Vs. Induction:
Contractions are More Painful
Now that I can compare contractions from my daughters birth to my sons. I can honestly tell you that the Pitocin contractions are incredibly more painful. Laboring my son seemed like a breeze compared to my daughter
but Pitocin labor literally made me want to bite down on something. The pain was intense!
Pace of Contractions is Erratic
Pitocin will make your contractions stronger and more erratic. You are in more pain and it seems as though you can’t catch your breath because your having back to back contractions. Back to back contractions can cause the baby to be stressed too.
Pitocin Labor Will Wipe You Out
After a number of back to back contractions, the Pitocin was lowered and I literally fell asleep because I was so wiped out. When the doctor came back into the room and I began pushing and Ellie was born about 10 minutes later.
Missed Labor Precursors
When I was pregnant with my second child, I missed labor precursors until my water broke and the major contractions started. I was in labor before my water broke but didn’t know it because I was comparing the pain to contractions under Pitocin. The nurse even asked me why I didn’t get to the hospital sooner and I said I was induced on my first baby.
She looked at me and said …Oh, that explains it. You didn’t know!
If I had to do it over again, I would have preferred not to be induced. I would have gotten a second opinion. Listening to my doctor put my baby in NICU. She could have cooked for 4 more days until her due date or even a little after and I didn’t suffer from uterine growth restrictions.
Ellie was just a small baby but now she’s a robust 7 year old. I never want to wish a Pitocin labor on any new mommy. So, please get a second opinion and blessings for a wonderful and safe pregnancy.