Please note: This was originally published on SicklyCat and BrioBirth. Both these sites are no longer registered and the original site owners could not be contacted. This article is copied fully from the original article and is not the property or research of the owner of Trimester Talk – nothing has been changed, although some parts I do not fully agree with. If you’re the author of this article, or know the author, please contact me. Thank you.
Have you ever read the package insert for Pitocin? It’s a fascinating read. Did you know that the manufacturer of Pitocin, JHP Pharmaceuticals, actually wrote a really sensible list of recommendations and warnings for the use of this drug?
(major trigger warning on this one)
Given the current nationwide epidemic of Pitocin abuse, I started reading this document with my hackles up, expecting to be annoyed – but it wasn’t long before I became surprised by what I was reading. JHP Pharmaceuticals didn’t create this drug to hurry up the labor experience for normal, healthy women. In fact, the package insert warns against the use of Pitocin induction when it’s not medically indicated. The Indications and Usage section opens with a framed important notice that reads “Elective induction of labor is defined as the initiation of labor in a pregnant individual who has no medical indications for induction. Since the available data are inadequate to evaluate the benefits-to-risks considerations, Pitocin is not indicated for elective induction of labor.” There you have it, straight from the manufacturer. Pitocin isn’t even meant to be used for induction when there’s not a medical need for it. According to these instructions, there are specific situations which warrant the use of Pitocin.
Maternal diabetes, Rh problems, preeclampsia at or near term, certain cases of uterine inertia (ineffective contractions during true labor), or situations where the water has already broken are listed as examples when Pitocin may be used appropriately.
Here’s another warning from the package insert that caught my eye. “When properly administered, oxytocin should stimulate uterine contractions comparable to those seen in normal labor.” That was really surprising to me. I thought it was an unavoidable fact, that Pitocin-induced contractions are simply longer and stronger than naturally occurring contractions. That’s been the common knowledge among women I’ve spoken to about this subject. A huge percentage of women who have given birth naturally and also with Pitocin say that their Pitocin births were more painful. As it turns out, artificially long or strong contractions are associated with overdose of this drug, not the recommended dosage.
Here are 21 more reasons why most women should say no to Pitocin, brought to you by – the manufacturers of Pitocin.
Each of these warnings comes from the package insert.
21. Induction with Pitocin requires constant fetal monitoring, but external monitoring is inaccurate. The best way to monitor the baby’s heart rate is by using an internal monitor called a Fetal Scalp Electrode that is attached the top of the head, through the cervix. It’s very invasive and can be quite painful (for mother AND for baby) to have one of these inserted, and there have been reports of babies being cut, scraped, and even receiving eye injuries from the device.
20. Pitocin should not be used when there is a predisposition to uterine rupture, as is the case when a woman has had uterine surgery such as a c-section. The sad fact, though, is that there are many hospitals and OBs that will not “allow” a woman to attempt a VBAC unless she agrees to an induction and close monitoring.1 | 2