Birth Myths: Pitocin Leads to a Cesarean

There is a lot of concern and maybe even fear surrounding the use of Pitocin and the role it plays in cesarean deliveries. 

Pitocin is not evil and thanks to ACOG, OBs and CNMs follow some great guidelines on timing, use and minimal interventions to prevent complications. To be honest, before great guidelines and understanding many women were induced early or with incorrect doses of Cytotec  and heavy use of pitocin we saw some not so great outcomes. Today providers work hard to induce when necessary and the medical community has a handle on improving induction births.

If I have a pitocin the pain will be unbearable, I'll need an epidural and lack of movement will cause me to stall which will lead to a cesarean. 

Have you ever heard that one? Let's debunk that myth. While, yes, some women may have had a stalled labor which lead to a cesarean, but that doesn't mean it was the reason. Studies do show us that movement in labor is optimal, so what can you do to keep moving, while on pitocin and the monitor?

Coninuous monitoring while on pitocin is necessary because you will be labeled "higher risk", this is because baby may suddenly not tolerate pitocin and adjustments might need made, oxygen might need given to mom, different medications or a cesarean. The medical staff need ample warning time.

Continuous minitoring does not mean your stuck in the bed. Your partner and your doula can help you do thing in or around the bed to stay moving, optimize baby's position all while keeping you more comfortable and continuously monitored.

Pitocin doesn't mean lying on your back from 0 to 10 centimeters just waiting. 

Mobility can be accomplished with a team that gets it and who's goal is keeping Baby on the monitor at all times. Talk to your L&D nurse before you get out of bed so they are aware of the changes in the fetal heart rate monitor.

Try laboring with a wireless monitor 

A wireless monitor gives you lots of movement and motion, you can get in and out of the shower and go all over the Labor & Delivery room! Sometimes though, the hospital has limited availability, so ask early and use it for as long as you can!

When you have to stay in bed what do you do? 

If your provider just doesn't feel comfortable using the wireless monitor (they can be fickle) and you're left with sitting on the birth ball by the bed or in bed there's lots your team can help you do! Opening up the pelvis with a peanut ball or pillow allows the baby to make those cardinal movements a little easier while you stay in bed and monitored. Sitting Indian style in bed again, allows you to be upright, monitored and utalize an open pelvis to help move things along!

Do not hesitate to talk with your L&D nurse and provider about what they suggest and see if movement options with your doula and partner are going to be doable!

You can have pitocin either for augmentation or induction and still have a fabulous birth!