Monday, 17 November 2008 19:57
Oxytocin, your body's natural hormone, is secreted in bursts. However, when you are given pitocin you are placed on a regulated intravenous pump, to regulate the amount of pitocin to a steady flow. Therefore, pitocin induced contractions are entirely different from your body's natural contractions, in both strength and effect.
With pitocin, the induced force of the contraction may decrease uterine blood flow (This is also done during a natural contraction, but not for as long of a period and not as close together.). Therefore, reducing the oxygen to the baby. You will also receive continuous electronic fetal monitoring with pitocin . This is because fetal distress is more common with pitocin use and needs to be detected if it occurs.
We have also witnessed that pitocin can be the first domino in the domino effect. The IV, the infusion pump, and the continuous monitoring will confine most mothers to bed, decreasing her ability to deal with the contractions naturally. With the more painful contractions a mother is more likely to need pain medication, such as an epidural
Pitocin can present other hazards. For the mother these include: turbulent labor and tetanic contractions, which may cause early separation of the placenta (placenta previa), rupture of the uterus, laceration of the cervix or post birth hemorrhage. Fetal hazards include: fetal asphyxia and neonatal hypoxia from too frequent and prolonged uterine contractions, physical injury and prematurely if the due date is not accurate.