There are varying opinions as to the benefits and risks of receiving Pitocin in order to move labor along. Although some of these are based on personal experiences, there are very real potential side effects and complications that can arise when this drug is used to move labor along, especially when it is not required.
It is the doctor’s duty to warn patients of potential risks and evaluate the circumstances to determine if the drug is necessary. Failing to do so could result in preventable injuries. Talk to the doctor ahead of time about the drug and whether it may be needed during labor and delivery.
Reasons Pitocin Should Not Be Given during Labor and Delivery
The following are four circumstances in which Pitocin generally shouldn’t be given to a mother in labor:
· Labor and delivery is not delayed – If there is no medical reason to speed the labor and delivery process, administering Pitocin simply to get the process over with quicker could be unsafe.
· Natural contractions are normal – If the contractions are already healthy, it generally shouldn’t be administered if there is no other medical reason to induce labor. Pitocin is not intended to speed a labor and delivery that is progressing normally.
· Mother is predisposed to uterine rupture – This is a tear in uterus that can lead to excessive bleeding. Mothers at greater risk should discuss this risk with their doctor.
· Mother is allergic to the drug – Women who have had a reaction to this drug before or who know they are allergic should inform their doctor.
Keep in mind that when labor has suddenly stopped or slowed, both the mother and baby’s life could be in danger. A doctor may recommend Pitocin administration, or may recommend performing a C-section to deliver the child.
If at any time there is evidence that something has gone wrong after administering Pitocin, the medication can be immediately stopped. This may also be necessary in cases where there is an inappropriate administration of Pitocin. This can also cause serious complications.