First what is Pitocin? It is a synthetic version of Oxytocin. Oxytocin is a hormone that your body usually produces naturally that aids in inducing contractions. If your OB-GYN decides to induce you, often Pitocin is used, it is delivered through an IV in your arm. This is gradually increased by the nurse until mom is having regular contractions every 2-3 minutes. This either is kept on until the birth of your child, adjusted if contractions become too strong—meaning the nurse will taper it, or it will be completely discontinued.
Now do you need Pitocin? Inductions can sometimes be medically necessary. Reasons for induction include pre-eclampsia, fetal growth restrictions, and other dangerous complications. Now there can be risks of Pitocin induction such as fetal distress, drop in fetal heart rate, and fetal death just to name a few. Once on Pitocin you must be strictly monitored and must remain in bed. You are also not allowed to eat due to risk of aspiration in the event you need an emergency c-section. I would speak with your doctor and discuss the pros and cons. Also ask questions and make sure you are comfortable with the information being given to you.
Now let’s talk about Cytotec. Cytotec is used to soften the cervix to begin labor. There can be serious side effects which include a torn uterus, the uterus having to be removed (hysterectomy) and death of the mom and/or baby. Cytotec is not given IV, it is given vaginally, and it instantly dissolves. You can’t take this drug back or slow it down. This drug is very cheap and may be a reason why it is still being used. I personally wouldn’t want to take something that isn’t even approved by the FDA for use in labor and delivery. I read a pretty devastating story about Tatia Oden French. It is a must read in my opinion. Do your research. Be well informed of the drugs the doctor may try and give you during labor and delivery.
If you are the victim of Pitocin or Cytotec going wrong for your baby, yourself or a family member please call Thomas & Wan, LLP. Let us help you today.