Wednesday, June 24, 2009

No Pit Please!!

I just read a fascinating article regarding the use of Pitocin in labor and the correlation with emergency cesarean sections! Pitocin is a synthetic form of the hormone oxytocin, which is administered to either induce labor or to augment labor if the physician feels that the contracts aren't strong or organized enough.

A hospital in Chicago did a 3-year study where in they implemented a policy to infuse the Pitocin at a much slower rate (1 by 1 every 30 minutes v. 2 by 2 every 20 minutes, as done previously), and also decreased the use of Pitocin from 93.3% of laboring patients to 78.9% of patients. As a result, they saw the incidence of emergency cesarean delivery drop from 10.9% to 5.7%!!! There was also a significant decline in the number of vacuum and forcep deliveries, and a sharp reduction in neonatal ICU team mobilization for signs of fetal distres, as well! Oddly, the overall cesarean birth rate remained the same.

Hard to argue with the results! If you need Pitocin, ask your doctor about infusing at a slower rate!


  1. Yay Erin - you finally are able to post a comment!!!

  2. Yeah pit sucks. Unfortunately, I needed it. But I will say that it didn't do so much for me until they broke my water, at which time, they had to basically turn off the pit so Trig wouldn't shoot out of me haha.

  3. Pit can definitely be helpful in labor, but it is undeniably overused.

    My BF's water broke and she never really started a good contraction pattern on her own, so Pit was necessary to avoid a cesarean for having ruptured membranes for too long.

    But I was induced unnecessarily (18 hours on Pit, 13 unmedicated, is NOT fun!), and did end up with an emergency C!

    Everyone needs to watch Ricki Lake's "The Business of Being Born" - its AMAZING!!!