Find out why you may not want to induce your labor in Kingston, New York

Induction or augmentation (speeding up) of labor with pitocin often benefits pregnant moms having difficulty progressing with labor.  The risks of inducing labor with pitocin is a subject that all pregnant women should be familiar before labor begins.

Here's the scoop about pitocin. Pitocin is the trade name for a synthetic hormone known as Oxytocin that increases the strength and duration of uterine contractions, thus speeding up labor and helping the pregnant woman to deliver her baby.  Sounds good so far, right?  Not so fast.

With each uterine contraction, there is temporary reduction in the blood flow to the baby.  With stronger and longer uterine contractions, the reduction in blood flow (and thus the reduction in oxygen) to the baby becomes more pronounced.  Stronger and longer uterine contractions can cause a drop in the fetal heart rate and fetal distress.  For this reason, pregnant women should have continuous fetal monitoring while receiving pitocin in order to ensure that their baby is okay.

The stronger and longer uterine contractions increase the likelihood of a uterine rupture, particularly for patients undergoing a vaginal birth after cesarean section (VBAC).  The increased pressure and forces on the uterus increases the risk that the uterine scar from the prior C-Section will separate and rupture.  A uterine rupture is an obstetrical emergency that requires an emergency cesarean section.

The hyperstimulation of the uterus also increases the risk of a placental abruption (known as placenta previa), where the placenta detaches from the inner lining of the uterine wall. When the placenta detaches from the uterus, the flow of oxygen and nutrients to the baby is compromised and an emergency C-section is required.

What to do if you are a mother about to enter labor?  Have a discussion with your obstetrician about the risks and benefits of pitocin and make sure you are fully informed of the risks before making a decision about pitocin.  If you choose pitocin to induce or augment your labor, make sure your obstetrician is available at all times to address the many complications associated with pitocin.  If you need an emergency cesarean section, you want your obstetrician to be available on a second's notice and not at home sleeping. 

Also, make sure that the obstetrician and labor and delivery nurses are continuously monitoring your baby for signs of fetal distress.  Pitocin can reduce the blood flow to your baby and an external fetal monitor belt will give you information about the well-being of your baby.