Does Pitocin for platenta delivery = "unnatural"? — The Bump
Natural Birth

Does Pitocin for platenta delivery = "unnatural"?

I had a shot of Pitocin after delivering my son, to help with delivery of the placenta.  I have little-to-no recollection of this.  In fact, when I read the hospital delivery summary a few days after the birth, I was very surprised & confused to read Pitocin on there.  Because my labor was long and I stalled at 9cm for 2.5 hours there was talk of eventually using Pitocin, but that turned out not to be necessary.  When I explained that to the nurse, she suggested perhaps the m/w placed the order for the drug, but never had it filled, yet it still showed up on the delivery summary.  It finally was explained to me by another midwife within the practice, that it was most likely used to help deliver the placenta.  Something about it being used sometimes after long labors and with exhausted moms.  That prompted a very vague recollection of some words uttered by my m/w, and a shot (I don't fault her for my vague recollection, I fault my extremely exhausted brain and being distracted by my new son and the euphoria of the birth).

I didn't ask my m/w about it at my post-partum checkup, and I haven't seen her since...but I will see her at my next prenatal appt, and I intend to ask at that time.  I would like to know under what circumstances Pitocin is given.

So, all this time I've been saying I had a natural/med-free birth...am I a fraud b/c I did have Pitocin to help with the placenta?  I'm curious what the general feeling is about this.

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Re: Does Pitocin for platenta delivery = "unnatural"?

  • i definately wouldn't say your birth was "unnatural" because of it.  I do however think it was wrong of your MW to give you a drug you don't seem fully informed about getting at the time. 
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  • imagelaurasuzanne2006:
    i definately wouldn't say your birth was "unnatural" because of it.  I do however think it was wrong of your MW to give you a drug you don't seem fully informed about getting at the time. 

    I should have worded that differently...I was informed, but I was SO exhausted, my memory of that time is very vague.  I do believe she handled it appropriately.

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  • Eh I still like that's a natural birth.  I had pitocin at some point after delivering my first (in the IV that I didn't want).  Anyway, I don't know when they did it.  I don't know if they told me they were doing it.  I do know that it is standard hospital policy at that particular hospital.

     My second I had at a birth center.  They didn't do standard pitocin for placenta delivery.  I delivered the placenta and was bleeding too heavily for their liking.  They gave me some herbs to help with it.  Didn't work.  They gave me a shot of pitocin.  Didn't work.  They then gave me a shot of methergine.  That finally worked and the bleeding slowed down enough for them.  I still consider my births natural.  Would my first not be considered natural because I had a third degree tear that they gave me novocaine to stitch up?  The logic doesn't make sense to me. 

    Mama to Lucy (7/06), Lexi (5/09), and Max (11/11) M/C 12/17/10
  • I was given pitocin to deliver my placenta and I still consider it a natural birth. My midwives use it with most births as a standard practice. Pitocin did nothing for me, they even gave me 2 shots. I ended up delivering my placenta with the non gental aid of a doctor, it hurt more than giving birth.

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  • I also had pitocin to help deliver the placenta.  I consider my birth to be as natural as possible in a hospital setting :)
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  • I think you can have a natural birth with pitocin given before birth...so I certainly think so if it's given after.

    I have made it very clear to my OB, my MW, and my doula that I would like to avoid management of the third stage (b/c it is completely standard by my providers to ALWAYS give pitocin after birth to help deliver the placenta and stop bleeding), and they generally don't agree with me, try to talk me out of it, tell me there's good reason for it, etc etc etc.  I still plan to ask them not to, and have it in my birth plan, and hope my doula and H will advocate enough for me to ask the question "is it really necessary?" when the time comes, if I cannot.  But I also recognize that it is really common and something that may likely happen.  It's kind of like - I prefer they not, but it's not such a huge deal to me that I'm going to switch care b/c my care provider is currently not completely agreeable to my wishes.  If that makes sense.

    IMO, if I avoid an epidural and/or narcotics, I will personally feel good about my birth experience, regardless of who may or may not consider it "natural."  It's just about what my goals are.  If your goal was to avoid pain meds or avoid medication that could cross the placenta, then you met your goal and that's all that's really important, right?

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  • the pitocin is used to get the uterus to contract more also if there is a chance that you might bleed to much or if the contractions stall or become less strong after pushing the baby out.
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  • I decided not to fight the post- delivery pitocin shot. I figured it couldn't hurt the baby, and I didn't see much evidence it was likely to hurt me. I wanted to pick my battles.

    I definitely call my birth natural. I pushed that baby out without a drop of anything. 

  • People need to stop getting so hung up on what everyone else considers to be a natural birth or not. JMO.

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  • imageAshfieldMay:

    People need to stop getting so hung up on what everyone else considers to be a natural birth or not. JMO.

    Not hung up...it just occurred to me out of the blue after reading someone else's post.  I'd actually forgotten that it happened (since I have very little recollection of it anyway) and reading the post rang a bell for me.  So, nope...not hung up at all.  I still feel good - really good - about my son's birth.

    Childhood cancer (DH) + chemo + radiation = 0 sperm.
    LO #1 - 1 unmedicated/self-monitored IUI w/ donor sperm.
    LO #2 - 1 m/c, 2 BFNs, 4th IUI worked (unmedicated/self-monitored with new donor sperm).
    Life is beautiful!

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  • barinebarine member

    imagesmilelari:
    I also had pitocin to help deliver the placenta.  I consider my birth to be as natural as possible in a hospital setting :)

     

    Ditto!!

  • imagebarine:

    imagesmilelari:
    I also had pitocin to help deliver the placenta.  I consider my birth to be as natural as possible in a hospital setting :)

    Ditto!!

    Same here.

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  • I know the term natural birth means different things to different people, but I would not consider that unnatural.
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  • I don't think you're a fraud at all! Pitocin to deliver a placenta is totally different than pit to deliver the baby. And even then... I think most people associate "natural" with a lack of pain meds. 
    image Don't argue with idiots, they bring you down to their level then beat you with experience. - Mrs. G
  • I'd consider that a med free birth, personally, because you birthed your baby without the aid of any medication. You had a pain med free birth, which is awesome!

    I consider my birth med free, but they definitely gave me something to numb me up before stitching together my second degree tear. I got my baby out with little intervention and no medication, so I feel comfortable describing my birth that way. 



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