Inducing without pitocin? — The Bump
Natural Birth

Inducing without pitocin?

Hi ladies, I have never posted here but I have a question for you natural mamas! I am pregnant with my third child. I went natural with my second son and loved the experience. The labor was super fast and I was glad I got to check it off the to do list in life. I was planning on going natural with #3 as well.

So plans changed today. I have been monitored the last few weeks for mild preeclampsia. Today I was told they are going to induce me next Tuesday. I'm excited about meeting my baby  so soon but definitly nervous about being induced.

I've heard pitocin hurts way worse than natural contractions and I had wanted to avoid it. Any ideas for being induced without pitocin? At what point can they start labor by breaking your water? I was 3cm dialated and 30% effaced at my last appointment. Thanks for any input!

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Re: Inducing without pitocin?

  • I was induced for PIH at 40w with DS, although I was closed and he was +2.  I was admitted on a Sunday night and got discharged on a Wednesday afternoon since my blood pressure went down and the proteins in my urine did as well, so obviously my induction didn't work.  However, what we did do was Cytotec, Cervadil and the breast pump before going to Pit on the last day (I got maxed out on it).  I felt like the Pitocin contractions for me were similar to the ones I got from the breast pump.  They were more of a uterine irritability vs. real contractions since I only go to about a 2 by the time I was discharged. 

    Have you read any Henci Goer books?  I actually had that with me during my induction since she covers different methods.  I know they normally say to hold off until 7ish cms before having your water broken, but it might be different for an induction.  However, it wouldn't be my first choice since I feel like it was one of the reasons I ended up with a c/s since they broke it around 8 cm and DS was in a funky position, etc.  I might just be an unlucky one, so my view of it all is different and I know many people have had much success with it.  

    So anyways, I would ask about doing the breast pump first.

    DS born via c/s 11/08 and med-free GD VBAC DD 3/11! Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
  • I was induced with Pitocin with both my twin labors.  I don't know how it feels like "naturally' so my goal this time is to not be induced if I can help it.  I have one labor without pain meds (really intense) and one with an epi.  I'm not sure other ways to induce now but Pitocin was the major if not only way 7-9 years ago.    They usually just hook you up to IV, monitor you for a little while, start pitocin through your IV, pop your water and let it go from there.   I plan on going with another epi, I really enjoyed the experience and it was a relaxing birth, but if I don't get induced I'm not sure I want an epi if I can handle it....I guess we will see.

    I had severe preclampsia with my first labor and was very sick.  I ended up needing two blood transfusions after the birth due to all the blood lose.  Babies were very healthy at 34 weeks so it all ended up being ok.  Please monitor headaches and vision issues.  Preclampsia can get back very quickly, but I'm sure your DR already told ya all you need to know.

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  • Are you actually at enough risk that the section is necessary? I was induced at 36w5d with not even 1 cm. It was a disaster because of a horrible nursing staff! If I had it to do over again, I'd ask to be put on hospital bed rest until I went into labor on my own. But mine was getting pretty bad. Pressures weren't stroke level, but I was having severe swelling and headaches, and I was starting to blackout. But I should have been monitored with it. Had I stayed on complete or hospital bed rest, that probably wouldn't have continued because I tolerated labor just fine. That might not be an option, but I'd ask if it was in your situation. GL.
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  • i was super super afraid that i would need to be induced because of GD, but my little Julian decided to come early on his own. But when i talked to my doctor about it she said that to induce me with a favorable cervix (which you have), she would start me on pitocin until the baby was low enough that she could break my water. Once that happened, she would be able to back off the pitocin until it was off completely if i progressed on my own (which she was pretty sure i would). So even if you have to have pitocin to start, you might be able to talk to your OB about backing it off or turning it off completely after your water is broken.
  • imagemcintyr1:
    i was super super afraid that i would need to be induced because of GD, but my little Julian decided to come early on his own. But when i talked to my doctor about it she said that to induce me with a favorable cervix (which you have), she would start me on pitocin until the baby was low enough that she could break my water. Once that happened, she would be able to back off the pitocin until it was off completely if i progressed on my own (which she was pretty sure i would). So even if you have to have pitocin to start, you might be able to talk to your OB about backing it off or turning it off completely after your water is broken.

    Ok great! This is good news. I think I want to go into my dr. office and meet with a midwife to discuss this stuff. I will ask about this option. The only parts of a "birth plan" I had was that I want mobility and not have to lay in the bed the whole time and I hoped to avoid pitoicn. Oh yeah, and I want the baby on me before they clean her up. I know that seems gross but I've had two babies by now so I know you don't notice it so much in the moment. I want that skin to skin as quickly as possible. Sure hope this can happen with an induction!

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  • My LO is 9 months old but we had a natural birth that needed induction.  She kicked a hole in her sack at 37 weeks and I was leaking fluid.  24 hours later still not contractions so the midwife inflated a foley bag on the other side of my cervix which put pressure on the cervix to dilate.  It is supposed to fall out when you are a certain amount dilated (can't remember the details) and "push" you in active labor.  I honestly don't know the pros and cons but when presented to me as an options it seemed a lot better than pitocin.  It made contractions painful but I don't think as bad as the pitocin contractions would have been.  DD was born 6 hours afterwards. I am very thankful I had a midwife who was as dedicated to my birth plan as I was.  DD was born in the middle of the huge snow storm in January and I refused to go to the hospital until the midwife got there because I was sure they would hear how long it had been since my water broke and induce me.  Eventually the snow got so bad that we left the Target where I was power walking in the aisle and hung out in the lobby of the hospital.  Anyway, GL!
  • Ask your doctor about the foley bulb, aka cervical balloon. I was induced with this natural method with my first and it kick started my labor in no time. For my second child, they stripped my membranes and once I was dilated to 5 cm, they popped my bag and I had my baby in no time. Everybody reacts differently to these methods. Sometimes they don't work or take longer.
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  • I was induced due to PreE with DS.  I was put on a very low dose of pit overnight that was gradually upped in hopes of gradually putting me into labor.  Because of the mag sulfate that I had to be on, the pit never induced any effective contractions (I actually couldn't feel them at all for the most part) and labor didn't start until several hours later when they broke my water.  Luckily, I was already 2-3cm when I went in to be induced, so this was an option. 

    Even though the water-breaking was really what put me into labor, they kept the pit on when they should have probably turned it off (I think this in hindsight b/c during active labor I definately wasn't able to advocate for myself like this, I just wanted to tune out the world while dealing with contractions).  I think the pit pushed my labor forward too quickly, causing a few issues which could have otherwise been avoided.

    In hindsight, I would have done this:  1)  Foley bulb, until I was 4 cm, in hopes that the pressure would put me into labor.  If it didn't then 2)  Rupture of membranes.  No pit at all unless AROM didn't put me into labor.  Of course, AROM has it's own dangers such as cord prolapse (if LO's head is engaged, this is less of a danger) and you're put on the clock, but with the PreE, DS needed to come out pronto, so being on the clock wasn't really an issue in my circumstance.

    Of course, your situation might be different, but this is what I did, and what I would have done in hindsight.  Best of luck!


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    BFP#2:  EDD 2/11/14, MMC confirmed 7/15/13 (growth stopped at 6 weeks), D&C @ 12 weeks 7/25/13

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