A few in late 2013 three articles emerged about the dangers of a common occurrence in American births-augmentation, Pitocin.
Augmentation can happen for a variety of reasons, both medically "warranted" and for the sake of convenience for either a busy doctor or mother. Augmentation is usually done by administering pitocin, a synthetic form of naturally occurring oxytocin, through an IV. While pitocin usually has the same effects of oxytocin (uterine contractions) there are certain other risks. The pitocin can sometimes cause fetal distress because the contractions come on stronger, more closely together and for longer periods of time than naturally produced oxytocin. And, as some of the studies have seemed to find, pitocin may be linked to Autism.
One of the most lasting impressions of The Business of Being Born was when one of the doctors said just this. Pitocin is a rather new drug with, until now, not much research into the long-term effects of its use. Am I against inductions? Do I think that mothers are "bad" for having their labors induced? Do I think that mothers who have inductions are some how putting their children in harm's way? No. Not at all. What I am saying is that we as women have to remember our voices and not be afraid to use them.
Throughout history women's voice has been stifled and throughout history women fight to make it heard. Educate yourself on the procedures that are often suggested or offered as normal and regular and ask questions.
Why do we need to do this procedure?
What will happen if we don't?
Is that bad?
Why is it bad?
What are the alternatives to this procedure?
I'd like to get a second opinion on this.
In terms of speeding along labor or inducing labor there are natural alternatives. Raspberry leaf tea and Thyme tea will both bring on contractions. Clary Sage, an active ingredient in my Birthing Sprays, is also thought to bring on contractions. Walking or other types of exercise can bring on contractions as well as boy-girl sex (chemical reaction of the sperm) as well as any sexual activity that brings orgasm. Nipple stimulation can also help bring on contractions.
I say all of this because while pitocin has become a regular fixture in hospital births, it doesn't need to be. In fact, if you're able to move around, change positions, squat, take a shower, enjoy uninterrupted laboring and are surrounded by positive energy labor can move along more quickly without the use of drugs because the hormones are able to better flow throughout your body.
I'm linking the articles below not to shake a finger, but so that we read, learn and research our options and alternatives.
From the American Congress of OBGs: New Study Finds Adverse Effects of Pitocin in Newborns
From the BBC News Induced Labor Linked to Autism
From MedPage Today Induced Labor Linked to Higher Autism Rate
Hi there! I'm Erika Davis and I'm a doula working in the Seattle and South Puget Sound area.