What is Pitocin (Oxytocin)?

Pitocin is a medication that is used to start or improve uterine contractions.

When is Pitocin Required?

Pitocin is used:

  1. To initiate (induce) uterine contractions when the mother's medical condition or suspected fetal jeopardy prevents natural onset of labor (e.g., water has broken, risk of rapid delivery, etc.)
  2. To improve (augment) labor, when the frequency, duration, or strength of spontaneous contractions have been inadequate for progressive cervical dilation or descent of the fetus.
  3. To control bleeding.

What are the Risks?

  • Rupture of the uterus
  • Water intoxication
  • Increased discomfort
  • Fetal stress
  • Death of mother or fetus
  • What are possible alternatives?

Utilization of other types of induction or letting nature take its course. These alternative methods also have their own risks and have a varying degree of success.

What Should You Expect During Labor?

  1. A thorough evaluation of the mother and of fetal conditions by an obstetrician.
  2. A discussion between the mother and the obstetrician regarding the evaluation, recommendation for treatment, and the risks and benefits of the treatment.
  3. Fetal monitoring.
  4. Intravenous therapy.
  5. Close observation and monitoring from trained medical and nursing staff.
  6. Pain management if necessary.
  7. Availability of obstetrician to manage any complications.

Copyright © Pregnancy.org, LLC.