Pitocin is a medication that is used to start or improve uterine contractions.
When is Pitocin Required?
Pitocin is used:
- 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.)
- 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.
- 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?
- A thorough evaluation of the mother and of fetal conditions by an obstetrician.
- A discussion between the mother and the obstetrician regarding the evaluation, recommendation for treatment, and the risks and benefits of the treatment.
- Fetal monitoring.
- Intravenous therapy.
- Close observation and monitoring from trained medical and nursing staff.
- Pain management if necessary.
- Availability of obstetrician to manage any complications.
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