When you are nearing your date of delivery, there are potential problems that you must consider which may delay or prolong your labor. There are some medications that the obstetrical team may try and use to help you induce labor or help the process along by increasing the frequency and intensity of the contractions.
Pitocin is most often used correctly and is safe, but there are some situations in which negligence can cause Pitocin to be more dangerous than helpful.
If the electronic fetal monitor shows that your baby is having difficulty tolerating labor, it may become necessary to reduce the dosage of Pitocin or stop its infusion entirely. Contractions can be stressful to the baby because they result in a temporary interruption in the delivery of oxygenated blood. Babies typically tolerate these temporary stresses well. However, if the monitor shows that the baby is struggling, increasing the intensity and frequency of the contractions can be dangerous.
An additional risk of the improper use of Pitocin is the potential for uterine rupture, a devasting obstetrical emergency for mother and baby. Pitocin should never be administered as a convenience to your obstetrician because he or she has scheduling issues or would like a shorter labor.
Before your doctor opts to use Pitocin, make sure you speak with him or her about the risks and benefits. You have the right to be informed to make the correct decisions for your safety and the safety of your baby.