Post # 1
In meeting with my doctor today at 34 weeks, I was told it’s common practice for her/my hospital to administer pitocin after labor and delivery to prevent loss of too much blood/transfusion. I told her I was hoping not to use pitocin during the labor process and was going to research this. I’m finding a lot of information from 5+ years ago. Looking to hear any firsthand experience with this, or what your doctors may have told/recommended to you.
Post # 2
I gave birth a year and a half ago and I was not given pitocin after my daughter was born. The nurses cut it off as soon as I started actively pushing.
You can always deny pitocin if they offer it. Hopefully you go into labor naturally and progress well so you won’t need it.
Post # 3
yorp127 : I had a hospital birth with a midwife 2.5 months ago and I only received pitocin AFTER I delivered. The labor and delivery itself was completely unmedicated. Pitocin is given to assist in delivering the placenta whole and preventing postpartum hemorrhage. It is normally just a shot in the thigh but as I was already hemorrhaging they also added a quick IV (I didn’t have even a hemlock during delivery) and also gave me these suppositories to stop the bleeding faster. I’ll tell you that hemorhhages are not fun so if you can prevent one I would! Particularly if you plan to breastfeed because it can cause you to have supply issues. My daughter was about 8 weeks old before my supply FINALLY caught up and we were able to stop supplementing and I worked really hard to make that happen (pumping with hospital grade, supplements, etc).
Post # 4
Hyperventilate : thanks I hope so too!
LilliV : thanks for sharing your experience! I’ve read that the post labor pitocin actually creates new challenges for breastfeeding, and can cause painful contractions to deliver the placenta. Did you experience this pain? If you were not hemorraging, would you have tried to decline the pitocin?
my doctor does want to get a hemlock immediately after hospital admittance, as in case of emergency she doesn’t want the nurses to be trying to find a good vein to administer medicine that could prevent a c section. I fully support this, am just weary of the post labor pitocin (and hopefully don’t need in labor pitocin either!)
Post # 5
I know I had an injection straight after delivery to help with the placenta delivery. It was fine and no problems were had. This was 7 months ago and a midwife led hospital delivery.
Post # 6
yorp127 : I was on the fence about it, but I really trusted my midwife and she recommended the thigh shot for placenta delivery/bleeding management so I probably would have got it anyways. Since it is post-delivery the baby isn’t affected by the medication. I don’t recall having extra bad contractions for the placenta but I had just pushed a human out of my vagina with absolutely zero pain medication so….take that for what it’s worth. The thing that does hurt is the uterine “massage” and you’ll get that with or without pitocin. Also if you don’t want a heplock they really aren’t necessary. Think of it this way – if you were in a car accident today the nurses would have to open an IV line because you don’t walk around in life with a heplock. It literally takes 10 seconds to put in an IV. I was really resistant to all “just in case” interventions because I knew it would just open the door to more. My water broke and I needed hydration to regulate the baby’s heart rate (I had been gushing and lost a lot of fluid) and the nurses wanted to put in an IV but the midwife let me have 15 minutes to chug water and do it myself (which I did). My water broke before contractions started and the nurse was like “well let’s just start pitocin” and the midwife let me go home and wait for labor to start on its own (which it did, but if it didn’t we had a plan to return for an induction within 24 hours). Labor and delivery isn’t be default a medical emergency – it is a natural life event. That’s why I chose a midwife hospital birth; the didn’t treat anything like a medical emergency until it actually was. I plan on having future kids with them as well since it was such a positive experience.
Post # 7
I honestly don’t know for sure, but I was bleeding pretty badly after birth so I’m sure I got it. It’s not a big deal at all. Most likely you’ll have your baby on your chest anyway and won’t even notice. The nurses pushing on my uterus hurt way more than anything else. And I breastfed for 2 years with no problems.
Declining a heplock is ridiculous though, IMO. If shit really hit the fan the time spent trying to find a vein could cost you or your baby’s life. Mine didn’t bother me at all.
Post # 8
I really don’t even know if I had it. There’s so much going on I couldn’t have said (I was not opposed to it so it’s not something I was actively trying to decline). I was induced with my first so I did have pitocin on and off with her. My second was spontaneous so I never had pitocin but I believe I did have it immediately after deliver (I think it’s usually just a shot to the thigh). I had epidurals with both so it didn’t matter (pain wise). I had super easy times breastfeeding both babies, it’s probably more about the baby and your anatomy than anything else. You will have painful contractions first couple days after birth no matter what. Some of them can be quite intense. Plus they will push on your uterus for a couple days and that can hurt quite a bit. I wouldn’t be concerned about a shot of pitocin immediately after birth compared to all of that. You’re still within your right to decline, but I don’t see it as a big deal overall. Looking at potential benefits for stopping bleeding I didn’t have any thought to decline it. After birth pains are a bitch anyway so it can’t be worse than those.
Post # 9
I initially declined a heplock but ended up receiving an epidural and pitocin because baby wasn’t turning from posterior and I was loosing energy. I also asked them to talk to me before automatically giving me pitocin after labor (since it would have been a shot had I not had the IV in). The midwife did ask to give me more pitocin because I was bleeding quite a bit. I agreed and had no issues breastfeeding for a year (apart from a tongue and lip tie!). I think it’s reasonable to ask that they consult you instead of making it an automatic thing.
Post # 10
I had it as an IV after labor. I think it did help. I still had 4-5 weeks of bleeding afterward like the books say, but it was very light.
Post # 11
I don’t think I got a pitocin shot. I did have pitocin through my iv before I started pushing.
Post # 12
I was induced with pitocin for both of my pregnancies/deliveries. Didn’t have anything administered after delivery though.
Post # 13
I was induced 3 weeks ago and used pitocin to get contractions regulated. However, my labor/delivery was semi complicated and I lost a lot of blood – both during birth and when the OB was trying to deliver my placenta. I will be honest in saying I was not paying much attention (our baby was born not breathing and needed resuscitation so I was focused on what was happening there), but my placenta was not coming out in one piece. I heard the OB ask for anesthesia to come back so she could preform the mild surgery to remove my placenta, and once she did I lost an acute amount of blood. I received 2 bags of pitocin and a suppository of something else (I can’t remember) to stop the hemmorage. My understanding is that it helps contract your uterus so that the blood begins to clot instead of continue to bleed. I would never have denied this happening as the amount of blood loss was enough that she ordered transfusion bags just in case. I’ve been EBF (with the exception of exclusively pumping the first 9 days as baby was in the NICU) and have had no issues with suppy.
I will say I find it odd that they are expecting/anticipating the need for pitocin without first seeing how your labor and delivery goes. This was not something i knew was even a possibility prior to labor/delivery.
Post # 14
In my hospital, it’s standard procedure to give pitocin after delivery to help prevent hemmoraging. Most women in my hospital, if asked, would probably say they didn’t have it, since they don’t even tell you – they just do it through your IV as a matter of fact. Personally, I didn’t care. I would rather have pitocin than hemmorage… and I didn’t have any side effects from the pitocin at all.
Post # 15
Twizbe : glad you had a positive experience.
Westwood : I agree with you about the heplock, and plan to get it upon admittance.
kes18 : glad to hear you had no issues BFing after your pitocin experiences.
AOriver : you sound similar to me. If it’s recommended to me by a medical professional who obviously knows more about what they’re doing than me, I’m happy to get it, I just want to be informed.
bubbles00 : do you know if you got it through the IV after labor because you already had the heplock? I’m adding it to my questions for my doctor whether it’s administered through shot or IV and what the difference would be!
BeverlyGeese : wow that sounds traumatic! Glad to hear everything is okay now and you’ve been able to Boyfriend or Best Friend without issue. My doctor is well aware of my anxiety and need for preparedness. I come to each appointment with a long list of new questions, and like to know what to expect. It seems like administering pitocin post labor is far more common than I’d initially understood, both on a need basis and preventative, it’s been interesting to read everyone’s experiences!
Soon2bmrs1 : yes it sounds much more common than I’d initially thought! Glad to hear you experienced no side effects.