Is Pitocin harmful to babies during birth?

Advances in medicine have simplified treatments, cured diseases and saved lives. However, like everything in life, they also have the potential to be harmful. Health care is under the direction of fallible humans, and errors can cause severe damage and even death.

One of the areas that people most worry about is birth. Mothers want to do what is best for their babies while also protecting their own health. This means making numerous decisions on prenatal care, labor and delivery. A common question is whether Pitocin is safe to use.

What is Pitocin?

The body releases the hormone oxytocin during labor so the uterus will contract and push the baby out. A synthetic form of this hormone, Pitocin, helps to induce labor, restart contractions during a stall and stop postpartum bleeding.

Is Pitocin good or bad?

As with most drugs, Pitocin can be both helpful and harmful. It all depends on the why and how of its use. In emergency situations where delivery needs to happen quickly, Pitocin can be a lifesaver. Although it may still carry risks, its use is appropriate. Even if Pitocin is necessary, however, proper administration and monitoring are also necessary to ensure the well-being of the mother and baby. When a provider misuses Pitocin, such as to speed up the process so as to get out of work faster, then the drug can be unsafe and the doctor may be guilty of malpractice.

What damage can Pitocin do?

Improper usage results in higher rates of C-sections and epidurals, which come with their own risks and complications. It can cause mothers to develop a fever during labor. The intense contractions can also lead to fetal distress. A lack of monitoring during administration of Pitocin may bring about serious complications and injuries to both mother and baby, especially when the dosage is too high or goes on for too long. 



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