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New Study Raises Questions About Pitocin

A new study published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology is raising some new questions about the popular drug used in childbirth, pitocin. Which is the synthetic form of Oxytocin which the body naturally releases during labor to cause contractions.

While in the past there has been much speculation about the amount the drug is being used in birthing women, the new study shows that prolonged use during labor and childbirth is probably more dangerous than beneficial.

The study out of Duke University found a strong link between high amounts of pitocin used during birth to speed things up or induce labor, and severe postpartum hemorrhage which is a serious and life threatening complication post birth for mothers.

A local news channel out of Indiana not only featured a great news story, but they also interviews two months who had life threatening postpartum hemorrhages after their births, which included large amounts and prolonged use of the drug pitocin.

“What we found is women who had prolonged infusions of pitocin, they were actually at increased risk of bleeding after delivery,” said Dr. Chad Grotegut, the head researcher.

Grotegut explained that when women receive a lot of pitocin during labor, they can become desensitized, causing it to fail to work when it counts most, immediately after a baby is born.

The drug is supposed to help clamp down the uterus and stop the bleeding.”We do feel it is a strong finding,” Grotegut said.

Grotegut goes on to detail that nearly 60 to 70 percent of women who give birth at the hospital he attends have some form of pitocin during or after their labor.

Take the time to read the linked news story and watch the almost 4 minute video, it has a lot of great information about the study, and pitocin.

This all on the heals of my post yesterday including 5 Things Moms Should Know about Labor Induction… you can add this as the 6th thing that all mothers should know!

photo: flickr.com/aaron_anderer

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