As a resident physician I'd like to note that your rant on pitocin was pretty uninformed. You were given oxytocin following delivery for uterine atony, to prevent HEMORRHAGE, the cause of much maternal mortality before your god-awful pitocin was synthesized.I started a response in the comments section, but decided the exchange was worth its own blogpost. So I'll paste my response here.
Furthermore, take a look at the medical literature concerning fetal death rates before and after the discovery of oxytocin. Placental abruption, cord compression, hypoxia in utero, chorioamnionitis secondary to prolonged labor times...these were all huge killers of newborns, but you'd likely not KNOW it because you know nothing about medicine. If you're going to complain publicly please try and do it in an informed fashion, lest you mislead women and have them make bad decisions at the hospital.
Dear Anonymous resident physician:
I think you're referring to this post. I'm curious what parts of the original post were "uninformed."
You, not having been present at my birth nor privy to my medical charts, can't claim to know the circumstances that led to my being administered Pitocin. I don't have a doubt that stopping a postpartum hemorrhage is a valid use of the drug. Postpartum hemorrhage remains one of the leading causes of maternal death to this day. In fact, prolonged use of Pitocin during labor is one of the risk factors for postpartum hemhorrage. A friend of mine bled excessively following a long induced labor.
I never said I shouldn't have been administered Pitocin. Honestly I don't know because I haven't looked at my charts myself, and I was never given the details while in the hospital. It's possible that the hospital where I delivered gives every woman Pitocin following labor as a precaution. Regardless of those details, the fact is that it interfered with our bonding as I suspect it does for many mothers. Drugs, even when needed, are unfortunately not without harmful side effects. You can read the list of Pitocin's side effects (including postpartum hemorrhage) here. I shared my own limited experience with Pitocin merely to illustrate one of the possible harmful side effects of the drug. So far I'm not seeing anything I've said that qualifies as "uninformed."
I never said Pitocin shouldn't be used when necessary. I'm absolutely grateful for the fetal and maternal deaths prevented by Pitocin. As I said in the original post, "Pitocin has its time and place." But I am simultaneously appalled by the injuries often inflicted when Pitocin is unnecessary. You can't debate the fact that Pitocin is being abused when used without medical reason. You can't ignore the voices of those women and babies harmed by the drug either. I don't have a problem with Pitocin when it's necessary, but I definitely have a problem with it being used "like candy in the OB world" and leading to unnecessary suffering.
You're right that I know nothing about medicine, and I never claimed to. But I have spent the last 6 years of my life passionately studying birth--which is a natural process. Birth has little need for medicine most of the time, but I have always acknowledged that I am grateful for modern medicine for those cases when doctors and medicine become necessary. The lives of women and babies I love dearly have been saved by those wonderful modern advancements.
You're right that I like to rant about Pitocin. And I will keep ranting until doctors stop abusing it. If you aren't aware of those abuses, try googling the new birth buzz-words "Pit to distress" for starters.
It is certainly not my intention to mislead women. On the contrary, I'm on a crusade to educate women so they can make truly informed decisions. I would definitely appreciate and welcome any feedback that would help me to better inform women or to correct any misinformation I may be disseminating, but so far I think I've only shared the facts.