You don’t hear most doulas talking about how they love pitocin. But I do! Here’s why.
Interventions not good or bad; they’re on a spectrum. Every choice you make, no matter how “natural” or “unnatural” it is, carries risks and benefits. LIFE is about risks and benefits. And while nature has designed birth to work well most of the time, sometimes you need a little help in the form of pitocin. Or an epidural, forceps, or even a cesarean birth.
And none of these things are inherently bad.
When your labor has been exhaustingly long and your contractions are spacing out or becoming less strong because your body is tired, pitocin is an intervention that can increase the likelihood of having a vaginal birth.
I have been at births where mothers were terrified of pitocin. And yes, pitocin does come with plenty of risks, such as increased likelihood of needing an epidural for pain relief or the potential for problems with your baby’s heart rate. And yes, it can be scary to think about introducing a medication to your labor when perhaps it wasn’t planned. But when interventions are used judiciously, they really can help birth unfold in a way that minimizes further interventions.
As your birth doula, it’s not my job to recommend or talk you out of interventions like pitocin. Of course, I will remind you of your plans for the birth, and talk to you about ways we can uphold as many of those wishes as possible. I will help you have meaningful, informative conversations with your health care provider so that YOU can determine if you want these interventions to become a part of your experience. Ultimately, my goal for you is not for a specific birth experience—it’s for you to feel emotionally supported and have strong convictions for the choices you make during pregnancy and childbirth.