Childbirth can occur naturally, oxytocin, or medically, Pitocin. Either or, there is a difference in the progression and outcomes of your birth.
Oxytocin is produced by the pituitary gland. It is a naturally occurring neurochemical that crosses the blood-brain barrier and circulates in the blood stream and brain. During the birthing process, it allows brain to then release further homones required for labor.
It is released in spurts during the birth process causing contractions of the uterus, then easing off. This contracts and relaxes your uterus in a synchronous fashion, allowing your baby to be birthed. After delivery, oxytocin continues to be released contacting the uterus to minimise blood loss, improving uterine tone, initiate bonding and increase feelings of love, empathy and connection.
Pitocin is a synthetic drug administered via IV into the blood stream, without crossing the blood-brain barrier.
Used by obstetricians to induce or augment labor, it is administered via a steady infusion, its levels in the blood remains constant untill the dosage is turned up.
Because it doesn’t affect the brain the same way as natural oxytocin, you are more likley to experience intense contactions. Therefore, you are more likely to then ask for an epidural which is may lower blood pressure and slow down uterine contractions.
Pitocin may at times saves mums and babies from experiencing other complications but the risks should be discussed and taken seriously by doctors and patients alike. Discuss with your health professional about natural ways to initiate labor and different birthing positions to assist with progressing labor.