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  1. #1
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    Default What are the risks to your unborn baby when given syntocinon?

    I have been looking into this and there isnt much information on this.
    What are the risks to your unborn baby when given syntocinon? Because I have heard that it can put your baby in a lot of distress because of the unatural way the birth was started! I would love to hear your story. I am really considering if there is no medical reason for induction except that I am over due to just let my future pregnancy continue until bubs is ready.

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    Last edited by Lollie1990; 20-12-2011 at 22:13.

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  4. #4
    Tam-I-Am's Avatar
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    Note: I'm not a doctor, so this advice is definitely lay-person advice.

    Syntocinon is a synthetic version of a naturally occuring hormone, oxytocin. Oxytocin is present in a woman's body throughout early and active labour, and afterwards. The baby will be exposed to this and it is considered a pregnancy category A drug - it does not cause defects to a fetus (because it's normal for them to be exposed to it).

    The risks are actually mostly to the mother, but to the baby in that it can send a baby into distress, cause it to discharge meconium into the amniotic fluid and inhale this, causing meconium aspiration syndrome.

    Aside from that, there is an increased chance of uterine rupture for the mother, of a cascade of interventions (ie once you've had one intervention, it becomes far more likely that you will be exposed to more and more interventions, the ultimate of which is of course a caesarean section), and of you requiring greater and great pain relief because of contractions that are unnaturally hard and fast.

    Are you aware that only 3 - 5% of babies are actually born before or at 40 weeks? 90% of the rest are born before 42 weeks gestation. 42 weeks is actually completely full term - you are not 'overdue' until you are over 42 weeks gestation - and even THEN, induction is not necessary if there is no indication for it (ie if the placenta and the baby are both doing well).

    There is no doubt that inductions can save lives under some circumstances - and if that's the case of course they're the right choice. But a lot of the time, inductions are used by obstetricians who are exhibiting a failure to wait until the baby is ready to come.

    My best advice is to inform yourself as best as possible and make the best decisions for you and your baby from that informed position

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    I was induced with my first bub, I didn't know anything about it until the doctors told me he needed to be delivered the next day, so it was deemed safer for him to come out 'unnaturally' with medication, than risk letting him go on. I don't remember the doctors telling me about the risks of syntocinon, but with my son's condition at the time (IUGR) giving birth by any means was going to be somewhat a risk.

    I don't think doctors like to induce unless there's a medical reason/bubs is overdue, so if they want to take you down that path then there's probably a good reason. I remember a kid at my school who was born waaaay past his due date (I don't remember exactly how long) and even though he was 10-12 when I met him, he simply looked overcooked, there were patches of what looked like burns everywhere.

    I think any induced labour is monitored very closely, the whole ten and a half hours labouring with my son there was always a midwife in the room. So if for any reason things aren't going the right direction, you'd be able to get attention very quickly.

    Either way, I don't know the exact risks of syntocinon, but I'd take the doctor very seriously if they were wanting to induce you that way.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Arusaamatus View Post
    I don't think doctors like to induce unless there's a medical reason/bubs is overdue, so if they want to take you down that path then there's probably a good reason.
    That's just not always the case, unfortunately. There are risks and benefits to be weighed up for inductions. Unfortunately, personal factors all too often play a factor in doctors' decisions - especially at this time of year. Doctors don't want to attend a birthing woman in hospital on xmas day so will sometimes induce for what is called a 'social reason' - ie to get her out of the way before the holiday. Yes it's unethical and of course they wouldn't admit to that - 'post-dates' is a handy excuse - but there is not medical indication for induction for 'post-dates' when mum and bub and placenta are otherwise healthy.

    As for your anecdote re: your schoolmate, it's just that - an anecdote. How do you know that him being post-dates caused the skin condition? that sounds very much like psoriasis or eczema - both common skin conditions for people with difficulties with allergies. Not necessarily anything to do with being post-dates at all.

    Quite often after a woman has been induced for a non-medical reason, hospital staff with justify their actions by stating that the baby or mother would have died or become seriously ill if not for the induction. This is good ***-covering - they would not admit to having induced for no reason.

    There are a lot of politics around doctors and birth, and unfortunately - whilst we should be able to trust our care providers implicitly, they are first and foremost human and sometimes that means that they put their own self-interests first, rather than those of the patients.

    Additional to all of the above - hospital policies are not necessarily evidence-based and are certainly not individualised to each patient - that's why they're policy - so inevitably will harm some women, although will assist others.

    Of course, to be fair, there are some very ethical care providers who use evidence-based practices, present their patients with all the information and assist them to make truly informed and consented-to decisions. Unfortunately, they're not all like that, however, and NO woman should give her power away to doctors unthinkingly. Every woman should be making truly informed decisions (which means researching beyond what the care providers say) and therefore be able to give truly informed consent.

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    I had my son at 42+1. Induction wasn't an option for me (well not without a very good reason, and unlike pp, I don't believe most inductions are necessary). The main problem FOR THE BABY (as pp mentioned there are other problems for mum, namely the "cascade of intervention" leading to major surgery) is that induced contractions are longer, stronger, and closer together than natural contractions. So there is less "rest time" between contractions and this is why bubs get tired and stressed and their heart rate goes up, then the hospital staff start giving mum the "bub is distressed, we now need to do this other thing" and so on until bub is (often) born by c section later on.

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    There is some evidence that this is sometimes deliberately designed by hospital staff, too, lulululu - ie http://www.theunnecesarean.com/blog/...-cesarean.html

    (pitocin is the American name for syntocinon).

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    I was given syntocinin. My waters broke naturally but labor didn't start, so they put me on it. I was 11 days over, due to be induced at 14.

    I was planning a natural birth with only gas and air, but the contractions were so painful after 10 hours asked for an epi.

    I only dilated to 6cm, then went down to 4 due to swelling. 2 hours later I had to have a c section.

    Bubs had already passed meconium, and had minor rapid breathing issues as a result, and had to spend 4 days in special care.

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    I saw my friends birth when she was induced. it was very intense right from the beginning.. No build up.. Her baby went into distress and she had a c section in the end.. I would think its best to wait for nature to take its course in most cases only because due dates are estimates and also because its probably easier on mum and baby.. However I will say babies are not always better off coming in their own time. My mum is a special needs teacher and has taught a few (very small amount and definitely rare) children who have disabilities associated with being very over due.. This is apparently more of a risk with older mums .. But I think we as people on a forum can tell you what we read and learnt, but you have to do some serious research if you are thinking of this path.. I did not want to be induced unless medically necessary and the hospital were very against this.. I was lucky cos I went into labour at 42 weeks on the dot naturally lol

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