If your baby needs a little extra coaxing to come out into the world, then your doctor may prescribe Pitocin to get your labor going. Although you'd like to meet your little one sooner rather than later, you may feel concerned about any potential effects of medication during childbirth. With this in mind, what are the side effects of Pitocin?
Pitocin is a common labor induction or augmentation (strengthening) drug. According to New Kids Center, oxytocin, AKA Pitocin, is a hormone that can help induce labor when it's medically necessary. In a typical case, your doctor will administer Pitocin through an IV drip and closely observe your labor progression from there.
As with many medications, your experience with side effects could go a number of different ways. Fortunately for most expectant women, side effects from Pitocin are uncommon when you're given the recommended dosage amount, as noted in Everyday Health. If all goes to plan, you'll be focused on the immediate task of childbirth and unencumbered by any other symptoms. In some cases, however, you may experience common Pitocin side effects such as appetite loss, nausea, stomach pain, or sinus troubles, as noted in RxList. Let your doctor know if any of these side effects give you serious trouble.
At the other end of the spectrum, there are the rare but potentially severe side effects of Pitocin. High blood pressure, shallow breathing, an uneven heart rate, hallucinations, and slurred speech are signs of a serious Pitocin side effect, as further noted by RxList. This is a scary prospect, but because Pitocin is administered by a doctor, you will likely receive medical help immediately if anything goes seriously wrong.
As with any other aspect of your healthcare leading up to the delivery, don't hesitate to discuss your potential reaction to Pitocin with your physician. It's understandable that you would be concerned about any and all things that could go wrong during delivery, and Pitocin may not even be medically necessary in all cases. Whether you need a helping hand from Pitocin or not, hopefully you and your baby will have a safe and (at least somewhat) speedy delivery.