PITOCIN v OXYTOCIN: What Does It Mean For Your Labor?

I cannot tell you how many times, when a client asks their nurse or doctor about Pitocin, I hear “It’s the exact same as Oxytocin”. 

Which is true*

*but not completely.

Because Oxytocin, when released in the body during labor, not only stimulates contractions, but also floods the brain, reducing anxiety, stress, and pain. Pitocin does not cross into the brain because of the blood brain barrier. Pitocin is also given in much higher quantities. In a 2019 study researchers found that 9 milliunits (mU) of Pitocin per minute lead to similar levels in the blood as seen with physiologic labor. However, Pitocin is often increased beyond this point, and once Pitocin is increased to 10-16 mU per minute it raises levels in the body to double those of physiological labor. 🤯

🔸 So What Can You Do? 🔸

SELF-ADVOCATE

▫️ Know that Pitocin can be increased at a rate that YOU determine. It does not need to be every 30 minutes (as is common practice in many hospital systems).

TAKE A BREAK

▫️ If the Pitocin levels are getting overwhelming you can always take a break and request that the Pitocin be turned off so that you can have a snack, take a nap, and restart when you’re feeling ready. Pitocin has a half life of about 10 minutes and can be medically counter-acted faster if needed. Stopping Pitocin during Active Labor can give your body a change to “take over” and reducing the risk of uterine overstimulation and emergent cesarean.

AND REMEMBER …

▫️ Everyone in the room works for you, your baby, and your support person. 

Birth Doula

As your birth doula, we work together to cultivate the birth plan you desire & deserve. Upon hiring I will be available to you as a resource throughout the remaining weeks of your pregnancy path. During your labor & birth, I will be there to provide you with continuous emotional and physical support and answer any and all questions you may have.

  • Monthly prenatal meetings (virtual) from the time of hire
  • Unlimited email/phone/text support
  • Discuss birth & postpartum preferences
  • Provide references and resources as needed
  • I will be on-call for you 24/7 from your 37th week of pregnancy
  • I provide support during your labor/birth (ideally in-person)
  • Approximately 2 hours (or more if needed) of immediate postpartum support
  • 1-2 postpartum visits (virtual) during the first few weeks after your birth to process the birth and offer infant feeding support

 

If you are struggling financially I will always offer sliding scale options or payment plans to anyone that inquires. If you are able to pay my full rate know that part of my fee goes to taking on sliding scale/probono clients. THANK YOU!

get in touch

Washington, DC

hi@dcdoula.co

What is the role of a Doula?

Carriage House Birth defines a doula as “a professional who supports people through major life changes”.

The word doula is derived from the Greek word δούλα, meaning “a woman who serves”. As a doula, I am trained to provide emotional, physical, spiritual, and/or educational support to you and your partner during the perinatal and birthing process. I am responsible for your emotional comfort and care, and here to support you by highlighting choices, providing education, and being a “beacon of calm for the family through the process at large” (CHB).

Postpartum doulas are trained to offer continued support for both parents and child after birth. This may include lactation support, nutritional information, overnight support if requested, light cleaning, and more. Postpartum doulas also offer support around loss, miscarriage, and abortion.
 
 

Why include a Doula in your birth experience?

The process of giving birth extends far beyond the physical. It is an emotional and transformative moment of a parents-to-be’s life. The role of a birth doula is to offer support during this time, prioritizing the emotional needs of the pregnant person, “mothering the mother”, and offering continuous labor support for the family.

A 2012 report published by the NIH, which analyzed over 15,000 births, found that persons with continuous labor support:

  • are more likely to have a spontaneous vaginal birth
  • are less likely to have intrapartum analgesia
  • are less likely to report dissatisfaction
  • are more likely to have a have shorter labor
  • are less likely to have a caesarean
  • are less likely to have an instrumental vaginal birth
  • are less likely to have regional analgesia
  • are less likely to have a baby with a low five-minute Apgar score

A Letter to the Partner

Dear Partner,

I am not here to replace you, I am here to support you.

Many partners are uneasy with hiring a doula as they worry about being replaced or overshadowed during the labor and birth experience. Please know that my role is to support both the pregnant person and you. I provide physical, emotional, and educational support, allowing you to focus all your attention on your loved one. I am your back-up, your support.

“The Doula provides emotional support; suggests and uses different techniques such as breathing, relaxation, movement and positioning to aid in labor and delivery; provides information to mom and dad throughout; helps mom (and dad) become informed about various birth choices; provides an advocacy voice for mom and acts as a liaison between the mother and the care provider; and — beautifully, wonderfully, thankfully — provides reassurance and comfort to the mother (first and foremost) but also to dad or partner.” — Testimonial on DoulaSpot.com

Do you feel like you’re reaching information overload? There’s a lot to learn in the months leading up to welcoming a baby. Having a doula is like having an expert in your back pocket. Someone that knows the aspects of labor and birth, can offer information and resources, and support you as you support your laboring partner. Birth is not only a physical process, but an emotional and psychological process as well. It can be very emotional for the laboring person and family.

Doulas are trained for this. We are prepared, ready, willing, and able to be right at the family’s side for the duration of the labor and birth experience.

If you have any questions please reach out and I’d be happy to talk through doula work with you in more depth. If cost is a factor, please let me know your budget as I offer sliding scale rates.

I look forward to joining your team!