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Synthetic Oxytocin AKA The Drip.

How much do you know about "the Drip" and additional risk that it can carry?

It is common for induced labours to come with the drip to encourage established labour. Recently I've received “I didn’t know we were allowed to wait before having the drip”. You’re ‘allowed’ to do what you want in YOUR birth.

Allowed is not a word that should be used when describing birth preferences. This can be discussed with your midwife during antenatal appointments. Midwives are medically trained, ask them questions, get prepared & decide your preferences.

partner supporting birthing person

Inductions don’t have to be something to fear. I had a few hours after having waters broken, this was my preference after doing my research. I was 42 weeks, so my case was favourable, 2-3 hours in my body established labour without the drip. Advise your midwife you would like an hour, or two, then reassess how you feel. You can also set how long before having the dose adjusted. I believe (ask your midwife!) hospital protocol is every 30 minutes the drip can be safely increased. If this doesn't feel right, say no. “No thanks”, or “give me another 30 minutes”. Your team don’t know how you feel unless you speak up.

You could be feeling something that they can't see. Make your communication as clear as possible. If you need to, let your midwife know you want them to gain consent before each adjustment, “please wait for me to give the all clear that I'm ready for a higher dose”. Sometimes labour just won't progress without it, and that's okay too. And like all interventions of birth- ask the risks involved.

Risks of Synthetic Oxytocin;

👉🏻 Hyper-stimulation of the uterus, which can cause fetal distress, fevers, vomiting, diarrhoea, and abdominal pain. Fetal distress very often leads to C- section.

👉🏻 The chance of shoulder dystocia & tearing increases as the body is forcing baby out faster than it wants to.

👉🏻 PPH risk increases, with neonatal complications & resuscitation stemming from hypoxia.

👉🏻 Uncommon, but can happen when the drip is high and prolonged; brain damage, which can lead to Cerebral Palsy.

❕Having an induction and masking the pain of artificial hormones with an epidural does not reduce the risks surrounding the use of Synthetic Oxytocin.

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