Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Pit to distress?

I was just reading a post on regarding the term "pit to distress". The author seems to find it shocking that this term exists. What the term means is to use such aggressive amounts of pitocin to overstimulate a women's uterus, which in turn causes the baby to crump (become distressed), and a c/s is needed.

As a former L&D nurse and now a midwife, I have heard this term before. The context in which I am familiar with it is a little different than it is described on the above post. The term was used in situations where the baby was looking less than stellar during latent labor and it was already predicted that the a c/s would be likely for this reason. The pit to distress term would simply mean, go ahead and pit hard so we can section the baby.

I was a little shocked to find out that this has actually been written as an order??? I find that difficult to believe as that is a real red flag legally! But also just the nerve of some provider to order a nurse to intentionally cause potential harm to the invisible patient, in the form of oxygen deprivation, and to the visible patient who gets this c/s.

It is also p*sses me off to know that pitocin is used so irresponsibly. This behavior causes a backlash that makes life difficult for those who use the drug in a responsible manner. Women will hear about this practice and then worry that this will be done to them...and refuse pitocin. And there are situations where pitocin can make a difference between a c/s and a vaginal delivery (in a good way). I guess it will come down to trusting your provider and the relationship you have with them...if you don't, you should be running from them!!!!!


Joy said...

Thank you for this. I've already requested that Pitocin NOT be ministered during my L&D. This will be our third baby. I had 1-2 drops of Pitocin before I was complete with each of my first two daughters and I don't think it had anything to do with the drug. Personally not a fan of it.

minority midwife said...

Hey! I'm still around, just starting over :o)