I am planning a home birth with a certified midwife. She is great and we are planning no interventions as far as possible. At our last visit she presented us with an option to have a shot of oxytocin (which is what Pitocin is called here in Canada) after the birth of the baby but before the placenta. I guess the idea is that it helps the uterus clamp down and prevents hemorrhage. I had never heard of this, only of using oxytocin to induce labour, which I know I want to avoid. Does anyone have any thoughts? Normally, I'd say no thanks, but I have flirted with low platelet levels toward the end of this pregnancy and in truth I am afraid of postpartum bleeding. The levels haven't been low enough to necessitate a hospital birth (in my province I can birth at home or in a hospital with my midwife, so the hospital option isn't as dramatically different from a home birth as is my impression about the US situation) but they have made me nervous. So now all of a sudden I'm presented with something that feels like it makes the whole thing less risky. Does anyone know if an "after the fact" shot of oxytocin will interfere with any good hormonal stuff going on?

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As a doula, I will first say, "Congratulations on your pregnancy!"

The second thing I have to say is, what was presented to you was an option. This means that it is a choice, or one way of doing things.

You do not have to do it. You can say no.

This whole oxytocin use is simply to speed up the body's reactions. There is some fallout from it, of course, as it is a man-made chemical being injected into your body, but if you do not want it, and it is not medically necessary, simply say no thanks and ask your midwife if there is another option of dealing with low platelet levels(there are at least three)

Good luck!
I am a home birth mom getting ready for #2 in March. I am working on my certification to teach The Bradley Method as well. You can add Nettles and/or liquid Chlorophyll to your daily supplements to help prevent postpartum hemorrhage. Excellent nutrition is also key. (80-100 grams of protein each day) Oxytocin/Pitocin will still pass to the baby if the placenta has not yet been expelled. Any artificial hormones introduced to your body will interfere with the natural production. As you probably know, nursing your baby as soon as possible after birth is nature's way of clamping your uterus. Hope this helps. Congrats and good luck!



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