There are ripples in the birthing blogosphere due to the term "pit to distress", where a provider intentionally creates fetal distress with pitocin in order to have an excuse to perform a cesarean. Has anyone been on the receiving end of this type of reckless malpractice? Here are some links which describe the term more fully. This is even more insidious when considering the fact that a VBAC is so hard to come by, that some women are uninsurable after a cesarean, and that previous cesareans create more risk for mother and baby in future pregnancies.

http://www.theunnecesarean.com/blog/2009/7/6/pit-to-distress-your-t...

http://keyboardrevolutionary.blogspot.com/2009/07/just-when-id-thou...

http://www.theunnecesarean.com/blog/2009/7/10/pit-to-distress-2-why...

http://nursingbirth.wordpress.com/2009/07/08/“pit-to-distress”-a-disturbing-reality/

Tags: HBAC, VBAC, cesarean, distress, ethics, fetal, obstetrics

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I just put a blog post up on this the other day.
It's disgusting isn't it? I am so glad my last was born at home, and I pray my future children will be as well.
I think my cousin may have been indirectly a victim of this. Her doctor induced because "they have a history of big babies" and then her labor was awful, excruciatingly painful, nurses and doctor yelling at her when she was in pain, baby got stuck for three hours in the birth canal and her now 10 year old son has cerebral palsy. I won't even go into the postpartum debacle at the hospital.

So was it actually "pit to distress"? I don't think exactly, but it was a case in which she was set up for failure of vaginal birth from the first place, and in fact believed that in fact she probably couldn't (or shouldn't) do it anyway, and then those fears/expectations confirmed with a horrific labor experience which harmed her baby irreparably.

But you know, it was an "emergency c-section" - because yeah, given the condition she was made to labor, he probably would have died from lack of oxygen if a vaginal birth had continued.

I just learned this story last weekend, and the whole thing still makes me sad and angry.
@ Mandy

I am so sorry for your cousin and her son. When women get induced, it ups your chances of a c-section by 30%. That's a lot.
Pitocin causes horrible contractions and then comes the epidural.....it's a long cascade of interventions. One right after the other.

I too look forward to the day when women say enough is enough and take back control of their births.
Stories like these are so sad. There are so many preventable injuries to mothers and babies, and it's awful that the rates are going the wrong way-up! It sounds like your cousin may have had a medically unnecessary induction for suspected "macrosomia", and then the providers missed the tell-tale signs of distress to her baby.

No woman and baby should be put through aggressive interventions and then neglect.
Thank you all. You know, I was speaking with my mother about it and her attitude was, "Well, now what? That happened, so how do you help her son?" And I knew in my gut that was the wrong reaction - the reaction should be, "Because this happened, irreversible consequences have affected both her and the baby, and the doctor/establishment/hospital someone needs to be scrutinized.

It is a lot like one of the cases I read about on Unnecesarean, about Catherine Skol, whose birth trauma I couldn't even read through all the way and to whom public attitudes are really ill informed and insensitive. It is a huge problem that a woman can go into a hospital, be subjected to emotional and physical abuse - even if the baby is healthy - and then those responsible get away with it - or worse, it is the institutionalized norm. I realized this last fact most strongly when I was telling about my labor experience and how helpful my MW had been and my cousin looked me in the eye and in all earnestness said, "Really?"

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