New Drug to Speed Up Labor Serves to Make Us Feel More Incompetent

labor and delivery roomIf you don't give birth within an hour of getting to the hospital, clearly you are doing it wrong. Faster, mama, faster! Drugs, drugs, drugs! Speed it up! That's how it seems sometimes. Induction. Pitocin. Cervidil. And then there's cytotec. It used to be used a lot until the FDA said misoprostol (which is cytotec) is not approved to induce labor or soften the cervix. (It's approved to prevent ulcers.) But it's still used in L&D because the makers filed an investigation. Guess who just reinvented themselves? Misoprostol! This new form is supposedly faster than ever.

Brace yourselves, mamas, because synthetics in the labor and delivery room often mean the intensity of birth goes from 1 to 10 in minus two seconds, and if this gets approved, I think it will mean increased complications, c-sections, and more and more women and doctors not trusting our ability to birth our babies naturally. This is why we fear birth ... because too many think we can't do it.


If we think about it, we all know deep down that's not true -- we can birth babies, our bodies were made to do so and women have being doing it since the start of the human race without drugs. Sometimes we need some drugs, but a lot of times we don't. And cytotec is cheaper than the approved other drugs used for the same purpose and hospitals like the bargain. So do insurance companies.

Clinical trials have shown that this new form of cytotec will work faster than cervidil, supposedly without increasing c-section rates. They do admit there were side-effects from taking cytotec that wouldn't have presented themselves otherwise. This new cytotec is different because doctors won't have to break up the ulcer prevention tablet to insert vaginally every four hours to speed things along. The new stuff isn't so complicated. Faster! Faster! Faster! You know what's complicated? Giving a woman induction drugs to speed up the natural process of giving birth when she doesn't need them.

This is a trial, so it's not on the market, but it's trying to make its mark as a pregnant mama's new best friend/worst enemy. I think it's overkill. Let's keep cytotec for those with ulcers. Yes, some of us need labor inducing drugs in order to prevent a c-section, but how can we be sure this isn't overused or given at the wrong times, which in turn would mean increased risk of a complication and/or cesarean? Can't the drug companies focus on the best birth experience, not the fastest? Oh wait. They can't. Patient in. Patient out. Next! Money. Money. Money.

Does the new cytotec worry you?


Image via koadmunkee/Flickr

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