Oxytocin (Syntocinon)

Oxytocin is a drug that can be used to make your womb contract once your waters have been broken.

Oxytocin is given in the form of an infusion (drip) into your arm. The rate of the infusion is adjusted so that your contractions occur regularly until your baby is born.

If this is required, after a discussion with your midwife and obstetrician you agree to this, your waters will need to have broken either naturally or by ARM before you can start an oxytocin infusion. In some cases, 1-2 hours can be given after ARM to see if labour starts naturally before making the decision to commence the oxytocin drip.

Your baby’s heart rate will be monitored continuously whilst you are having the Syntocinon infusion.

Very occasionally Oxytocin can cause your womb to contract too much which can affect the pattern of your baby’s heartbeat. If this happens you will be asked to lie on your left-hand side and the infusion will be turned down or off to lessen the contractions. Sometimes another drug will be given to counteract the oxytocin and lessen the contractions.

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