Labor Drug: Cytotec

The induction of labor can be dangerous by itself, so why would you want to use a drug to make it even more dangerous. For some time now I have been reading on the adverse effects of Cytotec, and have found some very disconcerting information about the drug. For instance, it is not approved by the FDA for use in the assistantce to start labor. In fact here is what the FDA has to say about the drug:

    Misoprostol (marketed as Cytotec) Information
    FDA ALERT – Risks of Use in Labor and Delivery
    This Patient Information Sheet is for pregnant women who may receive misoprostol to soften their cervix or induce contractions to begin labor. Misoprostol is sometimes used to decrease blood loss after delivery of a baby. These uses are not approved by the FDA. No company has sent the FDA scientific proof that misoprostol is safe and effective for these uses.
    There can be serious side effects, including a torn uterus (womb), when misoprostol is used for labor and delivery. A torn uterus may result in severe bleeding, having the uterus removed (hysterectomy), and death of the mother or baby. These side effects are more likely in women who have had previous uterine surgery, a previous Cesarean delivery (C-section), or several previous births.

Kind of scary right?

Then today I was reading about the use of this drug in the book “Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth” by Ina May Gaskin. She took it upon her self to look at 49 case studies of the drug in which 5,439 women participated. Here are the results she reports in her book:

  • 25 women had ruptured uteri
  • 16 babies died
  • 2 women had such profuse bleeding that they had to have an emergency hysterectomy
  • 2 women died

I have also read the account of Madeline Oden. Her daughter was given Cytotec in December 2001. She tells how her daughter Tatia Oden French was 32 years old and about to have her first child. Here is what she writes in The Journal of Perinatal Education:

    “In December 2001, my 32-year-old daughter, Tatia Oden French, entered a well-known hospital in Oakland, California, to have her first child. She was in perfect health. The baby was in perfect health. The pregnancy was “unremarkable.” Tatia was almost 2 weeks past the due date, and the doctor wanted to induce her. After much stalling on Tatia’s part, she reluctantly agreed to submit to induction. The agent used was Cytotec (misoprostol). None of the medical staff told us anything about Cytotec. When I asked what Cytotec was, I was told it is “the standard of care… we use it all the time.” Tatia said it was “not approved by the FDA [U.S. Food and Drug Administration] for use in labor.” Nothing else was said about the potential side effects, the dangers to the mom and child, or the alternatives. However, phrases such as “You don’t want to go home with a dead baby, do you?” were said. The pressure was on. Tatia conceded. She told me to go home and that she would call me, believing it would be a long night. We told each other we loved each other and, having not decided on which specialty she would focus on in medical school, she smiled and said, “Maybe I’ll be an OB/GYN.”

    Ten hours after Tatia was induced with Cytotec, both she and her baby girl, Zorah, were dead. When I asked Tatia’s doctor what happened, she just said, “It was a very rare adverse effect of Cytotec, but it does happen.” Still not comprehending what had just happened, I heard myself ask the doctor, “Could you at least tell me that you will not use that drug again?” Surprised, she looked at me and said, “No, I cannot promise that.” Finally, my two sons, Tatia’s dad, Tatia’s husband, and I were allowed into the operating room where Tatia and Zorah were lying perfectly still. We gathered and said a prayer around both of them. When I left the hospital, it was raining and gray and cold. I heard myself say out loud, “That drug is going to go away.””

I cannot imagine what that family must have went through and are still going through. This is a dangerous drug, and from my opinion should not be used for this at all. Please make sure you are aware of what you are consenting to when you go to the hospital. If you do not understand what something is, make sure you ask questions. You want to keep yourself and your child safe, so BE INFORMED.

A Little About Baby at Week 25

Baby Center
Head to heels, your baby now measures about 13 1/2 inches. Her weight — a pound and a half — isn’t much more than an average rutabaga, but she’s beginning to exchange her long, lean look for some baby fat. As she does, her wrinkled skin will begin to smooth out and she’ll start to look more and more like a newborn. She’s also growing more hair — and if you could see it, you’d now be able to discern its color and texture.
Week Twenty Five: Exploration continues

You are 25 weeks pregnant. (fetal age 23 weeks)

  • The unborn child is 34 cm in length and weighs almost 690 grams.
  • Baby is around 13.5 inches in length and weighs 1 and half pounds.
  • Bones are becoming solid, hands are now fully developed.
  • The brain is growing rapidly, the brain cells are starting to mature.
  • The sexual organs are fully developed.
    Baby is now pretty well built portion wise even though it still has little body fat and its skin is thin. The structures of the spine begin to form — All 33 rings, 150 joints and 1000 ligaments. The tiny brain is growing rapidly, and the baby is starting to fill the space in your uterus. The uterus is now about the size of a soccer ball and mom looks pregnant.

    Your baby’s hands are now fully developed, although some of the nerve connections to the hands have a long way to go. Dexterity is improving. Your baby can make a fist and clasp objects placed in palm. Exploring the structures inside your uterus may have become baby’s prime entertainment. Fascinated by the amount of tactile stimulation a fetus gives itself; it touches a hand to the face, one hand to the other hand, clasps its feet, touches its foot to its leg, its hand to its umbilical cord.

    Blood vessels of the lungs develop. Your baby’s nostrils begin to open. The nerves around the mouth and lip area are showing more sensitivity now. Their swallowing reflexes are developing. Baby can hear sounds outside the womb and the brain cells are starting to mature also. Already it can learn and remember and can recognise its mother and fathers voice. The inner ear bones have hardened so hearing is more acute. Baby may hear your partner’s voice more easily than yours, as baby is sensitive to a deeper pitch.

    Babies born at 25 weeks of pregnancy have about a 50% chance of survival.

    The Bump
    Baby’s now the size of an eggplant!
    That oh-so-handy sense of equilibrium is kicking in, and baby’s learning to distinguish right side up from upside down.

    Pregnancy Today
    The cortex (outer layer) of your baby’s brain is developing into layers, paving the way for sophisticated brain activity like thinking, feeling and planning in years to come. Her eyes are fully functional, and she may blink as a reflex reaction to a loud or sudden noise. Studies have also shown that an unborn baby will turn her head if a light is shone onto the mom’s abdomen, proving that her optic nerve is now working.

    Your baby’s lungs are maturing by the day and she’s making breathing motions, although if she were born before 37 weeks, it’s likely she would need help to breathe. Her sense of smell is developing, too. One study showed that babies whose moms eat lots of garlic respond more strongly to the smell after the birth. Tiny blood vessels called capillaries are now developing beneath the surface of your baby’s skin, which will give her skin its pink color.

  • Hospital Trip

    Yesterday I wasn’t feeling well, and started having some cramping in my stomach. After a few hours of feeling like this, I finally called Jamie to see to ask her if she thought I should call my doctor or not. She told me that I probably should given the fact that I have been having issues already.

    So when I called they told me that my normal doctor wasn’t on call, and since I was calling after hours they would have a doctor call me back. When the doc called be back he said that the only way they could evaluate me was if I went into labor and delivery at the hospital and had them check me. I was thinking great now how am I going to get there, since I am not supposed to drive and Michael was not here. So I called my mom who said that she would come out here.

    When I got to the hospital, Michael was there waiting on us. I was very glad to see him. We went up to the second floor, and they took me back to the labor and delivery triage. Of course I showed up during shift change and it took them about an hour to come and actually hook me up to the monitors and check me out.

    Nora’s heart rate was fine and in the 140’s, and I wasn’t having any contractions. They started to check out other things. They checked my urine and my cervix. My cervix was fine, just really soft but not dilated. My urine however, had bacteria in it. They said that could be why my stomach felt strange and hurt.

    So after 3 hours on a very on uncomfortable bed, I got to go home. They gave me some medication for my UTI, and told me to drink a lot of water. I was just glad to be going home.

    Michael had to go back to work, but I was hungry, so Momma and Linda said that they would take me to get something to eat. So I went to Cracker Barrel in my pajama pants that have moose on them. Then Linda took me home.

    I was glad to get home, and Evie was very happy to see me.


    For the past few days I have been craving cinnamon, so I thought I would post some health benefits of it. Enjoy!

    Studies have shown that just 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon per day can lower LDL cholesterol.

    Several studies suggest that cinnamon may have a regulatory effect on blood sugar, making it especially beneficial for people with Type 2 diabetes.

    In some studies, cinnamon has shown an amazing ability to stop medication-resistant yeast infections.

    In a study published by researchers at the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Maryland, cinnamon reduced the proliferation of leukemia and lymphoma cancer cells.

    It has an anti-clotting effect on the blood.

    In a study at Copenhagen University, patients given half a teaspoon of cinnamon powder combined with one tablespoon of honey every morning before breakfast had significant relief in arthritis pain after one week and could walk without pain within one month.

    When added to food, it inhibits bacterial growth and food spoilage, making it a natural food preservative.

    One study found that smelling cinnamon boosts cognitive function and memory.

    Researchers at Kansas State University found that cinnamon fights the E. coli bacteria in unpasteurized juices.

    It is a great source of manganese, fiber, iron, and calcium.

    The Use of Infant Sleep Positioners

    The FDA and the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), are now saying that using infant sleep positioners are dangerous to babies. There have been reported in infants 1 to 4 months of age. The FDA has contacted the makers of these products and have asked them to stop marketing them unless they can prove that any benefit would out weigh any risk of suffocation. If you would like to read one of the articles where I found this information please click here.

    A Little About Baby at Week 24

    Baby Center

    Week Twenty Four: Practices breathing

    You are 24 weeks pregnant. (fetal age 22 weeks)

  • The child is now gaining around 3 ounces (90 grams) a week.
  • Baby weighs about 1.3 pounds and is 12 inches long.
  • Baby weighs about 600 grams and is 30cm (crown to heel) long.
  • The eyelids can be seen very clearly.
  • If born at this stage is officially considered viable, they may well be able to survive.
    The lungs are developing branches of the respiratory tree and cells that produce surfactant. This is a substance that helps the air sacs inflate easily and also keeps the small air sacs in our lungs from collapsing. The baby practices breathing by inhaling amniotic fluid into developing lungs. The unborn baby is covered with a fine, downy hair and the skin is protected by a waxy substance. Some of this substance may still be on the child’s skin at birth at which time it will be quickly absorbed.

    Baby gains about 3 ounces this week. The weight is in muscle, bone mass and organs. The body begins to fill out with its appearance increasingly becoming more like that of a newborn. Taste buds begin to form. If mom drinks something strange or bitter, baby may be observed showing his or her distaste.

    Little creases have appeared on his palms. The muscular coordination of the hands has improved as they sucks their thumb. Over the next week or so, the sweat glands will be forming in the skin.

    Mother: Gentle exercise will keep you fit and help you cope with the delivery. Pregnancy yoga, pilates or go for a swim, aquanatal classes are a great way to make friends.

    Baby now weighs about 1.3 pound (600gm) and is around 12 inches (30cm) long.

    After this week your baby is officially considered viable. 36% of babies can survive premature birth at 24 weeks – However, serious complications are still possible.

    Baby Center
    Your baby’s growing steadily, having gained about 4 ounces since last week. That puts him at just over a pound. Since he’s almost a foot long (picture an ear of corn), he cuts a pretty lean figure at this point, but his body is filling out proportionally and he’ll soon start to plump up. His brain is also growing quickly now, and his taste buds are continuing to develop. His lungs are developing “branches” of the respiratory “tree” as well as cells that produce surfactant, a substance that will help his air sacs inflate once he hits the outside world. His skin is still thin and translucent, but that will start to change soon.

    The Bump
    Baby’s now the size of a papaya!
    Baby’s skin is becoming more opaque as the fat starts to pack on. And, thanks to the formation of small capillaries, her newly thick skin is taking on a fresh pink glow.

    Pregnancy Today
    An important milestone this week: Your baby is now viable. In other words, she’d have a good (around 40 percent) chance of survival, with medical help, if she was born right now. Nevertheless, with every day that passes, her lungs mature a little more and her chances of survival get better.

    Your baby is very active because she still has plenty of room to move around inside you. Her brain is developing fast. Her skin is still fragile and transparent, with her blood vessels, bones and organs visible through it, but over the coming weeks it’ll thicken and become padded with fat until it’s opaque, like yours.

  • Quote

    I am currently reading “Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth” By Ina May Gaskin. At the beginning of the book she has had women wright their birth stories for people to read and to be inspired by. Today while I was reading I came across a birth story by Valerie Gramm. She titled her story “It’s a Nose!”. Her baby was born face up, and the midwives were afraid that she wouldn’t be able to give birth the way she wanted to her son. Labor was very slow for her and she was in a lot of pain. She says in her story this, “It took a lot of strength, but the love of our baby overpowered the hurt.” I find this quote very inspiring. This lady knew what she wanted to do and she didn’t care how much it hurt, she done this for her baby. Just thought I would share.

    Similac Recall!!!!

    Beetles in formula?? Well Similac says that it may be possible in some of their formulas. They are recalling some of their powder formulas because small beetles have been found during quality control. Here is what they are saying:

      “Abbott is initiating a proactive, voluntary recall of certain Similac-brand, powder infant formulas in the U.S., Puerto Rico, Guam and some countries in the Caribbean.

      Abbott is recalling these products following an internal quality review, which detected the remote possibility of the presence of a small common beetle in the product produced in one production area in a single manufacturing facility. The United States Food and Drug Adminstration (FDA) has determined that while the formula containing these beetles poses no immediate health risk, there is a possibility that infants who consume formula containing the beetles or their larvae, could experience symptoms of gastrointestinal discomfort and refusal to eat as a result of small insect parts irritating the GI tract. If these symptoms persist for more than a few days, a physician should be consulted.

      The recall of these powder infant formulas includes:

    • Certain Similac powder product lines offered in plastic containers.
    • Certain Similac powder product lines offered in 8-ounce, 12.4-ounce and 12.9-ounce cans.
      To immediately find out if the product in your possession is included in this recall, parents and caregivers should visit, and type in their lot number to determine if their product is affected, or call (888) 376-2054.

      No Abbott liquid infant formulas are impacted. Products not involved in the recall include all Abbott Nutrition liquid ready-to-feed and concentrated infant formulas and all powder and liquid specialty formulas, such as Similac Expert Care™ Alimentum®, Elecare ®, Similac Expert Care™ Neosure ®, Similac® Human Milk Fortifier, and metabolic formulas for inherited disorders.
      About the Recall
      The company is implementing a plan to address this matter in the affected manufacturing facility, which is expected to be completed shortly. No other facilities or products are involved in this recall.
      Abbott has consulted with the U.S. FDA regarding this recall.
      Information for Parents and Caregivers
      Products with affected lot numbers should be returned to Abbott at no cost to the consumer.
      Parents and caregivers can go to or call Abbott’s consumer hotline, (888) 376-2054, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
      Both the website and the consumer hotline have specific details on how to complete the return process.
      Holger Liepmann, executive vice president, Abbott Nutrition said:
      “Abbott understands that parents expect to feed their children only the highest quality product. We are taking this action so that parents know that the infant formula products they provide unquestionably meet the highest quality standards for which they are known. We regret any inconvenience this situation poses to parents and consumers.”
      About Abbott
      Abbott is a global, broad-based health care company devoted to the discovery, development, manufacture and marketing of pharmaceuticals and medical products, including nutritionals, devices and diagnostics. The company employs nearly 90,000 people and markets its products in more than 130 countries.

      Abbott’s news releases and other information are available on the company’s website at”

    Now I am very proud of my choice not to feed formula if at all possible.

    Appointment Today

    My doctor’s appointment went really well today. We had another ultrasound, and the cervix today was measuring 20.5mm last week it measured 21mm. The stitches are holding really well. Nora has really grown in two weeks, and is now 1 lb and 6oz! She is going to be a big baby. Once again she would not cooperate for most of the measurements, and we are still not 100% sure that she is a she.

    I asked Dr. Roberts if it would be safe to paint Nora’s room now. She said that after 24 weeks it should be safe. So anyone up for a painting party?? I have the color picked out, but I really just can’t do anything. Here is the paint color we have picked out