Off-label drug use

I understand that the off-label use of pharmaceuticals is a normal occurrence in the medical world. I get that. What’s not cool is that this is done in maternity care as well with dire consequences.

I’m not talking about the random, “uh-oh”, I’m referring instead to the drug company themselves issuing statements saying “We do not endorse the use of this product for any use other than that described on the label.” Yeah, they’re probably just covering their b*tts but still. They said it. Yet it happens everyday in the labor and delivery department of nearly every hospital in the country. It has become so commonplace to induce labor that not only have we stopped wondering how/if this affects the baby or the mother we have now started grabbing whatever drugs we can find that give us “a better induction outcome”.


Bishop’s score be damned. God created women’s body to birth. With consideration made for the odd-one-out with pituitary damage or other disorders that truly make her body hold onto her baby long past safely, using drugs to begin labor before the body begins to open up on it’s own is risky risky risky.

Births are kindof like bowel movements. They happen on their own. Can’t plan ’em, can’t stop ’em, can’t hurry them along. Bowel movements happen (errr… I can’t help but think of a certain bumper sticker I’ve seen alot of right now).

Birth HAPPENS as well. Babies are born when it is TIME. If we have accepted that every other body system has knowledge to know when to open and release, then why can’t we accept the body’s wisdom in birthing when it is time?

You might have had a Cytotec induction. And so did your sister, your friend, aunt, daughter’s 2nd grade teacher… and all went well. On the surface perhaps. But what did it do to that baby’s emotional/psychological health to be so rudely pushed into the world before he/she was ready to come? And what about the women reading this who is a victim of a cytotec induction who is grieving the loss of her womb? Suddenly hurrying a baby out seems less important when faced with an emergency cesarean to save your baby’s life and a hysterectomy to save yours.

All from a couple of tidy white pills manufactured to treat ulcers. Who’da thunk?

2 thoughts on “Off-label drug use

  1. This is a great analogy (birthing and bowel movements)and one I use often, especically for dad to be’s. I just used it last week and you could totally see the “A-ha” moment. He got it. It made sense. But unfortunately, not many people understand this or care to understand this. They just want the baby out and to do what the allmighty white coat says. Frustrating. I find it no coincidence that the use of all these drugs, including labor inducing and augmenting drugs are increasing in proportion to things like autism and allergies (as Marsden Wagner states in Business of Being Born). don’t know when people will wake up and like you say…take back their birth!!! 😀

  2. Unfortunately we can feel pressured into inductions with doctors and midwives making us feel we’re putting our babies in danger if we don’t. Yes, it’s absurd. It’s also terrifying when you later discover you were given an unlicensed drug for the procedure without your knowledge or consent.

    It’s ridiculous that I have to consider myself one of the lucky ones, because I came out unscathed from my misoprostol induction when other women have died or be left infertile, even though we didn’t get to bring our baby home.

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