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What Medicines May Be Used During Childbirth?

Clip Number: 6 of 37
Presentation: Vaginal Birth After C-Section (VBAC)
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Reviewed By: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
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There are a few other medications, aside from pain relievers, that are often used during childbirth.
One type of medication is used to soften the cervix and make it more flexible during dilation. One of these drugs is a prostaglandin, which may be a gel or an insert that is placed inside the vagina. Another drug that may be used to do this is called Cytotec, or misoprostol. It can be given either orally or as a vaginal insert. In addition to softening the cervix, it may also be used to induce labor.
Pitocin is another drug to be familiar with. It is sometimes given through an IV to induce labor, or to increase the rate and strength of your contractions after labor has begun. It may also be used after the placenta has been delivered - to help the uterus contract, and reduce uterine bleeding.
All medications can have side effects and risks for you and your baby. Your healthcare team will be able to discuss these risks with you and answer any questions. If you have any allergies to medications or other substances, be sure to let your healthcare provider know.

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