How long before Pitocin kicks in?

Answered by Willian Lymon

Well, let me start by saying that my experience with Pitocin was quite different from what I expected. I was induced with Pitocin for my second child, and I had heard all sorts of stories about how it can speed up labor and make everything happen really quickly. But that wasn’t the case for me.

After the Pitocin was started, I didn’t feel much of anything for the first few hours. It was like my body was just getting used to the medication. But then, after about 4 hours, I started to feel some mild contractions. They weren’t too painful, more like a tightening sensation in my belly. I remember thinking, “Okay, this is it! Things are finally happening!”

But then, the contractions kind of plateaued. They didn’t get stronger or closer together. It was like my body was taking its sweet time to respond to the Pitocin. I remember feeling a bit frustrated because I had expected things to progress more quickly.

The nurses reassured me that this was normal and that it often takes time for Pitocin to kick in fully. They said that it can vary depending on the individual and their previous birthing experiences. Apparently, women who have had a baby before tend to respond more quickly to Pitocin.

So, I waited. And waited. And waited some more. It wasn’t until about 10 hours after the Pitocin was started that I finally started to enter active labor. My contractions became stronger and more regular, and my cervix started to dilate at a faster rate.

From that point on, things progressed relatively quickly. I dilated about a centimeter an hour, which is considered a good pace. But it took a good 10 hours of Pitocin for me to reach that point.

Looking back, I realize that my expectations were probably unrealistic. While Pitocin can certainly speed up labor for some women, it’s not a magic potion that guarantees a quick delivery. It takes time for the medication to work its magic, and every woman’s body responds differently.

So, if you’re being induced with Pitocin, don’t be discouraged if things don’t happen as quickly as you expected. It’s normal for it to take several hours or even longer for Pitocin to kick in fully. Just trust your body and the process, and know that your healthcare team will be there to support you every step of the way.