Drugs in Labor
Information and Products

[Photo by Patti Ramos, Patti Ramos Photography]

Drugs in labor and birth are so dangerous we decided to gather some important resources together on one page. You may learn more about drugs in labor through the resources on this page and you may easily share them with others.

Do not drug your baby! Drugs do cross the placenta, and the baby gets a huge dose compared to mom because the baby is so small. Some studies* link drug addiction later in life to these drugs given in labor. Epidurals and many forms of induction use drugs. Perhaps parents and medical caregivers would all do well to remember the saying, "Just say no to drugs."

*E.g., Primal Health Databank Entry No. 0005 and Entry No. 0007


Click here for books, audio tapes and other products about drugs in labor.

Articles from Midwifery Today about Drugs in Labor

  • Technology in Birth: First Do No Harm—by Marsden Wagner, MD, MSPH
    “Cesarean section can save the life of the mother or her baby. Cesarean section can also kill a mother or her baby. How can this be?”
  • Drugs in Labour: What Effects Do They Have 20 Years Hence?—by Beverley Lawrence Beech
    “Childbirth is a normal physiological event. However, since the advent of universal hospitalisation, for the majority of women childbirth has been transformed into a medical event where labour is processed, monitored and controlled by the medical profession from beginning to end.”
  • Misoprostol (Cytotec) for Labor Induction: A Cautionary Tale—by Marsden Wagner, MD, MSPH
    The experimental use of misoprostol (Cytotec) to induce labor is putting an increasing number of pregnant women at risk without their knowledge or consent. Cytotec, a cheap prescription drug for ulcers, is not FDA approved for labor induction and has been linked to uterine rupture and fetal tachycardia.
  • Cytotec Induction and Off-Label Use—by Marsden Wagner, MD, MSPH
    Without adequate testing of Cytotec (misoprostol) for labor induction, obstetricians simply began to use it on their birthing women. They were taking advantage of a huge loophole in our drug regulatory system.
  • Adverse Events Following Misoprostol Induction of Labor—by Marsden Wagner, MD, MSPH
    “Off-label use of misoprostol (Cytotec) for labor induction has been steadily increasing for 10 years, even though this use is approved neither by the U.S. [FDA], other national drug regulatory agencies, the pharmaceutical industry, the Cochrane Library nor a number of national obstetric organizations…”
  • Just Say No to Drugs—by Esther Marilus
    “Are mothers more likely to give birth by c-section if they receive an epidural? With rates for both c-sections and epidurals at all-time highs, many obstetricians have put two and two together and come to the conclusion that the latter contributes to the former—especially in first-time moms.”
  • Epidural Anesthesia Leads to More C-Sections—by Esther Marilus
    “This was a three-year study that began in November 2000, a time when the primary c-section rate for all American mothers—with and without complications—was 16.9%. Why would such "cream of the crop" nulliparae end up with so many c-sections? What common risk factor did they share, other than epidural anesthesia?”

Articles from Midwifery Today about Alternatives to Drugs in Labor

  • Why Homebirth?—by Jill Cohen
    “…One of the more potent myths of obstetrics is that women and babies died in huge numbers until obstetricians saved them from the ravages of the natural process and the ignorance of midwives. Quite the contrary is true. The endless parade of procedures and drugs that obstetricians have inflicted on women and babies since that time, including the much-lauded forceps, have maimed and killed more women and babies than ever have been saved by their use.”
  • The Homebirth Choice—by Jill Cohen
    “The birthing process is allowed to take its own course and set its own pace. The general philosophy is that any interventions (administering drugs or trying to hurry things along) cause more harm than good.”
  • Preventing Complications with Nutrition—by Amy V. Haas, BCCE
    “ Nutrition in pregnancy—a no-brainer, right? Who would think it was so controversial? Disagreement over a healthy diet during pregnancy continues to rage, with one side saying that what a woman eats will have no effect on her pregnancy and the other saying it has an enormous impact. So what's a woman to eat?”
  • How to Stay Healthy and Low Risk During Pregnancy and Birth—by Amy V. Haas, BCCE
    “If you did only one thing to help yourself stay healthy during pregnancy, good nutrition would be it! It is the single most important factor in having a healthy baby and a healthy mom. Eating well in pregnancy means following the Brewer diet, which consists of 75 to 100 grams of good quality protein per day from varied sources.”
  • Safer Birth in a Barn?—by Beth Barbeau
    “She's been in this box stall (when not out to pasture) for weeks, because she must be in a familiar environment to birth smoothly. There is her usual water and hay in the stall—never restrict their food in labor!”