The phrase is "pit to distress". Here's what that means, according to Jill, at Keyboard Revolutionary:
...the practice... entails administering the highest possible dosage of Pitocin in order to deliberately distress the fetus, so a C-section can be performed.
I know this sounds ridiculous. Barbaric. Surely not in America. But I kept reading. I read Nursing Birth's description of her interaction with a Dr who ordered her to "pit to distress":
Ladies and gentleman the account that you have just read is called “Pit to Distress” whether the pitocin order was actually written that way or not. What Dr. F gave me was a VERBAL ORDER to increase the pitocin, regardless of contraction or fetal heart rate pattern, until I reached “max pit,” which he acknowledged would hyperstimulate her uterus. This goes against our hospital’s policy and the physical written order that this doctor signed his name under. However, like some other doctors I work with, none of that mattered to him. What he wanted was for me to “crank her pit” regardless and from my experience with this doctor, at the first sign of fetal distress we would have been crashing down the hallway for a stat cesarean!
I read the nursing textbook page (Jill--Unnecesarean posted this excerpt from it in her article on the subject) that instructs a student nurse in how to deal with a order given to "pit to distress":
I read this article about changing birth procedures that discusses the advisability (hah! ya think???) of discontinuing this practice. Someone (sorry, can't keep track of who sent me where) posted this excerpt:
"Pitocin is used like candy in the OB world, and that's one of the reasons for medical and legal risk," says Carla Provost, assistant vice president at Baystate, who notes that in many hospitals it is common practice to "pit to distress" -- or use the maximum dose of Pitocin to stimulate contractions.Please, go read. Inform yourself. Get mad. Blog about it. Start a Revolution!!!!!