11 responses to “The importance of natural Oxytocin for birth”

  1. Sandra

    Interesting. Oxytocin causes too much water to be retained if used over a long period of time in which case the woman is probably having an epidural for which you need a lot of fluid intake. Argh!

  2. ObGyn Rebel

    Thanks for your well written post. I agree that many providers misuse artificial oxytocin. I’ve also wondered if pitocin use in labor is involved in autism. Scary thought!

  3. Susan Cudlipp

    Hi Lisa
    I’ve thought for a long time that there is a strong potential link between common practices in 3rd stage (i.e. active managemant, not only synto but early cord clamping) and the steep rise in ASD (and related conditions) over the past 20 years.
    Had an interesting discussion with the lovely Ina May about this once and asked her how common ASD was on the Farm. She said she did not know of any!!! I know so many families affected by this its not funny.

  4. Carolyn

    Hi, love your site, and thanks for this research. As someone in the field of ASD I have to clarify that all current research shows the brain changes in ASD occured within the first trimester (e.g. mums who had the flu in the 1st trimester are 200% more likely to have a child with ASD). It’s a neurological condition which can’t be caused by issues at birth. But why interfere with natural 3rd stages unnecessarily, anyway?

  5. Carolyn

    No worries! Firstly, the Amish/Autism thing is an internet myth; google it and you’ll see that not only do the Amish vaccinate, but they also tend to seek diagnosis for ASD only if it’s accompanied by seizures or some other medical issues. (http://leftbrainrightbrain.co.uk/2007/04/autism-amongst-the-amish/)

    Let me say that not ALL autism is related to maternal infection, but that that’s a good way of showing that that is the point at which change in the brain can happen. Most autism is probably related to genes, whether hereditary or not.

    Here’s a study showing ultrasound didn’t increase ASD: http://www.springerlink.com/content/k2m83011370n23ph/

    Here’s a study about maternal infection and ASD:

    Here’s one about genetics and ASD:

    There’s also evidence that maternal and paternal age has an effect: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=autism-maternal-age

    This is just from a quick google. Having been in the field for a while, I don’t believe there’s an ASD increase – it’s a change in labelling (esp now there’s funding specifically for ASD and for no other diagnosis. So, if you have fragile X – which often leads to ASD – you used to be diagnosed as fragile X, now you’re labelled as ASD).

    Anyway, the short of it, ASD isn’t caused by anything mum or dad did (apart from procreate); it’s generally “bad luck” or “a difference”, whichever you like.

  6. Michelle

    Great article!! I have had two PPH’s of around 1 liter, one in hospital and one at home. The hospital was a managed 3rd stage and the home was natural. I did have syntocin around 1-2 hrs after birth to try and help stop the bleeding (emergency measures) which I was fine with. I have been asked if I would have a managed 3rd stage now if I have another baby and I have said no. I have had a history of some depression when having my first two babies and none with the last (my home birth), so I am very conscious that I need to allow my oxytocin levels to peak after birth for not interfere with them for as long as I can. This article confirmed my gut feeling on this and is something I will to explain why. All births are different and 2 in row does not mean it will happen next time, and if it does I will use syntocin if needed.

  7. Janice

    Lisa, I have been reading your blog for ages now. Your collection of photos helped give me a better understanding of the mechanics of childbirth, especially photos which I had to look at more closely just to figure out just what body parts I was looking at. That better understanding helped me to achieve an uncomplicated HBAC last August. It’s shameful that other women will not have the same opportunity in the future unless there are some major revisions in the new proposals. I’d like to add that Novartis, a Syntocinon manufacturer, also lists a distended uterus as a contraindication for use. So women carrying twins, a macro baby, and possibly a lot of amniotic fluid should also not be given this drug.

  8. Jeanine

    I’m wondering if “natural” inductions, (i.e, nipple stimulations, sex) that cause oxytocin to be released in larger than normal quantities would have the same effect? Or is the autism link because the body then won’t produce the oxytocin, and the fact that it is synthetic? I’m 35w4d pregnant, with gestational diabetes, and my doctor wants to induce at 38w. We’re doing all the research we can as we want as little medical intervention as possible. If I were to attempt “natural” induction, with nipple stimulation, would that potentially have the same effect as pitocin use?

  9. Kristi Wilbanks

    In my last hospital birth I refused the pitosin in the 3rd stage, hey were giving it to me with out even asking me about it. Anyway, I refused it for an hour and then they pressured me to have, I agreed and even after a whole IV bag my placenta would not release on it`s own. It wasn`t until I insisted on nursing my baby( they had taken him to the NICU to be observed, nothing wrong with him except they cut the cord so quickly, and all that goes with that) Anyway my placenta was not released until I nursed my baby.I refused to allow them to do any type of tracsion. I have since read that a mother will sometimes retain a placenta until she knows in her mind that her baby is OK and safe. I believe this was the case for me.

    1. Vicki

      That would make perfect sense. In nature the placenta/cord will not stop delivering blood to the baby until the body is sure all is well and the baby has made the transition to breathing or that the baby has not survived. What better information could it get than that the baby is feeding. I bet holding to your chest a cooling baby who has passed away sends a similar pulse which helps with the grief. Totally logical, don’t let go of the placenta until it is not needed. No message either way, no third stage… Nature doesn’t get it wrong, we just often stop looking at what it is telling us.