Isn't it true that Oxytocin does effect the brain? What if they administer it to mothers and it increases those levels but after it plummets?
Any kind of info regarding these types of questions is appreciated! By: Cheri
Hello I am back....years later. The reason for my initial research on Pitocin and it's after effects on mother and child were due to my own severe postpartum depression after my 3rd child. After my 2nd trip to the hospital with contractions coming minutes apart the midwife asked my permission to break the bag of water so that I would be allowed to be admitted in spite of only being dialated 4-5 cms. After my water was broken, about 15 minutes later I was brought into the delivery room and given an IV and the anesthethiologist was called for an epidural. However, after the IV was placed my contractions started coming rapidly and with great force. So much so that it was only minutes before my son's head was crowning and the midwife barely got into the room to deliver him.
After the fast delivery the nurses were cleaning me up and disconnecting my IVs and the empty IV bag was laid on my bed which I read as "Pitocin". Not only was I aggravated at the fact that I knew I was already in labor when I came to the hospital and my subsequent pregnancies were without interventions, I headed into a deep postpartum depression/anxiety mainly with panic attacks and not feeling comfortable sitting in one position (or bonding) with my newborn. As I read more and more of the studies I was and still am pretty convinced that the synthetic hormone had some share to do with it. Especially when I read how the "fight/flight" response is connected. It also concerned me how it this hormone affects the mother's thyroid gland.
Finally, I sent most of my research to the hospital that I felt administered me Pitocin against my knowledge, want or need. They responded by telling me they administered Pitocin for the expulsion of the placenta and that it was "standard" to do so. Though, I am still skeptical about that claim (knowing my how my previous labors went), it still concerned me that administering Pitocin to the mother at any time (pre or post partum) should never be a standard. In my opinion these are synthetic hormones that have the potential to adversly affect the mother's post partum health and/or the health of her new child/family. Until the research evidence is more conclusive about these hormones I don't think it should be a readily accepted "standard" and used for last resort situations.
I'm sorry your 3rd child's birth triggered severe PPD and hope you have now made a complete recovery. I can tell you that it is common to administer Pitocin routinely as part of a policy known as "active management of 3rd stage" (the time from the birth of the baby to the delivery of the placenta). I agree that no woman should be administered any drug or undergo any procedure without giving her informed consent (or refusal).