The Impact of Natural and Synthetic Oxytocin in the Transition to Motherhood: Beyond Labor

Alexander Fisher

Endogenous oxytocin plays a significant role in the adjustment to motherhood by influencing the molecular pathways that reduce the responsiveness to stress, promote happiness, and control appropriate maternal behaviours (including lactation). In contemporary obstetrics, synthetic oxytocin is frequently utilized throughout labor and after care. However, there is little data on the effects of mother exposure to prenatal synthetic oxytocin outside of labor. In this article, we examine the molecular mechanisms of oxytocin, the behaviours connected to becoming a mother, and the evidence for the need for additional study on the possible impacts of intrapartum oxytocin outside of labor. We provide a molecular introduction to oxytocin.