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I know that oxytocin is released when you breastfeed. I also just read that oxytocin should not be used to augment labors for VBAC. I will likely still be nursing dd when I am pregnant and/or in labor. Am I right to think that that the amount of naturally released oxytocin is not what the book was referring to???
 

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I think your reading reference is speaking of synthetic oxytocin, i.e. Pitocin. My midwife has told me that their protocol for VBAC births disallows the use of Pitocin to <b>start</b> a labor, however they occasionally use it to augment a stalled one. Synthetic oxytocin is not regulated by the body, only by the nurse at the IV who keeps pumping it up <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/rolleyes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="rolleyes">: and it delivers far too much of a punch many times.<br><br>
I am still nursing my DD too. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> No worries!
 

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Yes, with nursing your body has levels of oxytocin each time that is normal and something your body is used to. Typically, nipple stimulation only works to kick start a labor with women who are NOT nursing regularly. That is not to say that it wouldn't help kick start a labor at all if you were nursing more than three or four times a day - it's just not as common.<br><br>
Also, when we orgasm, we release oxytocin. When we experience sexual desire throughout the day, we release oxytocin. When we see our children sleeping and feel how intense our love is for them, we release oxytocin. (Hence, the nickname for oxytocin is the "love hormone"!!)<br><br>
To use synthetic oxytocin in a way that it infiltrates all oxytocin receptor sites in our bodies so that it will start or increase uterine contractions is not normal according to our body. It's unregulated by our hormonal system and even if regulated through an IV pump, its reaction on our uterus could be unpredictable. Synthetic oxytocin surging through our bodies is very different than that of our own levels of naturally occurring oxytocin that our bodies make. It's one reason why, even after a Pitocin induction labor, some women bleed so bad - so much of the time our oxytocin receptor sites in our bodies have been flooded with this synthetic oxytocin so much that our natural responses to contract the uterus after birth, etc., misses messages and the Pit will have to be turned up (or the IV "opened up") after birth to stop heavy bleeding.<br><br>
Not sure if that all makes sense - I'm still pretty groggy from my birth marathon. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 
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