Breastfeeding Outcomes After Oxytocin Use During Childbirth

An Integrative Review

Elise N. Erickson, Cathy Emeis

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Introduction: Despite widespread use of exogenous synthetic oxytocin during the birth process, few studies have examined the effect of this drug on breastfeeding. Based on neuroscience research, endogenous oxytocin may be altered or manipulated by exogenous administration or by blocking normal function of the hormone or receptor. Women commonly cite insufficient milk production as their reason for early supplementation, jeopardizing breastfeeding goals. Researchers need to consider the role of birth-related medications and interventions on the production of milk. This article examines the literature on the role of exogenous oxytocin on breastfeeding in humans. Methods: Using the method described by Whittemore and Knafl, this integrative review of literature included broad search criteria within the PubMed, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL), Cochrane, and Scopus databases. Studies published in English associating a breastfeeding outcome in relation to oxytocin use during the birth process were included. Twenty-six studies from 1978 to 2015 met the criteria. Results: Studies were analyzed according to the purpose of the research, measures and methods used, results, and confounding variables. The 26 studies reported 34 measures of breastfeeding. Outcomes included initiation and duration of breastfeeding, infant behavior, and physiologic markers of lactation. Timing of administration of oxytocin varied. Some studies reported on low-risk birth, while others included higher-risk experiences. Fifty percent of the results (17 of 34 measures) demonstrated an association between exogenous oxytocin and less optimal breastfeeding outcomes, while 8 of 34 measures (23%) reported no association. The remaining 9 measures (26%) had mixed findings. Breastfeeding intentions, parity, birth setting, obstetric risk, and indications for oxytocin use were inconsistently controlled among the studies. Discussion: Research on breastfeeding and lactation following exogenous oxytocin exposure is limited by few studies and heterogeneous methods. Despite the limitations, researchers and clinicians may benefit from awareness of this body of literature. Continued investigation is recommended given the prevalence of oxytocin use in clinical practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)397-417
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Midwifery and Women's Health
Volume62
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2017

Fingerprint

Oxytocin
Breast Feeding
Parturition
Lactation
Milk
Research
Research Personnel
Infant Behavior
Confounding Factors (Epidemiology)
Neurosciences
Parity
PubMed
Obstetrics
Nursing
Databases
Hormones
Health

Keywords

  • active management third-stage labor
  • breastfeeding
  • drug effects
  • labor (induced)
  • labor (obstetric)
  • labor stage (third)
  • lactation
  • oxytocin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Maternity and Midwifery

Cite this

Breastfeeding Outcomes After Oxytocin Use During Childbirth : An Integrative Review. / Erickson, Elise N.; Emeis, Cathy.

In: Journal of Midwifery and Women's Health, Vol. 62, No. 4, 01.07.2017, p. 397-417.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

@article{70a571a996234767aa5916e228da7aad,
title = "Breastfeeding Outcomes After Oxytocin Use During Childbirth: An Integrative Review",
abstract = "Introduction: Despite widespread use of exogenous synthetic oxytocin during the birth process, few studies have examined the effect of this drug on breastfeeding. Based on neuroscience research, endogenous oxytocin may be altered or manipulated by exogenous administration or by blocking normal function of the hormone or receptor. Women commonly cite insufficient milk production as their reason for early supplementation, jeopardizing breastfeeding goals. Researchers need to consider the role of birth-related medications and interventions on the production of milk. This article examines the literature on the role of exogenous oxytocin on breastfeeding in humans. Methods: Using the method described by Whittemore and Knafl, this integrative review of literature included broad search criteria within the PubMed, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL), Cochrane, and Scopus databases. Studies published in English associating a breastfeeding outcome in relation to oxytocin use during the birth process were included. Twenty-six studies from 1978 to 2015 met the criteria. Results: Studies were analyzed according to the purpose of the research, measures and methods used, results, and confounding variables. The 26 studies reported 34 measures of breastfeeding. Outcomes included initiation and duration of breastfeeding, infant behavior, and physiologic markers of lactation. Timing of administration of oxytocin varied. Some studies reported on low-risk birth, while others included higher-risk experiences. Fifty percent of the results (17 of 34 measures) demonstrated an association between exogenous oxytocin and less optimal breastfeeding outcomes, while 8 of 34 measures (23{\%}) reported no association. The remaining 9 measures (26{\%}) had mixed findings. Breastfeeding intentions, parity, birth setting, obstetric risk, and indications for oxytocin use were inconsistently controlled among the studies. Discussion: Research on breastfeeding and lactation following exogenous oxytocin exposure is limited by few studies and heterogeneous methods. Despite the limitations, researchers and clinicians may benefit from awareness of this body of literature. Continued investigation is recommended given the prevalence of oxytocin use in clinical practice.",
keywords = "active management third-stage labor, breastfeeding, drug effects, labor (induced), labor (obstetric), labor stage (third), lactation, oxytocin",
author = "Erickson, {Elise N.} and Cathy Emeis",
year = "2017",
month = "7",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1111/jmwh.12601",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "62",
pages = "397--417",
journal = "Journal of Midwifery and Women's Health",
issn = "1526-9523",
publisher = "Wiley-Blackwell",
number = "4",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Breastfeeding Outcomes After Oxytocin Use During Childbirth

T2 - An Integrative Review

AU - Erickson, Elise N.

AU - Emeis, Cathy

PY - 2017/7/1

Y1 - 2017/7/1

N2 - Introduction: Despite widespread use of exogenous synthetic oxytocin during the birth process, few studies have examined the effect of this drug on breastfeeding. Based on neuroscience research, endogenous oxytocin may be altered or manipulated by exogenous administration or by blocking normal function of the hormone or receptor. Women commonly cite insufficient milk production as their reason for early supplementation, jeopardizing breastfeeding goals. Researchers need to consider the role of birth-related medications and interventions on the production of milk. This article examines the literature on the role of exogenous oxytocin on breastfeeding in humans. Methods: Using the method described by Whittemore and Knafl, this integrative review of literature included broad search criteria within the PubMed, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL), Cochrane, and Scopus databases. Studies published in English associating a breastfeeding outcome in relation to oxytocin use during the birth process were included. Twenty-six studies from 1978 to 2015 met the criteria. Results: Studies were analyzed according to the purpose of the research, measures and methods used, results, and confounding variables. The 26 studies reported 34 measures of breastfeeding. Outcomes included initiation and duration of breastfeeding, infant behavior, and physiologic markers of lactation. Timing of administration of oxytocin varied. Some studies reported on low-risk birth, while others included higher-risk experiences. Fifty percent of the results (17 of 34 measures) demonstrated an association between exogenous oxytocin and less optimal breastfeeding outcomes, while 8 of 34 measures (23%) reported no association. The remaining 9 measures (26%) had mixed findings. Breastfeeding intentions, parity, birth setting, obstetric risk, and indications for oxytocin use were inconsistently controlled among the studies. Discussion: Research on breastfeeding and lactation following exogenous oxytocin exposure is limited by few studies and heterogeneous methods. Despite the limitations, researchers and clinicians may benefit from awareness of this body of literature. Continued investigation is recommended given the prevalence of oxytocin use in clinical practice.

AB - Introduction: Despite widespread use of exogenous synthetic oxytocin during the birth process, few studies have examined the effect of this drug on breastfeeding. Based on neuroscience research, endogenous oxytocin may be altered or manipulated by exogenous administration or by blocking normal function of the hormone or receptor. Women commonly cite insufficient milk production as their reason for early supplementation, jeopardizing breastfeeding goals. Researchers need to consider the role of birth-related medications and interventions on the production of milk. This article examines the literature on the role of exogenous oxytocin on breastfeeding in humans. Methods: Using the method described by Whittemore and Knafl, this integrative review of literature included broad search criteria within the PubMed, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL), Cochrane, and Scopus databases. Studies published in English associating a breastfeeding outcome in relation to oxytocin use during the birth process were included. Twenty-six studies from 1978 to 2015 met the criteria. Results: Studies were analyzed according to the purpose of the research, measures and methods used, results, and confounding variables. The 26 studies reported 34 measures of breastfeeding. Outcomes included initiation and duration of breastfeeding, infant behavior, and physiologic markers of lactation. Timing of administration of oxytocin varied. Some studies reported on low-risk birth, while others included higher-risk experiences. Fifty percent of the results (17 of 34 measures) demonstrated an association between exogenous oxytocin and less optimal breastfeeding outcomes, while 8 of 34 measures (23%) reported no association. The remaining 9 measures (26%) had mixed findings. Breastfeeding intentions, parity, birth setting, obstetric risk, and indications for oxytocin use were inconsistently controlled among the studies. Discussion: Research on breastfeeding and lactation following exogenous oxytocin exposure is limited by few studies and heterogeneous methods. Despite the limitations, researchers and clinicians may benefit from awareness of this body of literature. Continued investigation is recommended given the prevalence of oxytocin use in clinical practice.

KW - active management third-stage labor

KW - breastfeeding

KW - drug effects

KW - labor (induced)

KW - labor (obstetric)

KW - labor stage (third)

KW - lactation

KW - oxytocin

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85026670191&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85026670191&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1111/jmwh.12601

DO - 10.1111/jmwh.12601

M3 - Review article

VL - 62

SP - 397

EP - 417

JO - Journal of Midwifery and Women's Health

JF - Journal of Midwifery and Women's Health

SN - 1526-9523

IS - 4

ER -