Dr. Odent, a leading visionary and leading voice in normal voice, "The most common medical intervention is undoubtedly the use of drips of synthetic oxytocin. ... the rates of labor inductions are very high in many countries and, in practice, labor induction implies hours of intravenous drip.
"One should first wonder why the use of intravenous oxytocin during labor is perceived as a detail not worth mentioning in statistics. The main reason might be that the nonapeptide oxytocin is not considered a real medication because, from a chemical perspective, the synthetic form is not different from the natural hormone. Another reason might be that oxytocinases (enzymes that metabolize biologically active peptides) have been found in the placenta. This might have led to the tacit conclusion that synthetic oxytocin does not cross the placenta.
"On the day when we realize that most women, all over the world, receive synthetic oxytocin when giving birth, we’ll give paramount importance to new questions, particularly about placental transfer of peptides. Paradoxically, there is only one serious published article on this issue.(1) After measuring concentrations of oxytocin in maternal blood, and also in the blood of the umbilical vein and of the umbilical arteries, and after perfusions of placental cotyledons, a team from Arkansas came to the conclusion that oxytocin crosses the placenta in both directions....
"Since there is a high probability that a significant amount of synthetic oxytocin can reach the brain of the fetus, we must raise questions regarding the permeability of the blood-brain barrier at this phase of human development. ...it is probable that, at a quasi-global level, we routinely interfere with the development of the oxytocin system of human beings at a critical phase ...." For more go to http://www.midwiferytoday.com/enews/enews1215.asp
- Malek, A., E. Blann and D.R. Mattison. 1996. Human placental transport of oxytocin. J Matern Fetal Med 5(5): 245–55.
See the rest of Dr. Michel Odent's article and references at
"If I Were the Baby: Questioning the Widespread Use of Synthetic Oxytocin," Midwifery Today, Issue 94
Dr. Odent, we know you have the answer to this question. I hope people listen.