Oxytocin is a hormone produced in the brain and found in women. This hormone also occurs in men, under a different name. It is mainly responsible for the contraction of the uterus during labor and for the let-down reflex during breast-feeding. Sometimes artificial oxytocin is administered to induce labor or in case of problems with breastfeeding. The hormone is also known as the love hormone because it is released with all forms of intimacy and feelings of love and warmth (security).
Nasal spray with oxytocin
Sometimes the woman is prescribed oxytocin in the form of a nasal spray. This is to help breastfeeding in women where the letdown reflex is not working properly. As a result, the milk remains too much in the breasts, resulting in painful full breasts. The baby may also receive too little milk if the letdown reflex is not working properly. Oxytocin ensures that the milk is pressed into the mammary glands. The baby will often need to be latched on to encourage breastfeeding. Do not use this medicine if you have palpitations or heart rhythm problems. The administration of the nasal spray should be applied approximately five minutes before breastfeeding. After a few minutes the medicine will start to work and the let-down reflex will come on. It should never be used during pregnancy, as artificial oxytocin can induce contractions.