Pharmaceutical oxytocin used in pregnancy to influence labour Induction

Pharmaceutical oxytocin used in pregnancy to influence labour Induction

Pharmaceutical oxytocin used in pregnancy to influence labour InductionPharmaceutical oxytocin used in pregnancy to influence labour InductionPharmaceutical oxytocin used in pregnancy to influence labour Induction

Oxytocin Measures Blog Page


Parliamentary Petition scheduled for 2020

Informing Women of Unlicensed Synthetic Oxytocin Practices Proposed for their Induction Augmentation of Labour is Essential

... because the licensed dosage range is available to be chosen instead, both for induction of labour and to improve the rhythm and strength of contractions which have already started.

It is unacceptable obstetric and midwifery prescribing practice to offer only unlicensed high doses of synthetic oxytocin (SO) without also giving a formal explanation of the changes, and giving the patient freedom to reject them, or give her formal, valid consent to the higher risks involved, such as greater pain requiring epidural analgesia to manage it. 

Epidural drugs interfere with the physiology of labour, slowing labour down, and SO cannot be used safely to speed labour up again! The epidural immobilises a woman and stops her walking around and having an active birth.  

High doses of SO, can lead to tetanic contractions, fetal distress, and interventions - higher Caesarian Section rates, forceps delivery, Post Partum haemorrhage (PPH), birth trauma, neonatal admissions and more. Epidural drugs also cross the placenta.

The only benefit is the possibility of a shorter labour – although the potential length of any one labour cannot be accurately guessed beforehand, so how long is shorter?

A stronger dilution is licensed for management of PPH if it happens, after the baby is born. 

Synthetic oxytocin when used as directed (as licensed) leads to obstetric outcomes with as low an incidence of complication as spontaneous obstetric labour obtains. 

This information is for women being offered an intravenous oxytocin induction  

If you are expecting a baby - and induction of labour has been mentioned to you  - you are welcome to use the charts from the Parliamentary petition download, (saved to a mobile device, or printed out), to show and discuss with your midwife and hospital doctors at your next meetings with them.  

They may not have seen the full dosage range before - with all the possible steps between 1, 2, 4, 8, 12, 16 and 20 m/U per minute - but when they read the manufacturer's advice on p 4 of the petition download, they will see that these variations should be  available as standard, for you to choose.  Your fully informed consent is required before the infusion begins. 

An epidural may not  need to be recommended  if you choose 5 IU in 500 ml or 2.5 IU in 500 ml (the licensed dilutions).  

You can withdraw your consent at any time.during any procedure

Please note that all Parliamentary Petitions were closed early on the 6th November 2019 by the Parliamentary Committee, due to the UK Election scheduled for the 12th December 2019 

Synthetic Oxytocin - Syntocinon®

What is Syntocinon?

Syntocinon is a synthetic hormone called oxytocin, it is powerful enough to be bring forth a baby out of its mothers womb, it is licensed for medical use in Childbirth for Augmentation, Induction of labour and management of Post Partum Haemorrhage (PPH).  It is especially useful for commencing, strengthening and restarting and enhancing uterine contractions when used as directed by the manufacturers licensed instruction. It has a long history of approximately 60 years use in hospitals across the world.  Epidural analgesia may be needed with current oxytocin regimes in Western countries during the use of synthetic oxytocin infusion because of the strong uterine contractions that are produced by this synthetic hormone, If the therapeutic or licensed doses are used and smaller steps are titratied during administration according to manufacturer's licensed directions, women may not need epidurals enmasse when Induced or augmented (and the consequential intervention that comes with having an epidural) for pain relief.

How is synthetic oxytocin administered?

It is similar to the natural Oxytocin hormone found in the body and is delivered directly into the Bllod stream via a vein by drip infusion mixed with sterile electrolyte fluid infusion and the dosage is controlled by syringe driver, infusion by volumetric pump or manually by counting drops for drip infusion for accurate dosage according to the uterine contractions that have been Induced by synthetic oxytocin (drip infusion is used where access to volumetric pumps or syringe drivers are not available).

Natural Oxytocin

Natural Oxytocin is a very powerful nonapeptide hormone,  synthesised in the hypothalamus and stored in the Pituitary gland in the brain, in readiness to be released directly into the blood stream when required, it acts in a pulsatile way.  Oxytocin commonly known as the 'love' hormone. It is released when the body requires it for various reproductive and non reproductive functions such as  non sexual touch, sexual function, olfactory stimuli and the commencement of uterine (womb) contractions in labour, during breastfeeding and after birth often causing uterine contractions called 'after pains'.  During pregnancy there is a steady increase in oxytocin levels.

What is oxytocin (Syntocinon) used for?

Syntocinon is man-made, used to stimulate rhythmic (womb) uterine contractions during labour augmentation and Induction of labour.  After birth it is used to prevent and or control postpartum haemorrhage.

About Us

We are midwives on a journey asking questions and informing professionals about synthetic oxytocin induction and augmentation of labour. We are also reviewing and rethinking synthetic oxytocin in view of licensed and off-licensed dilution and dosages and its impact on the woman giving birth. the baby and postnal outcomes This pain inducing hormone requires deeper investigation and scrutiny into current practice across the UK and globally. Further discussion with women, their partners, midwives and obstetricians with reference to consent, regimes, and outcomes of women and their babies is needed.

Here are some of the questions that we have asked, please contact us for further detailed  information or help with your regime or guideline.

1. Is the augmentation and induction service meeting the standard of the licensed dose and dilution, is your regime/policy safe, sound and empowering to women service users?

Only you can answer this.

2. What is the licensed therapeutic maximum licensed dose of Synthetic oxytocin?

Maximum Licensed dose is 20 mU/MIN FOR LIVE Pregnancy.

3.  What is the licensed dilution and dose for Intravenous Infusion?

Please check the instructions in your box of oxytocin ampoules, because that will be the licensed product.  At the time of writing this, 2nd  November 2017, You will find that it states that the licensed dose and dilution is - 5 iU oxytocin added to 500 ml of physiological electrolyte solution such as 0.9% Nsaline.  For patients who cannot have 0.9% Nsaline, 5% Dextrose can be used as an alternative diluent.- mix the solution well by turning the bag or bottle upside down several times.

Motorised pumps deliver smaller volumes than drip infusions and differ in their specification in terms of minimum volume delivery.

For motorised pumps one needs to consider the minimum volume which the pump delivers in order to calculate the correct dose and dilution (Please see the  chart provided for motorised pumps in the download section below)

The starting dose is between 1- 4 mU per minute (2-8 drops per minute for drip infusion) with not less than 20 minutes interval apart.  The increments not  exceeding 1 - 2 mU per minute until a pattern of uterine contraction similar to  that of a normal labour is established.  In a term pregnancy, labour can be achieved with less than 10 mU/min (20 drops per minute for drip infusion).

Intravenous oxytocin use for fetal intra uterine death requires higher doses - 10 IU oxytocin added to 500 ml physiological electrolyte.  The reason why one needs a higher dose is that the pregnancy may be premature and the uterus is less sensitive to oxytocin when the pregnancy is not at term.

4. Does giving the licensed increments, dose and dilution improve outcomes for women and their babies?

Yes, the licensed use acknowledges that this is a pain inducing hormone,  that gently nudges a woman into labour, and harnesses her own natural oxytocin, and prompts her own endorphins into action. Over-dosage with synthetic oxytocin has inherent problems such as complication of hyper-stimulation of the uterus, fetal distress and its interventions. These are  avoided by using the licensed dosage range appropriately thus obtaining better outcomes.  Overdosage dulls the uterine oxytocin receptors, and can cause uterine atony which predisposes to postpartum haemorrhage.

5. Is the licensed dose, dilution and increments of the pain inducing synthetic oxytocin being offered in the UK and globally?

 This question will be answered later.

6. What is the purpose of the bolus button on the motorised pump, during an intravenous oxytocin infusion?

Synthetic oxytocin is known to be a pain inducing hormone?  Therefore the use of a bolus button on a pump is cruel and unnecessary and should immediately be disabled permanently when oxytocin is being used for infusion during augmentation and Induction  

For further information please download the PDF. Syntocinon - Understanding the licensed and dilution ranges of synthetic oxytocin

Side Effects of Syntocinon® (synthetic Oxytocin)

Syntocinon is similar to the natural Oxytocin hormone found in the body. Syntocinon is synthetically man-made from chemicals. Natural Oxytocin acts in a pulsatile way. Oxytocin is known as the 'love' hormone and is produced when the body needs it for various reproductive functions such as the commencement of uterine contractions in labour and breast feeding.

The Side effects are covered well on Net doctors click on link

Related topics: Great Read about Syntocinon and Oxytocin

KHAJEHEL, M (2017).  Labour and Beyond: The Roles of Synthetic and Endogenous Oxytocin in Transition to Motherhood British Journal of Midwifery, April 2017, pp230 - 238

Being informed - Leads to the best decisions

Pregnant women who are informed of potential side effects, can be engaged in their care and be enabled to make informed decisions.   The dose and dilution that a women and her unborn baby receives, can differ from one hospital  to another.  It is important for the safety and the management of labour and pain in the mother, that the current manufacturers's licensed Syntocinon dose and dilution is offered.  

Contact us for further information

Diet and Induction of Labour

Pineapple Enzyme Bromelain


Anecdotally, the number of women seeking advice about pineapple consumption at the end of pregnancy, with the purpose of inducing labour, in various clinics has grown phenomenally.  
The enzyme Bromelain found in unprocessed fresh, not canned pineapples, is proposed to help stimulate uterine contractions and ripen the cervix, but it is not known how many pineapples need to be consumed, to gain the right dose of Bromelain that would produce the desired effect of inducing labour. Bromelain is thought to be more concentrated in the core and stem of the pineapple, which is edible, it is also important to note that heat above 67C destroys the enzyme Bromelain in pineapples.  Unfortunately, there is a current lack of robust evidence in this area. It does not however mean that it is not effective.  Even in the health sector, evidence is not always available or forthcoming for every procedure or activity carried out, often it is because there has been a long standing history of tradition, which can sometimes gather some momentum, thus creating a form of credibility because it has been repeatedly done, which is neither acceptable either. Until there is further clear evidence, we can only recommend eating pineapples as one of the 5 a day, fruit and vegetable which is a nutrient dense food and healthy for pregnant mother and fetus.
In terms of how much you should eat  to absorb the levels needed to stimulate labour is unknown.  A Random controlled trial is therfore needed before we are able to stamp our approval and recommend eating pineapple for induction of labour.  


Raspberry Leaf Tea

Drinking raspberry leaf herbal tea has been a long standing tradition for many pregnant women.  Historically women would start drinking 1 cup per day from 32 weeks onwards and increase to 2 or 3 cups per day after a few weeks, to increase the tone and strength of contractions leading to a shorter labour and hopefully less intervention.  However, because there is not enough strong research evidence to suggest that it induces labour, is harmful, or shortens labour, we cannot recommend the tea.  However, we acknowledge the longevity of its use and understand the temptation to drink it, especially if your grandmother, mother, aunt, sister, friend, cousin or great grandmother used it with positive effects.  The lack of formal evidence does not neccessarily mean that it is ineffective nor effective.  



Dates are an amazing dried fruit, packed packed full of nutrients for health.  A prospective research by Al-Kuran et al (2008) of 114 pregnant women has shown promising research results. Women who consumed 6 date fruits per day for 4 weeks before their Expected Date of Delivery (EDD), had a 96% spontaneous labour rate, a significant difference compared to 79% of those women who did not eat dates.  The date eaters had shorter labours and a statistically significant reduction in induction rate.   
A randomised trial needs to be performed asap, to see whether the results can be replicated on a larger scale.  This could potentially change and reduce the number of Inductions, Interventions and Caesarian section rates, thus leading to optimal outcomes for mothers and their babies globally.
Click to see the abstract



Educational material for mothers and professionals


Examining and reviewing Syntocinon regimes across the UK.  Answering mother's questions about Induction of labour

Petition to start again in 2020 - have your say


We would like a debate about the use of Synthetic oxytocin  in labour and for the management of post partum haemorrhage.  A parliamentary petition  was launched by us in Ocyober 2019.  There has been some delay due to the 1st Petition being rejected.  The second petition was accepted at the end of October, only to be closed early a few days later on the 6.11.19 due to the pending UK Election on 12.12.19.

 We will keep you updated

Birth Reflections & Testimonials


We are waiting for your reflections on your experience of induction of labour and testimonies

Current deals


Syntocinon Partograms will be available  to NHS Trusts & Private Sector Trusts

Mothers can contact us for information regarding Induction of Labour

Putting Oxytocin in the Spotlight


Syntocinon a synthetic hormone called oxytocin , is a relatively mature medicine, used for sixty years for Induction of Labour.  Please check the Syntocinon or synthetic oxytocin above for more details

FAQs about Induction


1. What are my options and route for Induction?  Natural and Alternative Complimentary medicine - Dietary methods, Aromatherapy, Acupressure/acupuncture and Herbal. Traditional hospital procedures and medicine - Membrane Sweep, Prostaglandins  gel or pessaries,  Syntocinon Infusion, Artificial rupture of membranes.  2.  Can I refuse to be Induced? Answer Yes, but every decision taken does have consequences which can be positive or negative.  Decide what risk is acceptable after gaining sound information, so that an informed decision can be made.  3.  What is Syntocinon?  Synthetic Oxytocin, a hormone similar to the natural hormone Oxytocin found in the body.  See section above on Syntocinon.  What are the side effects?  See section on Syntocinon side effects

Contact Us

Drop us a line!

We are a group of midwives available to discuss your options for medical induction of labour

Based in the UK we are also available for professionals who need or want advice on updating their local Syntocinon (synthetic oxytocin) induction & augmentation guideline or policy

Oxytocin Measures

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