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Peripartum Administration of Synthetic Oxytocin (Pitocin) and Postpartum Mood Disorders: A Scoping Review

Murphy, Jaelyn (2023) Peripartum Administration of Synthetic Oxytocin (Pitocin) and Postpartum Mood Disorders: A Scoping Review. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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In the United States, maternal mortality and morbidity rates are of great concern, despite advancements in medical technologies and healthcare resources. The frequency of maternal morbidities and severe birthing complications have also increased significantly in recent years. This scoping review examines risk factors, health impacts, outcomes, symptoms, and screening tools associated with administering peripartum synthetic oxytocin (pitocin) and postpartum mood disorders. The health sciences librarian searched three databases to find original research articles that addressed the peripartum administration of synthetic oxytocin (pitocin), looked at pitocin administration and postpartum mood disorders, and were written in English. A total of 364 titles and abstracts were analyzed (after removing 259 duplicates), which left seven remaining articles. Of all the full text articles reviewed, four publications met all inclusion criteria and were included in this scoping review. The author of this review conducted the data extraction, which revealed findings that the existing literature, mainly was quantitative, conducted in upper-middle to high-income countries and focused on the association of synthetic oxytocin administration and postpartum depression. Findings indicate that pregnant women who received a peripartum administration of pitocin had a range of postnatal outcomes ranging from postpartum anxiety, PPD, somatization disorders, and postpartum blues. Articles that were reviewed identified various risk factors that increase the risk of developing PPD, such as a maternal history of depression, prenatal depression and anxiety, PTSD, and a negative childbirth experience; also, one study reported no protective factors against postpartum mood disorders or any direct association of pitocin administration with PPD.
The public health significance of the use of Pitocin during the peripartum period and its impact on maternal mood and behavior is a subject that has not received sufficient attention from the medical community and researchers, given its frequent use as a birth intervention in the United States. Therefore, future research studies should be longitudinal and conducted with more samples from the United States population. Current birthing interventions and practices should be reevaluated for their benefits, risks, and potential contribution to PPD in birthing women.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Murphy, Jaelynjam689@pitt.edujam689
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairFelter, Elizabethemfelter@pitt.eduemfelter
Committee MemberSalter, Cynthiacys6@pitt.educys6
Committee MemberVonVille, HelenaHelenaVonVille@pitt.eduHelenaVonVille
Date: 15 May 2023
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 11 April 2023
Approval Date: 15 May 2023
Submission Date: 27 April 2023
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 57
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Public Health > Behavioral and Community Health Sciences
Degree: MPH - Master of Public Health
Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: synthetic oxytocin, pitocin, maternal mood, PPD, postpartum depression, postpartum mood disorders, maternal mood, peripartum
Date Deposited: 15 May 2023 22:08
Last Modified: 15 May 2023 22:08


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