Oxytocin administration in low-risk women, a retrospective analysis of birth and neonatal outcomes

Xavier Espada-Trespalacios, Felipe Ojeda, Mercedes Perez-Botella, Raimon Milà Villarroel, Montserrat Bach Martinez, Helena Figuls Soler, Israel Anquela Sanz, Pablo Rodríguez Coll, Ramon Escuriet

Research output: Indexed journal article Articlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Background: In recent years, higher than the recommended rate of oxytocin use has been observed among low-risk women. This study examines the relationship between oxytocin administration and birth outcomes in women and neonates. Methods: A retrospective analysis of birth and neonatal outcomes for women who received oxytocin versus those who did not. The sample included 322 women with a low-risk pregnancy. Results: Oxytocin administration was associated with cesarean section (aOR 4.81, 95% CI: 1.80–12.81), instrumental birth (aOR 3.34, 95% CI: 1.45–7.67), episiotomy (aOR 3.79, 95% CI: 2.20–6.52) and length of the second stage (aOR 00:18, 95% CI: 00:04–00:31). In neonatal outcomes, oxytocin in labor was associated with umbilical artery pH ≤ 7.20 (OR 3.29, 95% CI: 1.33–8.14). Admission to neonatal intensive care unit (OR 0.56, 95% CI: 0.22–1.42), neonatal resuscitation (OR 1.04, 95% CI: 0.22–1.42), and Apgar score <7 (OR 0.48, 95% CI: 0.17–1.33) were not associated with oxytocin administration during labor. Conclusions: Oxytocin administration during labor for low-risk women may lead to worse birth outcomes with an increased risk of instrumental birth and cesarean, episiotomy and the use of epidural analgesia for pain relief. Neonatal results may be also worse with an increased proportion of neonates displaying an umbilical arterial pH ≤ 7.20.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4375
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2 Apr 2021


  • Birth outcome
  • Low-risk pregnancy
  • Neonatal outcome
  • Obstetric labor
  • Oxytocin
  • Term birth


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