Christof Plothe is a doctor of osteopathy who works at a pediatric clinic in Alzy, Germany.
His paper, in press for 2010 publication in the International Journal of Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology and Medicine, reviews the scientific literature on oxytocin in relation to bonding between mother and child, and then examines studies showing effects of oxytocin or Pitocin (a synthetic brand) used during labor.
"For over 50 years Oxytocin has been used in modern obstetrics during birth. Whilst the physiological aspects of the hormone have been studied intensely the psychological mechanisms of its function have only started to be known since the nineties of the last century. I have been working with newborns for over a decade now and observed fundamental differences after the oxytocin related births in the babies, later in the adolescents and even in the adults. The article is a summary of the contemporary research of Oxytocin and hypothesizes that Oxytocin can have a lifelong imprinting on the psyche when used during the delivery.
He has observed that some children seem "oxytocin-imbalanced." These kids may be insecure, have difficulty with school work, and problems with relationships within the family. Plothe has been treating some with oxytocin, and found that such symptoms improved or even disappeared.
He calls for more studies and discussion among health professionals and researchers to try to determine how much modern birth practices may have lifelong consequences.
You can read the entire paper here: The perinatal application of oxytocin and its potential influence on the human psyche.