Oxytocin - Definition

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Oxytocin is a hormone naturally synthesized by the body in the brain, specifically in the hypothalamus, to be stored in the pituitary gland until it is released on demand. This hormone is particularly active in stimulating contractions of the uterus during childbirth, then going on to enable the production of breast milk. A similar substance to oxytocin can be synthesized in a laboratory, and its principal use is to aid the delivery of the fetus during childbirth by reinforcing the uterus contractions already stimulated by the natural oxytocin.