There is a lot more to labour and childbirth than just contractions, pushing and birthing your baby. Some secrets I would like to share with you today are about the impact of our hormones and how we can increase/decrease them to help the progress in labouring!
Oxytocin is also called the “love hormone” and is essential during labour.
When a women’s body produces oxytocin during labour it will increase contractions and it also increases their breast milk, which is to help birth their baby and guide them through the birth canal.
A way to increase a labouring women’s oxytocin is for her is to
get hugging and kissing with her partner or simply cuddle up 😉 No partner around? Have your support person or doula give you a gentle touch massage.
Endorphins are actually promoted by the hormone oxytocin and bring natural pain relief during labour.
A way to promote the release of endorphins is through laughter and love – which once again can be achieved if a labouring women has their partner with them. They can try to have fun, laugh together and enjoy the time being by themselves before the baby arrives.
No partner in the labour room? No problem, bring along your doula, have fun, make jokes or even dance around. 😉
Melotonin actually boosts oxytocin, which quick reminder is helping women progress in labour.
One fantastic way to release melotonin is in dark and quiet settings! So if a women is in the hospital labouring they can turn down the lights, close the curtains and just relax with some “quiet” music. The environment can have a great impact on the birthing person, so make sure to get comfortable.
Unlike the other three hormones I mentioned Adrenaline has a negative impact on a women’s labouring process. In fact it slow’s down birth and reduces oxytocin, as well as increases the heart rate and breathing. It is increased by fear, stress and bright light.
There are a few things women can do to decrease adrenaline by :
- Remaining calm – try practicing some techniques like breathing or visualizing that you can later use in childbirth
- Preparing yourself for childbirth and reduce the fear of the unknown, as well as ask questions to make informed decisions
- Prepare affirmations and remind yourself to stay in a positive mental state
- Spend time with your partner, cuddle up, laugh and enjoy each others company
- Pack some games, magazines and books to pass time and entertain yourselves
- Have a doula by your side to guide you through the rough patches of labour and guide you with calmness.
Lots of love from your Doula, Denise