By Renee Adair
Of all the most rapidly increasing concerns in childbirth today, by far the one that concerns me the most is medical induction. Often this is done as a routine precaution for a variety of reasons or because hospital policy deems a woman is ‘over her due date’.
Induced labour can be indicated as necessary due to health concerns for the mother or baby, however, inducing (starting) or augmenting (speeding up) a woman’s labour can often lead to other interventions.
Contractions brought on artificially by Syntocinon (artificial Oxytocin) will have a powerful effect on the woman’s uterus and the contractions are much more intense than our natural ones. A medically induced labour does not allow the body to have a natural build up where the woman can move into the labour and ‘step up’ mentally with it as it changes and intensifies.
Also, interestingly during a medically induced labour, the body does not produce its natural endorphins so most women find it difficult to cope with the artificial contractions. Many women then find themselves asking for medical pain relief, even if this was something that was not a part of their original birth preferences.
We know that oxytocin, plays a crucial role in getting into labour, enhancing the entire childbirth process as well as supporting milk production and bonding with our babies but did you know we produce oxytocin all through our lives?
Oxytocin is released when we make love, kissing and being intimate with our partner, sharing laughter and good times with family and friends, enjoying good food, having a great time with your best girlfriends and generally doing what makes you happy.
Creating and raising your own level of oxytocin is a great way to relax into the labour and bring labour on without artificial stimulation.
Fear and raised levels of adrenaline are two of the biggest reasons women’s bodies do not get a chance to naturally get into labour.
Relaxing and having fun produces oxytocin…stress, worry, fear and lack of sleep produce adrenaline. No oxytocin = no labour.
I have some suggestions on some ways to stimulate your body and mind more naturally, helping you relax into labour and raise your level of oxytocin. I do however recommend and encourage you practice whatever helps you relax, laugh and process.
- Have positive thoughts
- Eat well
- Gentle exercise – walk and/or swim
- Face your fears – Talk with someone you trust/ journal or draw
- Have lots of loving contact
- Laugh out loud and hang out with your girlfriends
- Try nipple stimulation
- Have orgasmic sex
- Get a massage
- Watch a hilarious movie
- Stay away from social media and the news
- Steer clear of any ‘negative Nancy’s’ J
At the end of the day, the journey to labour in un its self, is a transition and as such it is deeply personal. Labour will begin at the right time for you. Keep positive and enjoy the last weeks of pregnancy, connecting daily to your baby, letting them know they are loved and you are ready to meet them. Happy Birthing!
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