Program Teasers - Creating a Positive Birth Experience (Hormones)
What do hormones have to do with labour?

Creating a Positive Birth Experience (Hormones)


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What do hormones have to do with labour?

Hormones are the juice that gets your body going and play a big role in helping you have a positive birth experience.

Four of the major hormonal systems are active during labor and birth:

  • Oxytocin - the hormone of love;
  • Endorphins - hormones of pleasure and transcendence;
  • Adrenaline and noradrenaline (or epinephrine and norepinephrine) - hormones of excitement; and
  • Prolactin - the mothering hormone.

These systems are common to all mammals and originate deep in our mammalian (or middle) brain.

Hormones work in harmony to help the body have as much ease as possible throughout the birthing process. However, when we feel frightened or scared or introduce interventions into the birth process we can often interrupt the natural hormonal flow and that may lead to more pain or complications for the birth.

If all is well with Mum and Baby, the more we leave her alone to labour on her own terms and in safety, the more her hormones can work in the way they are designed too.

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