For those of you who haven't attended antenatal classes or Hypnobirthing classes, here's the shortened version: stress and fear in labour cause you to produce adrenalin (the fight or flight response), adrenalin causes smooth muscle to contract, your uterus is smooth muscle, your cervix is part of your uterus and also smooth muscle. When you're in labour oxytocin (the love hormone) makes the top of your uterus contract, because there's hardly any receptor sites for oxytocin at the bottom of your uterus and cervix it allows your cervix to stretch to allow your baby to be born.
Now...when you feel frightened or anxious your body will produce adrenalin, now remember this causes smooth muscle (cervix included to contract)...what do you think happens to your cervix when you're frightened, in a strange place, feel uncared for?
Did you ever wonder why, for some women their labour was long and painful? Why their cervix 'stuck'? It's all the fault of nasty adrenalin; instead of two muscles (cervix and uterus) working together in a helpful, natural way, they now work against each other, both contracting, both causing pain.
What You Can Do
- lights off or dimmed
- safe, comfortable environment
- no interruptions and minimal chat
- your partner giving relaxing touch massage
- your partner in control of who enters your birth space
- EDUCATION!!...know exactly what your body's doing, and trust it, beyond anything else listen to your body, and trust it, it won't let you down, but your mind can.