As a society, we have a view of labour and birth associated with pain, complete dread and negativity. Whether that is due to sensationalist TV or media, our mates birth story or our previous personal experience, our mindset must change. And it can.
The first thing someone will say to us when realising we are pregnant, is that their birth was the most painful thing they had ever experienced. Why is it necessary to say that? Why are we scaremongering the people who are closest to us?
During hypnobirthing, I do advocate the fact that birth is powerful, not painful. That we need to completely avoid the word 'pain' and our new best friend should be our surges. It may seem a bit cray cray to people who have had a particularly uncomfortable birth. You must understand that in order for surges to feel powerful, you have to know how your body works and be optimising it's physiology. You must also know that I never said birth would be 'pain-free'. That would be an unrealistic claim to make, when birth is so unpredictable. BUT it can be manageable and enjoyable. Bare with me.
We have these incredible hormones in our bodies known as Endorphins. You might have heard of them from people who do exercise (definitely not me) and they say they feel amazing after they have been for a run. Like buzzing. Refreshed. Happy. We have these during birth too.
When we face a stressful or particularly uncomfortable event, our bodies will begin to produce endorphins which are our pain relieving hormones. This goes for everyone, not just pregnant women, but for now we will focus on birth.
When you near the end of pregnancy, endorphin production will shoot up. How amazing is it that our bodies know to do this? I told you that you were made to give birth!
Your endorphin levels will continue to rise steadily and rapidly through labour, until you birth your baby. They are released consistently, so will not cause you to crash, like medical pain relief can sometimes. They can help to regulate your oxytocin levels, so labour goes at a manageable pace for your body. High levels can make you feel 'on another planet', which may help you to embrace the birth process, even if you are finding it rather challenging. After birth, high levels of endorphins will make you feel awesome and on a complete high, help you to bond with your baby and keep you alert.
You gotta create the right environment for their production though. You need to stay calm and confident, which means you must control your breathing and trust in your body. You must be as undisturbed as possible, so create a quiet environment and reduce the number of invasive procedures where possible. There is also some evidence to suggest that the use of medical pain relief, such as epidural or opiates will cause your endorphin levels to drop, so delaying the use of these for as long as you can possibly manage will help to build your natural morphine up higher. Endorphin levels are highest in women who have unmedicated, vaginal births. Isn't that amazing?
Now, I am not saying for one minute that all women feel these amazing effects. Endorphins work differently for each one of us. However, if we create a calm and undisturbed environment, there is no reason why you can't reap the benefits!
Did you feel the euphoria after birth?
How are you planning to feel calm during your own labour?
If you wanna learn more about feeling awesome during birth, hit me up. Lets chat! x