Today we’re handing the blog over to Tracy McGinn from The Daisy Foundation, Wirral. She provides Daisy Birthing, Daisy Parent and Daisy Baby workshops and classes.
Tracy is passionate about helping Mums-to-be overcome their fears and prepare for a positive and empowering birth.
Adrenaline vs. Labour: The Importance of a Calm Birthing Environment
Picture the scene: a mammal in the wild feels the first stirrings of labour as her body begins the process of birthing her young. Suddenly, a predator appears! In a natural and instinctive response, the mammal’s adrenaline levels spike – causing the well-known fight or flight reaction. Internally, blood is diverted towards her brain, heart and lungs to prepare her for whatever lies ahead. The increase in adrenaline also inhibits her body’s ability to respond to oxytocin – the hormone that only moments ago was powering her labour. This causes the birthing process to slow or even halt, allowing her to choose flight – fleeing to a place of safety where she can birth her young away from danger.
Pretty cool huh? How about if I told you that as humans we also possess this response and that if our adrenaline levels increase in labour this can cause the same reaction – the same slowing of labour. Again pretty cool….although there is often an absence of predators on the Wirral so its perhaps not as useful for us as it is for our mammalian counterparts!
Nevertheless, lets think for a second about all of the other things in labour that could cause our adrenaline to rise:
- Fear of the unknown
- Transfer into hospital
- Bright lights/loud noises/unfamiliar people around us
- The feeling of being watched
The list goes on! So, what can you do to turn this great nugget of information into a positive?? You can take positive and active steps to keep your adrenaline low in labour.
Doing some birth preparation classes can really help to take the fear out of the process and help you to feel much calmer when your birthing day arrives.
Making some changes to your birthing environment – dimming the lights, putting on some music, using a nice calming scent.
Doing a couples’ birth preparation class can really help your birth partner to understand the key role that they can play in keeping your birthing environment calm and tranquil.
These are small changes that can have a big effect. They can help you to stay calm during your labour and most importantly help you to keep your adrenaline levels nice and low to avoid triggering that innate response. Now that is pretty cool!
Tracy has a Degree in Childhood Studies, a Certificate in Education (teaching qualification) and is a fully qualified Daisy Foundation Perinatal Educator.
She offers Daisy Birthing weekly classes for mums-to-be, Daisy Parent Birth and Baby Preparation classes for couples and Active Birth Couples’ Workshops at her dedicated studio The Retreat, in Raby on the Wirral.
Providing a calm and tranquil atmosphere for birth preparation, The Retreat is the ideal location for you to prepare for a calm, positive, low adrenaline birth.
Find out more here.