Birth is a beautiful, natural process.
Birth is not something to fear, but rather it is a rite of passage. The beginning of a woman’s menstrual cycle is the passage into womanhood. The process of birth is the beginning of a woman’s passage into motherhood.
Birth has historically been the highest honor a woman could achieve.
A woman’s body is designed to give birth. Her hips widen, ligaments and tendon’s stretch and loosen to prepare for birth, blood volume doubles, and finally muscles contract to move the baby through the birth canal.
A woman’s hormones are designed to support a her during labor:
She gets Oxytocin which is the hormone of love (we also get it during sexual activity, hugging, eating, touching and breastfeeding). This hormone drives labor and prepares the mother and baby to bond with each other. It also keeps the mother from bleeding too much afterbirth.
She gets Beta-endorphin which is a natural opiate. It has properties in common with morphine and Demerol. It is a natural pain reliever as well as giving the woman a feeling of pleasure and connectedness.
She gets Adrenaline and Noradrenaline. These gradually rise so that they peak at the moment of birth. This protects the baby by stimulating it’s circulatory and respiratory systems. It also makes the mother more alert to begin bonding with her baby.
She also gets Prolactin. This is the mothering hormone. It is very important to reset the brain in preparation for motherhood. It is also present in breastmilk and is thought to be very important in proper brain development for the baby. This is also an important hormone to help men bond with their babies.
Movement is very important in labor. It helps the labor to progress more quickly. Movement aids the baby in descending in the correct position which reduces the pain the mother feels. It also keeps the mother’s muscles from getting stiff and aids in blood flow to her body.