Labor transforms you on every level of your being - turning you into a parent and giving you the power, self-reliance and confidence to care for a newborn. Most women have some fear or concern as their labor approaches, yet the naturally unfolding process actually enhances both your safety and the safety of your baby. Although labor is designed to be challenging, it is also designed to be completely doable.
In labor, as in all of life, knowledge is power! Understanding what your body is doing during labor can build your confidence about the safety of labor and in your own ability to birth your baby. How our bodies give birth has evolved over millions of years as a way to preserve the human species. Birth is not inherently dangerous - rather it is designed by nature to make sure that you and your baby are both safe before, during and after your birth.
Here is an interesting example about the wisdom of your body. The hormones your body makes in the weeks and days, even in the last few hours leading up to labor, are extremely beneficial for both you and your baby. They set the stage for strong, regular and effective contractions and even protect you ahead of time from bleeding too much after you give birth.
We have come to understand that fear and stress in large part generate the experience of pain of labor. In short, the hormones of fear – our fight-or-flight hormones – inhibit the production and flow of oxytocin, endorphins and other hormones of birth. Oxytocin - and endorphins, nature’s opiates - are the very hormones that cause effective contractions, and also reduce your pain and stress, calming you and your baby. Labor medications interfere with the production and flow of these supportive hormones. Natural methods of pain management support their production and bring you all of the benefits packaged in these little chemical wonders.