Love is All You Need (Mostly)
In my classes we talk a lot about the importance of oxytocin, and the effects adrenaline can have upon this hormone during labour and birth. In the most simple terms we want to help the oxytocin keep flowing, and the adrenaline levels to remain low. Adrenaline spikes can be found when fear or stress levels rise, so this is why it is important to help a mother in labour stay as relaxed as possible.
In my antenatal classes we use a combination of birth anchors to set the scene - candles, dim or no lights, gentle, rhythmic music. This is because each lesson we are helping mums-to-be to associate their mindful breathing practise and birth ball movements with a peaceful, gentle environment, feeling secure, loved and energised.
When you move into your birth environment remember that basically to get baby out, it can help to have the same environment as the one which helped baby get in! Well, that's assuming you're all romantics out there, and made sweet, sweet love to the sounds of gentle music or rainfall. Perhaps candlelit shadows flickered around the room, your body feeling warm and you feeling desired and loved. Maybe you were curled up in a cosy, comfortable place. Even if those weren't the environmental factors at play, no doubt you had a rush of arousal, felt endorphins and pleasure. All these elements and hormones are found when mums-to-be are labouring and giving birth too.
This is why considering your birth environment is so important. Are you likely to feel safe and intimate in a cold, stark, brightly-lit room? Or are you more likely to relax and feel secure in a dim, cosy place, feeling warm and nurtured? If it's a place you'd feel comfy getting down, with soft shadows and lighting, and gentle sounds, then safe to say it's a place your body will feel safe releasing your baby.
Even if you aren't planning a vaginal delivery, your birth environment could still include items which help you feel the love, help you to focus on your baby and stay calm through the experience. During a C section you could think about music or scents to bring your mind to a relaxed place, feeling the surge of love as your baby is delivered. You have just as many options as you would do for a vaginal birth, you can look at my blog piece here for some choices you can consider. If you've been to one of my MummyNatal classes you might wish to try a visualisation, this could help you to really feel that connection and closeness as baby makes his or her way to meet you.
Sending you all warm and fuzzies!
Love Your Birth x