I wrote down these tips up for the upcoming Birth Expo (March 1st at the Herman Key Center in downtown Charlottesville, 10am-2pm), but I thought that I would share them here also.
Many women experience labor slowing down when they get to the hospital. There are many reasons why this happens, but one of the main ones is that all mammals need to feel safe and secure for the birth process to progress normally. Making use of some of these strategies may help the mother to maintain oxytocin levels that will keep labor going- even after a change of scenery.
Create a Home-Like Atmosphere at the Hospital
Oxytocin is often called the “love hormone”. Oxytocin is produced by the body during labor and helps to stimulate contractions AND buffer some of the pain during contractions. Oxytocin is often most effective at night, and when the mother feels safe and protected. Creating a home-like atmosphere, even after you leave for the hospital, will help to keep labor progressing and the mother coping as well as possible, and minimize the need for labor augmentation or pharmacological pain relief.
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I look at birth from the perspective that our bodies are wonderfully made, and if we really believe that and work with the birth process and nourish our bodies properly, they will function optimally, most of the time!