Your Pregnancy Hormone OXYTOCIN – the LOVE Hormone!
During pregnancy and birth there are lots of hormones involved… one of the most important ones is OXYTOCIN. This has been nicknamed the LOVE hormone as it is released when you are feeling good and loved at any point in your life and is involved in bonding with your baby.
During your birth oxytocin has an important role as the contractions of the uterus are caused by increasing levels – the trick is to let the oxytocin flow – feel good factors will help this in the early stages of labour such as snuggling on the sofa and watching a good film with low lighting, massage and having a giggle!
Find a Safe & Secure Place
As your labour progresses you need to consider that you are a mammal and like all other mammals, you will prefer to find and birth in a safe and nurturing environment with people around you that you trust and love. This may be at home, Birth Centre or Delivery Suite – whichever place you feel most safe and secure. Once safe, wherever you choose to be, this will enable you to ‘let go’, trust your body and follow your instincts.
Maintain the Love!
To maintain the flow of oxytocin and therefore your labour, try to keep as calm and relaxed as possible – perhaps with breathing techniques, mantras, some pregnancy yoga moves, massage and gentle support from a loved one. Your environment may also have a large impact – consider the smells, the lighting, the music, the warmth…. and try to ensure all anxiety, tension or fear in your space is kept to a minimum as it can release ‘stress hormones’ (such as adrenaline) and impact on the release of oxytocin.
Oxytocin and your Baby
Oxytocin at this time in your life is special – not only during pregnancy but also in the early minutes, weeks and months of your new babies life – anything which releases oxytocin will enhance your bond (eg: skin to skin, positive touch and massage)and help with attachment, feeding and help your general mental wellbeing.
Remember – just let the LOVE flow!!
PS: Oxytocin is amazing!! There is some new research that actually suggests that oxytocin relieves pain!! If you want to find out more click here.
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