Undisturbed Labor – What Is It And Why Aim For One?

Have you ever imagined labor as an ecstatic, pleasant experience? You may not have. You are not alone. It is always pictured as the most painful thing. However, the way mother nature designed it, labor can be a less painful affair. Well, it does not mean that you don’t feel the intense pain at all. But, if we avoid disturbing laboring woman or interfering with the natural process, it could minimize complications. And that brings us to undisturbed birth/ labor. Wondering how is it possible? Know more about it.

Role Of Hormones In Childbirth

The role of hormones in childbirth is indeed fascinating. They trigger the process of birthing and offer safety for a woman during labor. During an undisturbed birth, we respect these hormonal process and we don’t interfere with it. So, how do they work during childbirth?

Throughout the three stages of labor – dilation of the cervix, the birth of the baby and the birth of the placenta – the hormone oxytocin plays a significant role. Oxytocin initiates labor and helps it keep going strong. It also contributes to uterine

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contractions.

The presence of oxytocin, thus, decides the progress of labor. So, the environment should be favorable so that a laboring woman can produce enough oxytocin for an easy labor. This points out the importance of a calm atmosphere during labor without interventions.

Turns out, oxytocin level increases when a woman experiences privacy, safety, and support. The oxytocin level could go down if you get a feeling of being watched or if you feel that you are not secure. Even the presence of unwanted people or strangers could trigger anxiety, thus, leaving a negative impact on oxytocin levels. This, in turn, affects the progress of labor.

When women give birth under bright lights and constant noises from the medical staff, her brain cannot differentiate between the real threat and an imagined one. For her brain, even the medical intervention may look like a threat. Thus, the stress hormones will be released, slowing down contractions in the process.

The release of the hormone adrenaline, which prepares the body for ‘fight or flight’, may not be helpful in early labor. If it gets triggered early in

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labor, they have the power to slow down, or even stop contractions.

Hormones And Undisturbed Birth

Allowing the hormones to behave in its normal way will result in an undisturbed birth. Without any intervention, a woman will be completely relaxed during labor. As the production of oxytocin is so connected to our emotions, this will increase the amount of the hormone in women. And it in turn, steps up contractions. When a woman labor in a bright room, surrounded by strangers, it will have an adverse impact on her labor. Instead, a dim room without too much distraction will be the right atmosphere for the unhindered production of oxytocin.

What Disturbs Birth?

If the sense of safety and privacy of a laboring woman gets disturbed, it can disrupt the flow of hormones in her. Ultimately, it will disrupt the birth process. Today, women in labor are observed by people who are essentially strangers to them. As we mentioned, feeling of being watched can affect oxytocin release. Any experience of fear, anxiety, stress, tension, discomfort, or distrust may not work in favor of a laboring

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woman. Moreover, many of the medical techniques involved in the process result in unnecessary interventions. These factors are enough to disrupt the birthing women.

How To Provide Undisturbed Birth

  • A woman needs a quiet place to labor at its own pace. Give her the freedom to move around and restrict the monitoring techniques.
  • She should feel safe and protected throughout labor. Privacy is of utmost importance to her. The presence of strangers can inhibit the production of oxytocin.
  • If the medical team is present, it is best to minimize unnecessary medical interventions. Do not keep her under unwanted pressure. Also, refrain from talking loud.