The Birth Atmosphere
Physiological needs of the Birthing Woman
The delivery is driven by the most archaic zone of our brain, the primitive part, the one we share with all mammals.
Giving birth is an instinctive and innate process...
It's an experience that our body 'knows' how to do.
If we don't disturb it!
To understand the needs of the woman giving birth, it's important to review the physiology of the delivery itself.
In this part of the brain are two old structures, the hypothalamus and the pituitary. Thess glands free the hormones necessary for childbirth: oxytocin, endorphins and prolactin (hormone for the lactation). In order of this ancestral, primitive part of our brain to work properly, it should not be disturbed by the manifestations of the new part of our brain (the one which makes us different of mammals), the one which allows us to think: the neocortex.
If the neocortex is stimulated by situations which create fear, stress, anxiety or discomfort, the hormones production is slowed down or even stopped.
Giving birth is BEING not thinking, controlling, analyzing... or any other actions that is linked to the neocortex.

Letting this instinctive and wild nature invades us is, in my opinion, primordial during childbirth. But in order to let the Mama Wolf comes out, it is important to be in a favorable environment, which does not stimulate the neocortex.
This is a right every woman should be able to access.
femme enceinte accouchement naturel
All birthing women need:
Feeling observed can stimulate the neocortex. To feel free to act as she desires and to really let go, the woman needs to not feel spied, watched, studied from every angle. Female mammals which are usually active during the day have the tendency to give birth during night time. A lot of mammals – as chimps - prefer to take their distance from the group when the time has come.

* To limit the numerous intrusions of the medical team you can brief the future father or your doula. (A doula is a non-medical person who stays with and assists a woman before, during, or after childbirth, to provide emotional support and physical help if needed)

* You can also bring long pareos, with which your partner will cover you when you adopt all four positions.
Fear, stress and anxiety generate the production of adrenalin, the hormone which tend to inhibit delivery. It is very important to spare the woman of any stressful circumstances. The woman who gives birth needs to feel in good hands, surrounded by people she knows (partner, midwife, doula).

* You can bring personal items at the hospital. A blanket or a pillow impregnated with your smell and the smell of your home will reassure her.
Dim light
Light is an element which can stimulate the neocortex. As all intimate moments, the woman who gives birth usually prefers dim light, or even penumbra, than a bright light which exposes her to external gazes.

* At the hospital, don't hesitate to lower the curtains. Midwives usually have lamps to auscultate you.
Talking to or asking questions during labor will draw her away from her concentration, taking her out from her bubble. Except when she is the one wanting to communicate, it is important not to disturb her. Loving words of encouragements can be said (unless she expresses her wish of total silent).
"Warmth is also a part of the favorable conditions to good progress during delivery. Mothers who give birth are often cold, that's why it is important to allow then to warm up" say Pascale Gendreau, doula.

* At the hospital, don't hesitate to ask the thermostat to be increased if necessary.
If it is allowed at your birth place, water can be a great remedy to ease the pressure from the waves. If you want or if you feel that labor stagnates a little bit, don't hesitate to go in a bath, the temperature of the water should be around 37 degrees Celsius.

All these elements; intimacy, security, soft light, silence and warmth, create a cozy atmosphere, almost romantic ...

Remember that for birth to occur, we must produce a hormone called oxytocin (called the hormone of love, which also acts on trust, empathy, generosity, sexuality, the conjugal and social bond).
We want to encourage and support the production of this hormone.

For this, creating an atmosphere, a welcome reception for the arrival of your little one can make a big difference. Even those who wish to give birth at the hospital can 'arrange' and 'decorate' their birth room. Make it cosy as home. I myself brought candles, essential oils, coconut oil, sarong, music ... for the birth of my second child in the hospital!

We do not give birth every day. Making it a positive experience is possible when the right conditions are met!
Letting the archaic part of our brain take care of the process of childbirth, is to have confidence in its own capacity to give birth, and being able to let our inner Mama Wolf out of its cave ...
What did you think of this article?
Did you decorate the birth room in order to feel comfortable?
How do you see your perfect birthplace?
Do not hesitate to comment!

And if you liked, do not hesitate to share! Thank you and see you soon!
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Amandine Polovsteva
Hatha Yoga Teacher
Prenatal Yoga
Well Woman Yoga
Pleasurable Birth Preparation Practitioner
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