Labor and Birth Packet Preview - Page 16

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The Labor Environment

Labor and birth involve a complex interaction of hormones , which directly affects your progress and pain levels . The environment surrounding you during labor influences these hormones , as well as your level of mental and emotional relaxation .
Oxytocin
• Also called “ the love hormone ,” it is one of A laboring woman needs privacy , respect , the hormones responsible for feelings of love praise , encouragement and continuous support and affection . to best cope with her labor and maintain the
• Released in pulses during labor to stimulate balance of hormones . Maintaining this balance the uterus to contract . will keep her labor effective and her discomfort
• Responsible for final reflexes leading to the manageable . Here are some specific ideas to birth , as well as the milk let-down reflex in create a comfortable environment for labor : lactating mothers .
• water for labor or birth
• Helps you stay calm by lowering stress levels and

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facilitates bonding after birth .
• soothing music
• calming scents / aromatherapy
Endorphins
• soft pillows and blankets
• a comfortable temperature
• Also called “ natural painkillers ,” these
• gentle lighting morphine-like chemicals are made by the
• supportive companionship body and act on the nerve cells to decrease the sensations of pain and increase positive
Describe your ideal environment : sensations .
• Properties similar to synthetic opioids , _______________________________________ working on the same receptors in the brain .
• Key to helping laboring women enter a deep _______________________________________ state of focus and relaxation .
• Quantities increase in labor with the increase _______________________________________ in uterine contractions and are at their highest levels just after birth .
_______________________________________
Catecholamines
• Fight-or-flight hormones , including adrenaline , that are secreted in response to stress such as anxiety , fear , hunger , cold , or excitement .
• Oxytocin and adrenaline are antagonistic toward each other . If a woman is disrupted or fearful , oxytocin levels will be lower , which may slow or stall labor .
• Reach peak levels during second stage and as birth is imminent , giving mother energy .
Creating Your Environment
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Comfort Measures