3 Reasons Your Baby Needs You To Practice Relaxation

  1. When a mother is stressed she produces stress hormones also known as catecholamines. Your baby is directly affected and feels stress, through your blood stream, by these stress hormones. If you want to give your baby the message that labor is a good and safe experience, breathe deeply and practice relaxation daily in the last 3 months of your pregnancy.
  2. According to Dr. Grantly Dick-Read and his “Fear Tension Pain” theory, a woman’s fear of labor causes her to feel stressed. The stress hormones then cause her to tense up in response, and increase her experience of pain in labor. Most women’s pain in labor is largely due to the prevailing fear of labor in our culture. As mother’s perception of pain in labor increases, and the mother’s fear of what is happening increases, her tension increases, and her production of stress hormones increases. Then her pain in labor increases, which then cycles back to increase her fear. This succession of negative reactions creates an unending cycle of fear, tension, and pain in labor.
  3. Tensing up in labor can inhibit your body’s normal physiological processes. This can slow down labor causing dysfunction, and possibly cause changes in your baby’s heart rate or fetal distress.Fetal distress is often a reason for having an unplanned Cesarean

The Reality: “Easy” Labor Isn’t So Rare

“Ronald Melzack researched experiences of pain, and studied the pain of labor. Through his research he found that overall childbirth can be called severely painful, but the intensity of the pain is variable. About 25% of first time mothers and only 11% of experienced mothers rated labor as horrible or excruciating. In fact 9% of first time mothers and 24% of experienced mothers said they had low levels of pain. With 17% of women having low levels of pain, the “easy” labor can not possibly be as rare as we think it is.” from

by Liza Janda,