The stage of labor and birth surprised netizens
Labor is controlled by the parasympathetic nervous system, through which oxytocin flows. Often called the “rest and digest” state, why is it important to know? When our bodies are put in a situation where we are afraid or anxious, the parasympathetic nervous system shuts down and the sympathetic nervous system takes over, also known as fight or flight! When this happens, labor stops!
Prodromal labor: when the contractions don’t have a pattern yet! Consider that your uterus is practicing and training for the big event!
Preterm labor: when contractions become steady but are not close together yet. This is a good time to rest. The hormone that promotes further labor, oxytocin, is stimulated by feeling safe, protected and loved. Save energy for…
Active labor: when contractions are longer, stronger, and more frequent. This is when we most lean into our comfort measures and move our bodies to help labor progress. This is also when we often bring labor support and travel to our birthplace if you are not home.
Transition: The climax! There are many new sensations as the baby moves down and through the birth canal. It is normal for this to feel very intense. You are doing amazing!
Push: It’s time to get this baby out into the world! Some birthing parents experience the fetal ejection reflex, where they put no effort into getting the baby out, others put in a lot of hard work! Both are normal.
Baby’s Born: Congratulations and great job! It’s always amazing to bring a new human being into the world, whatever the story.
Birth of the placenta: The placenta follows shortly after the baby. What will you do with yours? Have a look. Bury it? encapsulate? Art?
Rest and recovery: In the days and weeks after the baby is born, it is especially important to take care of her body during labor. But the reality that many birthing people sincerely scream is that postpartum is forever!
It is always important to emphasize that this is not the only way people will experience labor and birth! We wish everyone self-love and grace as they hold onto their labor and birth stories.