The short answer is yes.
In many cultures around the world pregnancy and birth are celebrated & honored with ceremonies, wholesome meals, and tradition. The Mother is nurtured physically and emotionally during pregnancy and protected after the birth. These societies realize that boding with baby promotes a stronger future for everyone.
We need to put the rainbows and daisies back into birth. You want some science to back that fluff up? Alright, hold onto your unicorns and lets roll.
Someone giving birth goes through a predictable rise and descent – a cascade – of an elixir of hormones during labor, birth, and into the postpartum period. When we support the production of these hormones (and avoid hormones that inhibit them) by being mindful of her environment…birth is automatically safer and more efficient. When a woman feels safe enough to follow her instincts, she will. So play the gentle piano music. Bring LED candles to have softer lighting when giving birth in a hospital. Did you know that both muscle stimulation and skin-to-skin contact promote hormone production supporting physiologic birth? Massage isn’t just some sweet coping solution…it’s actual science. If you want to give birth in a gorgeous robe made just for this occasion; absolutely valid.
Birth experiences, and remembering them impact us for the rest of our lives (also proven by research & evidence (Penny Simkin CD(DONA) ). These memories affect how parents bond with their babies. A traumatic birth experience can halt future family plans, influence breastfeeding relationships, and break marriages. Please, please put the rainbows and daisies back into birth. Normalize self care during labor (EH-HEM…limiting food and drink during labor is a wildly outdated practice and NOT evidence based.). Is it really overwhelmingly fantastical that we learn to meditate before we medicate, to help our babies out of our bodies? I think not.
This is still the short answer. The point is that feelings impact our hormones. Feeling loved, respected, and supported while bringing another life forward doesn’t have to happen in some far-off place.
It should be routine procedure.