New Beginnings Doula Training

New Beginnings Doula Training
Courses for doulas and online childbirth education

Friday, January 15, 2010

The effects of stress

The role of stress in labor is usually not taken into consideration, in my experience, but it does appear ot have an effect on how well the uterus is oxygenated.

When a woman is stressed (either from something physical or psychological), there is an increase in the hormone norepinephrine and epinephrine. These help to shunt blood to the most vital organs. Because of this, there is a decrease in the amount of oxygen available to the uterus and thus the baby. Therefore, it is a good idea to take these things into consideration while a woman is in labor.

Obstetrics: Normal and Problem Pregnancies, 5th ed. Gabbe et al.
Fanaroff and Martin's Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine, 8th ed. Martin et al.

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Birth is a Journey: Does it have to be life changing?

  • One woman might have to climb on an overfilled boat, risking her life and nearly dying as she escapes over the ocean to come to this land. This experience could certainly be life altering. It may very well color the rest of her life, positively or negatively. (I overcame this amazing struggle and here I am triumphant! OR Holy crap, that was SO hard I don’t know if I can go on! By the way, neither response is “right”. No one would judge the woman with the 2nd response.)
  • One woman may buy an airplane ticket, sit on a comfortable 747 and fly to America with a nice smooth flight and landing. She is happy to be in America. Those welcoming her are glad she is here safe and sound. She may only travel by plane 2-4 times in her life, so it is pretty memorable. But the journey itself probably wouldn’t be life changing; it would simply be a journey.
  • One woman may learn to fly an ultra-light plane to lead a flock of geese into America teaching them to migrate. This experience could certainly be empowering and life altering.