UP YOUR OXY­TOCIN

Your Pregnancy - - Pregnancy Files -

Labour is an ex­cit­ing time fraught with all kinds of emo­tions! But don’t let your­self get stressed over it. Cer­tain types of per­son­al­i­ties and life­styles can sup­press oxy­tocin pro­duc­tion. “Oxy­tocin and stress hor­mones (such as adrenalin and cor­ti­sol) re­ally do not form a bal­anced equa­tion. The stress will al­ways dom­i­nate the body and oxy­tocin will be re­duced,” says Henny de Beer, a clin­i­cal mid­wife spe­cial­ist at Ori­gin Fam­ily-Cen­tred Ma­ter­nity Hos­pi­tal and a se­nior part­ner in the Grove De Beer Mid­wife Prac­tice.

GET YOUR­SELF A LOVE BOOST DUR­ING LABOUR

■ STAY CALM, COM­FORT­ABLE AND CON­FI­DENT. What­ever helps you get to your happy place – do it. ■ AVOID DIS­TUR­BANCES in the room and around your space, such as un­wel­come peo­ple or noise, and un­com­fort­able pro­ce­dures. ■ STAY UP­RIGHT as much as pos­si­ble dur­ing labour. This uses grav­ity so that the baby presses against the cervix and then, as the baby is born, against the tis­sues of the pelvic floor. ■ TOUCH IS THE BIG­GEST OXY­TOCIN CUE – hugs, em­braces, kisses, you name it. ■ STIM­U­LATE THE NIP­PLES or cli­toris be­fore birth to re­lease oxy­tocin. ■ GIVE BABY A CHANCE TO SUCKLE shortly af­ter birth to give bond­ing and the like­li­hood of breast­feed­ing suc­ceed­ing a boost.

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