Nourish Mama by Sherry Rothwell

Posts Tagged ‘physiological birth’

Reset Your Brain to Birth Instinctively!

“Contact is good for babies- and their parents- right from the beginning period. And it improves not just their relationship. Allowing time to bond helps increase childhood IQ scores, keeps families intact, and reduces the likelihood of childhood abuse”. Tina Cassidy author of BIRTH-The Suprising History of How We are Born

In the last post we learned that how we give birth impacts our ability to access the inner parenting blueprint that resides in our soul. While that blueprint is always available to us in the here and now (the past does not equal the future), we have biological capabilities that assist us to access the blueprint without our conscious willing of it.

While the soul intuitively understands that how we give birth psychologically impacts our babies perception of what life is and also our own way of being as a mother, it is a lesser known fact that the body and it’s physiology also affects the psychology of mothering.

Few know that there is a hormonal blueprint of labour that initiates bonding and can over ride the mind and its conflicting ideas about right and so called “wrong” ways to mother a child if a mother can yield to it.

Love for our baby is not just a fondness that we experience, but rather it is the natural physiological outcome of the oxytocin peak that occurs when labour and birth are undisturbed and instinctive.

Many women miss out on this hormonal surge due to internal fears along with modern birthing conditions and practices.

In order to experience the natural hormonal imprint of birth, there are certain internal and external conditions that need be met, to allow our body to be experience the oxytocin peak that will guide our mothering instincts in the direction of our baby’s highest interests.

Internal Conditions:
-instinctive birth
-feelings of love, trust and safety that allow a mother to surrender to the altered state of childbirth
-consciousness moving from the neo-cortex (rational thinking mind) to the primal brain that knows how to give birth (psychologically undisturbed birth).

External Conditions:
-quiet, minimal-to-no eye contact and absence of bright light
-small, safe space guarded by a trusting, quiet unobtrusive presence
-natural labour and birth (absence of unnecessary interventions that inhibit instinctive birth and mothering)
– comfortably warm environment
-1 hour undisturbed after the birth of mother/baby/father bonding with out interruption by caregivers

While the conditions that support birth and mothering seem intuitive, finding a caregiver who can stand back and witness without observing and guard the birthing space without interrupting the mother, is hard to come by, yet not impossible to find.

The best way to get the care you desire, is to read the following books (see references) and share what you are learning with your caregiver.

Please understand that doctors and registered midwives are bound by medical protocol. While your caregiver may want to offer you the kind of birth you are asking for, their medical training and protocol may make it challenging and sometimes even illegal for them to do so. Therefore if you choose to hire a caregiver, find one that is receptive and relate to them with consensus (finding solutions that don’t compromise, but rather ones that serve the needs of everyone involved, including the well-being of your baby). It isn’t fair to expect your caregivers to offer you something that they are not comfortable with, just as it is unjust for caregivers to impose beliefs and expectation into your birth, that are not aligned with your intentions.

If consensus with a medical caregiver does not seem possible given the birthing climate where you live, consider hiring a lay midwife, or asking other women who are experienced in birthing their own babies at home, to assist you in your birth (this is the way we have always given birth anyway!). From the beginning of time grandmothers, aunties and experienced mothers have attended other mothers in birth! Some Doulas are comfortable with a woman’s right to choose not to hire a registered caregiver. Seek and ye shall find.

Another birthing option is to birth unassisted. While not for all woman, women who are very confident and who have a deep trust and faith in life and in their body’s, are choosing to have their babies all by themselves! This movement is growing all over the world and there are many internet support groups for this birthing option. It certainly is one way to embrace your power as the authority of your own body and to take full responsibility to mother your baby following your soul’s intuitive nudging every step of the way!

If you are choosing to birth in the hospital, please do your research about labour induction with synthetic oxytocin (pitocin). Induction of labour with synthetic drugs interrupts the hormonal interplay of labour and birth and makes it impossible to get the oxytocin peak that mothers are biologically meant to be gifted with for optimal primal bonding. If that weren’t unfortunate enough, even mothers who labour naturally in the hospital are at the last minute injected with pitocin just as their babies are about to be born, making even a natural hospital birth, biologically unnatural.

The implications of a last minute shot of pitocin is tragic and here’s why: while our natural bonding hormone, oxytocin crosses the blood brain barrier and initiates bonding- synthetic pitocin on the other hand fills our receptor sites, BUT does not cross the blood brain barrier and therefore cannot initiate instinctive bonding.

This is tragic because most women birth in the hospital and pitocin injection at birth is routine care! This means that the majority of women giving birth are not biologically set up to be bonded with their babies!

Thank goodness that we can consciously choose to love our children and can override our instincts or lack of them and access our soul’s wisdom anyway if we consciously desire it -but we must ask ourselves how does the lack of an oxytocin peak set us up to mother our children? How do we know if the mother we are, is the mother we are capable of being? How would we know the difference?

Do you want access to all of your biological capabilities as a mother, or are you content to give up your mothering blueprint?

The routine use of pitocin in the third stage is used under the guise of preventing post partum hemorrhage. Pitocin injection is used, instead of facilitating an undisturbed birth and patiently watching and waiting for the body to expel the placenta naturally. This requires time and the recognition of each woman’s individuality- something doctors don’t have time for and unfortunately they are not trained to attend birth in this way.

According to Obstetrician Dr. Michel Odent, there would be virtually no postpartum hemorrhage if the first hour after birth is undisturbed and if all birthing environments were warm. Unfortunately these are conditions that medical mindsets have not yet been that quick to embrace!

So how will you create the conditions to reset your brain to birth instinctively in your birth?

References and Resources:
Birth and Breastfeeding-Dr. Michel Odent
Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering-Dr. Sarah Buckley
Unassisted Childbirth– by Laura Shanley

Dr. Sarah Buckley’s website-
Dr. Michel Odent’s website-
Laura Shanley’s website-

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