The Fetal Ejection Reflex.
In the final stages of an undisturbed labour, the fetal ejection reflex is triggered, causing powerful, involuntary, expulsive contractions that enable us to birth our babies. As our baby moves through the pelvis, they will stimulate the nerve endings and initiate this incredible response within our bodies. At this point in labour you will have a huge surge in adrenalin, again contributing to initiating the fetal ejection reflex (thought to be so we have both energy for this moment, and that we become alert immediately after birth in order to protect our newborn babies!). In hospital settings, we sometimes see an external trigger for adrenalin production (such as discussions around instrumental birth or new people entering a room) cause this response too, as our bodies 'sense danger' and decide that baby is better out than in! It's important to note that surges in adrenalin earlier on in labour would have a different effect entirely, and usually causes labour to slow down or ‘stall’, because evolutionally the safest thing to do would be to ‘get away from the danger’.. so I wouldn’t recommend external triggers for adrenalin!!
Positive IVF Birth Story
Really delighted to be able to share Clare and Tom’s birth story with you today. After taking a private hypnobirthing course with myself, Clare and Tom felt empowered to ask for the support they needed from their healthcare team to get the birth they so wanted. Some hospitals, including theirs, recommend couples with an IVF pregnancy to give birth on the labour ward, (interestingly, others dont!). After discussing their options and the risks and benefits of each birth place with their healthcare team, Clare and Tom felt supported to opt for a Birth Centre birth! This story demonstrates so beautifully how The Positively Birthing Courses help in ways so much more than just ‘tools to use in labour’. Over to Clare for their story!
One of the first activities we run through on all the Positively Birthing courses is a list.. a list of things we ‘do want’ and things we ‘don’t want’ in our births.. it’s something that’s always incredibly personal from couple to couple, sometime’s its very practical things, sometimes much more emotional, but there’s something that almost ALWAYS comes up- CONTROL. And this is one that takes a bit of unpicking.
I went in to be induced at 10am on the Tuesday and had the propess at 12pm. Unfortunately the initial CTG suggested that Lara wasn’t coping very well so we needed continuous monitoring, which I found very restrictive as had to stay pretty static. I was able to go for a walk round the hospital at about 4ish and that really helped my outlook (it was good to get mobile and get some fresh air). At 5 I put my hypnobirthing tracks on my headphones and Richard and I cuddled up on the hospital bed to make the most of the relative lack of movement. Within 1/2 hour my waters had broken, and I definitely think the relaxation of the hypno tracks helped get me in the zone!
Most recent figures from the NHS show that women now have a 1 in 3 chance of having their labours induced, and only 52% of women’s labours start spontaneously. Induction numbers have crept up by over 10% in the past 10 years, and if trends continue over the next 10 years, we’ll potentially have less women going into spontaneous labour than having inductions and planned c-sections! A sad state of affairs for sure, but therefore something, as pregnant women, we should definitely be prepared for. If you’re facing an induction of labour, how can you make that as positive an experience as possible?