Childbirth Connection is a fantastic resource for finding the latest research in the labor and birth world. One of my favorite resources from their site is a booklet they have put together for expectant parents showing ways they can support the hormones that are leading their bodies through labor. The booklet is based on information from a report that came out this year entitled: Hormonal Physiology of Childbearing: Evidence and Implications for Women, Babies, and Maternity Care. This report was put together by Dr. Sarah J. Buckley, a well-respected leader in the area of hormones and their roles in childbearing.
Childbirth Connection’s booklet is called Pathway to a Healthy Birth: How to Help Your Hormones Do Their Wonderful Work. It takes Dr. Buckley’s report and makes it easily understandable for parents, providing action steps a pregnant mom can take to support her own labor, birth and breastfeeding experience.
Four of the major hormones that contribute to childbearing are: oxytocin, beta-endorphins, catecholamines and prolactin. All four of these can be affected by stress and medical treatments – both of which are all too abundant in most labor and birth scenarios! Click here to read through this whole booklet to learn how you can support your hormones, including a list of questions to discuss with your care provider. And don’t forget: taking a childbirth class that has your natural hormones in mind can make a huge difference!