Want to know a secret about birth?
Women don’t let their babies out unless they feel safe!!
Basic primal instinct for us humans. If we feel a threat, become stressed, or even scared while in labor, we will slow or stop labor from happening. This ensures that we keep ourselves and baby protected.
Just like a squirrel in the wild that finds a nice dark bush to labor under. If the squirrel senses a coyote near by, the squirrel’s hormones will shift - stopping her labor so that she can scurry up a tree. Once safe the squirrel’s labor will start again. This allows her to protect her babies (they can have anywhere from 2-4 at a time) and keep them safe from predators once they arrive.
Our bodies are designed in the exact same way. Our basic human instinct is to protect our off-spring at all cost. It ensures our survival. Very much like all mammals, if a laboring women starts to feel stressed, scared or perceives a threat, she will produce specific hormones (adrenaline being one of them) to help slow or stop her labor. This allows her to get to a safe place to birth her baby. Once she feels protected her hormones will shift again and labor will continue.
Currently, in our modern world most birth is relatively safe. We are safe from predators, have amble food and shelter, and have great medical care. However, inherently, labor & birth come with stress and insecurities. Many of these stresses can cause the same primal hormonal response in women and can slow or stop labor. If we are insecure, scared or nervous about releasing our baby, even if we are completely safe, labor can be very long and trying due to our hormonal stress levels.
The sense of safety is paramount!
Who makes women feel the safest?
Usually their partners and/or husbands!!
Your number one job is to make her FEEL SAFE!
SAFE? What exactly does that mean?
It means that you are present with your whole heart and soul.
It means that you come near.
It means that you listen.
It means that you see her.
It means that you love her like you do everyday.
It means that you are present!
Remember, partners have the easy job. You just have to be there. You have to hug her and talk to her and attend to her. Make her feel as loved and safe as the day you made this baby together.
ALL women should feel safe & loved in labor.
The more support women have in labor, the better experience she will have!
For more information on the topic of safety in labor and understanding the role of our partners please look into our Connected Childbirth series. In addition, our birth doulas services encompass this idea and give our partners more confidence in their ability to be present in the birth room. Please contact us for more information about these services if desired.