KGH Blog: The Science of Love
Updated: Dec 27, 2019
Valentines Day, the focus is on love, love, love and lots of it! If you’re expecting a baby, then making love happen and not just in the biblical sense can support you and your birth partner in experiencing a positive pregnancy and birth.
Oxytocin Plays the Starring Role
This tiny little amino acid peptide known as oxytocin plays the starring role for all mums to be throughout pregnancy, birth and the post natal period.
In Hypnobirthing terms, and for any and all pregnant mums to be and their partners, the hormone oxytocin is essential for an easier, more comfortable and swift birth experience. Oxytocin is a shy hormone though, and will only flow in abundance when we feel safe, loved, protected and deeply relaxed in familiar surroundings. When it comes to birth this cannot always be guaranteed but we can always be mindful of how to best coax this wonder hormone to the fore.
In Early Pregnancy
Some easy ways to boost oxytocin in the first trimester can be as simple as singing songs to your bump, connecting with a friend, petting an animal or snuggling up to your partner. Just visualizing oodles of happy thoughts can provide a rush of oxytocin. Amazing. Unfortunately there’s no magic pill you can take to produce oxytocin, so you’ll need to make a conscious effort to raise your levels. The good news is that raising levels is fun and activates the reward system in the brain which makes it superbly enjoyable to do and easy to stick to. Plus, making oxytocin is not limited to mothers - dads and birth partners can boost their own oxytocin alongside by doing the same kinds of cup filling activities.
Throughout your pregnancy you can continue to strengthen your relationship with your birth partner by focusing on raising your levels of oxytocin on a daily basis. Did we mention eating chocolate boosts the hormone of love? This wonderful hormone is scientifically proven to make you happier and friendlier too. As your pregnancy progresses, you can indulge yourself with bubble baths, funny films, singing, dancing and of course, loving sex with your partner.
Before and During your Babies Birth
Gentle love making serves your body with far more than just an oxytocin bonus – semen contains prostaglandins, a known cervical ripening agent which is just perfect for getting birth going. More importantly, this hormone works its magic by shaping the strength and frequency of mum’s surges helping her to enjoy an easier, more comfortable birth. Quite simply, the more calm, relaxed and loved up mum feels the more oxytocin is produced, the more effective your surges will be.
Post birth oxytocin whizzes through the body in exponentially high amounts allowing for the easy exit of the placenta and the ejection reflex for breast milk! Dads and birth partners can get their fill of oxytocin by cuddling skin to skin with their baby. This wonder hormone helps mum forge deeper, happier and more satisfying bonds with baby. Both parents can support one another to produce oxytocin each and every day by cuddling, kissing, sharing conversation and of course, bringing home chocolate bars!