Fight or Flight

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Oxytocin is our ‘love’ hormone. It’s what the body releases when we have a cuddle, when we have sex, when we have an orgasm or when we have a laugh. Surprisingly, it is also the hormone that fuels labour. 

Every single surge/urge/tightening/wave/contraction you experience in labour is fuelled by oxytocin. So much so that if you are induced, the drug you’re given is called ‘Syntocinon’ which is literally just synthetic oxytocin.

Labour is actually designed to feel GOOD. Whether you are induced or labour is spontaneous, your body is fuelled by the lovely oxytocin. The other hormone that can appear in labour is adrenaline. The body releases adrenaline when we’re stressed, frightened or anxious. 

Unfortunately for a lot of people, those are the first emotions they experience when thinking about birth – so you can see how unhelpful that is.When our body releases adrenaline, our heart rate increases which in turn causes more circulating blood around our body. This causes our body to go into overdrive and enters ‘fight or flight’ mode, pumping more blood to your arms and your legs (and away from your uterus). 

This is really unhelpful in labour, as your uterus is a muscle (yes muscle) that needs all of the oxygen rich blood to do its job effectively and more efficiently aka quicker and more comfortable labour. 

In short, oxytocin will fuel your labour and adrenaline will hinder it.

So if you are reading this and thinking about your impending labour with your heart pounding through your chest, don’t forget labour is actually designed to feel good – it’s just up to us, to allow ourselves to find a way to believe this is actually possible.

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About Kate

Kate Sedon is a Registered Nurse & Midwife who trained in Australia in 2007. She has settled down in The Coromandel, New Zealand, with her soulmate fisherman, two gorgeous sons, and their black lab.

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Kate Sedon is a Registered Nurse & Midwife who trained in Australia in 2007. She has settled down in The Coromandel, New Zealand, with her soulmate fisherman, two gorgeous sons, and their black lab. She has worked in all areas of Women’s Health, from Fertility & Neonatal Intensive Care Units in London to Nursing in the middle of Outback Australia, and all kinds of Birthing & Maternity Units in between. Since having her own children, she has been working on bringing this baby to life.

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Kate Sedon is a Registered Nurse & Midwife who trained in Australia in 2007. She has settled down in The Coromandel, New Zealand, with her soulmate fisherman, two gorgeous sons, and their black lab. She has worked in all areas of Women’s Health, from Fertility & Neonatal Intensive Care Units in London to Nursing in the middle of Outback Australia, and all kinds of Birthing & Maternity Units in between. Since having her own children, she has been working on bringing this baby to life.

She is passionate about all women thriving in motherhood and not being held back by their pregnancy and birth stories. She believes all mothers are born with an intuition that needs unlocking in pregnancy, so they can thrive in birth and motherhood.

She does this through her one-of-a-kind Made for Motherhood Academy & 1:1 Healing the Womb Wounds therapy.

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