It may be hard to believe, but trying to rush a birth might make babies take their time. Really, stress hormones can actually send messages to you or your baby that things might not be safe out there.
“When is this baby coming?”
Most women say or have heard these words by 37-39 weeks of pregnancy that make them feel rushed to have their baby. Their partners, family, co-workers and yep, even their OBGYN’s, all say similar words. Talk about pressure. Want to find out more about why rushing your baby might make them take their time? Read along and let nature work for you.
Why the pressure?
Why the pressure and from who? Mom not only feels the pressure of her gorgeously huge belly pressing down on her bladder, but the pressure of those around her awaiting this bundle of joy. She hears comments before her due date like:
- “When’s that baby gonna get here?”
- “What’s taking that baby so long?”
- “You look like you’re ready to pop.”
- “OMG, you’re still pregnant!”
- “You poor thing; will they be inducing you soon?”
- From your OBGYN – “Baby seems really big; we should schedule your induction date.”
Talk about Stress!
Besides poor nutrition and lack of water, stress for pregnant women is also damaging. When people are stressed, they produce stress hormones called adrenaline and cortisol. In small and necessary amounts, stress hormones are useful and protective. WebMD is just one site that suggests that when a pregnant body is not in danger but experiences constant levels of these hormones, it could have adverse effects on maternal and fetal health.
Why rush nature?
If your baby is not in danger, studies show that your due date is an estimate on when you might go into labor. Only about 5% of women have their babies on their due dates. That certainly gives wiggle room for other dates. No one has discovered the exact reason for when and why your body starts the labor process. Scientists have few theories, and they deal with hormones released by the fetus itself and/or placenta. Regardless, we are not in charge of the actual labor date. As a birth doula, I like to remind my clients that rushing or stressing will increase those stress hormones, also known as the fight and flight hormones. If your body is experiencing this fight and flight reflex, then your baby might stay put till they feel you are safe. Who really wants to add more stress to their baby’s first real birthday?
So how do you manage feeling rushed?
Wanting the baby to be here is totally normal. Most pregnant women want to have their baby in their arms, smelling them, kissing them, seeing what color hair they have, etc. I remember what I was doing a couple of days before I went into labor with all my babies. I remember those days going by in slow motion. I remember wanting to see my babies like wanting to ________ ( you fill in the blank with something that you most look forward to). It could be your first or your fifth, we all get excited and anxious to fall in love with someone new.
Here are things you can do to pass the time and enjoy the final moments of this pregnancy.
- Research inductions and its effect on the natural process of hormones that will help you advance naturally through labor and recover quicker. Once you have done this you can tell that person that asked when the induction would be, to clear their schedule just in case there are induction complications and you need help.
- Check off that check list. Are you sure you have everything under control and if you do then….
- Try to get a pedicure. Certain foot acupressure points could start your contractions. Feeling relaxed also tells your baby they are safe and you are ready.
- Take walks on our gorgeous Sarasota Beaches.
- Go window shopping on St. Armand’s Circle.
- Have some friends over and play a board game. Laughter and good feelings increase your endorphins and endorphins are natural pain relievers. Laughter can also trigger contractions close to your due date.
- Watch a comedy or two.
- Go to a nice restaurant in Downtown Sarasota; you don’t know when you’ll get to do that again. It took me over 1/2 year.
- Anything that’s gets you to smile, have fun and move around.
- Oh and don’t forget to enjoy those kicks, pushes and alien type moves that your little one is creating.
Take a Deep Breath
Regardless of the many things one can do to bring on labor or in case of a medical induction intervention, take a deep breath. Would you rush a butterfly to open and take flight? Would you rush a flower to open, just so you could smell it? Know you will be holding your baby soon enough. They will be walking soon enough. Once they start school, and they are up on stage singing holiday songs with their classmates you will wonder, how time rushed by.