How to Get More Oxytocin
Our bodies have amazing, natural chemical resources that help us connect, trust and be intimate with each other. Oxytocin, the hormone of love and trust is the Queen of intimacy; we get massive releases when we orgasm and also when we give birth. Natural birth Guru Michel Odent says “Whatever facet of love we consider, oxytocin is involved”.
If you’d like some appropriate music to listen to while you find out how to get more oxytocin, you’ll find Donna Summer doing her thing here.
Oxytocin is present throughout pregnancy where it reduces stress and conserves energy by making you feel sleepy. Here is a résumé of the different ways it supports a natural birth and the bonding with our baby afterwards.
The first role oxytocin plays in labour is in causing the uterus to contract.
Levels peak at the birth, which helps the placenta to be expelled easily.
Oxytocin levels will have been increasing in your baby’s body during labour too, so she is primed to connect.
It later supports the bonding between mother and baby. When you are left in peace, the oxytocin generates a positive feedback loop; the hormone creates feelings or trust, which makes you look into your babies eyes and stroke her skin, which in turn triggers more oxytocin to be released in both of you.
It plays a part in activating breast milk to be released.
Breastfeeding itself also triggers oxytocin and supports the bonding between mother and babe.
The good news is that is it very easy to stimulate oxytocin release; just stroking your own skin will generate a release. Being stroked, massaged, being intimate or gazing into someone’s eyes also creates pulsation a of oxytocin to course though your bloodstream.
But this hormone that creates so much trust and bonding is in itself very shy; it requires safety and quiet to be present. It does not like to be observed, and lurking judgments both conscious and unconscious can interrupt the flow.
So how can you maximise the amount of oxytocin in your labour? Thinking through your birth plan with this in mind you might want to one or more of these things:-
– Draw the curtains and turn down the lights in the room.
– Educate your birthing partner about how oxytocin works.
– Have your birthing partner learn how to massage you during labour.
– Ask your birthing partner to speak in a quiet voice.
– Plan to be left alone, quiet and peaceful for as much as possible.
– Find ways to be intimate with your partner; hugs, eye gazing, stroking, anything that feels good.
– Talk through your fears and find good ways to manage them EFT, natal hypnotherapy and hypnobirthing all have great results.
– Spend time alone with your baby after the birth, skin to skin, letting her suckle if she wants to.
– Have heart to heart chats with your close friends and family to manage their expectations of their presence immediately after the birth.
With hospital births being the norm, which come with their own rules and structures, any one of these easy changes could make a difference to your birth experience by increasing the flow of the love hormone.
I’d love to hear what you do to increase your Oxytocin flow, please leave a comment below and let me know. You can also share this article using the handy buttons below.
The beautiful image is from here