Fearing childbirth may prolong labor

Dr. Stuart Fischbein chuckled when he read the title of the press release: “Women with a fear of childbirth endure a longer labor.”

The release was promoting a study published this week in BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.  Researchers at Akershus University Hospital in Norway found women who feared giving birth were in labor for 1 hour and 32 minutes longer, on average, than those who had no fear.

“I’m glad there’s now evidence to say that,” Fischbein said, “but it’s obvious.”

For those of us who aren’t OB/GYNs, it may seem more like a cruel joke. Women who are afraid of the pain and the possible medical complications associated with giving birth have to suffer through it longer? Study author Dr. Samantha Salvesen Adams initially thought her team would find the prolonged labor could be explained by other factors – women who feared birth the most were first time mothers, who are known to have longer labors anyway, or obstetric interventions like epidurals. But when those factors were taken into consideration, the difference in time between the fearless and the fearful was still 47 minutes.

“Mental stress is associated with physiological arousal and release of stress hormones,” Adams wrote in an e-mail. “During labour, high levels of stress hormones may weaken uterine [contractions].”

In other words, the adrenaline released when a body is stressed stops the oxytocin hormone production that makes a woman’s uterus contract, slowing labor. It’s a natural, biological response to fear, Fischbein said.

Fischbein, who’s also a co-author of “Fearless Pregnancy,” said women today are afraid of giving birth because they’re surrounded by horror stories.

“We have a society where sensationalism sells. They’re pounded with information [about] things that can go wrong with childbirth. Of course you develop fears.”

To understand Fischbein’s lack of surprise at the study results, you have to take a look at the way other mammals give birth.  For example, when cats, dogs or horses are in labor, they find dark places to have their offspring in peace.  They eat when they’re hungry, pace if they’re in pain and run if something comes near them.

Compare that to a hospital setting, where a woman is given ice chips, strapped to machines while laying in bed and surrounded by people who are constantly interrupting. Though the machines and medical personnel are sometimes necessary, Fischbein says the stress comes from being in an unfamiliar environment.

He recommends women find a doctor or midwife who will take the time to talk through their fears and dispense honest advice about the birthing process.

{Source of Article}

My mom reminded me ….

I was up in visiting my mom, stepfather and Sandbaai last week.

My mom reminded me of something I had completely forgotten about.

Years ago, I was in Standard 5, and I entered a writing competition.  I was 11 in Standard 5 – I turned 5 in Sub A, talk about having delayed puberty against my peers. Geez.

I think the competition was run  in a local newspaper, or The Argus, but I don’t really remember the details.

Basically I wrote about the fact that I did chores, and I loved my mom or something of that ilk.  I was 11, what did I know to write about?

The important detail is I won.  The sponsor was Dairybelle.  I received R300.00 or R500.00 in milk coupons – those plastic round disks that you used to exchange for Orange Juice or a Milk bottle.

Does anyone remember those plastic disks?  When I was younger milk or orange juice was delivered to your house in the morning in a glass bottle.  When you finished the juice/milk, you would put the bottle outside your front door, with a plastic disk in the bottle.

If the disk was white, the milk/juice man would leave a new bottle of milk, and if the disk was orange, he would leave an orange juice.  Fresh pulpy orange juice.  And you would reach out and pick up your bottles, outside your front door, and have them fresh for breakfast (or the milk was off if you got there late and it had stood in the morning sun).

Can you imagine fresh orange juice or milk outside your door – NOW – that no one steals?!  What an idea.

So there I was with a shit load of coupons, and I did not drink orange juice or milk – what is a girl to do?

My mom knew a guy, and that guy did drink orange juice and milk.  He was kind enough to take the disks off my hands, and give me the cash.  Back then R300.00 or R500.00 was a shit load of money.

I used the money (because now I was rolling in it) and I bought contact lenses!

I wore glasses than were as thick as the base of a 1.5 litre coke bottle.  I am like a minus 8 in one eye and a minus 8.4 in the other.  How blind is that you ask?  Get a labrador and a white stick blind – I am pretty blind.

I had been extremely self conscious about my glasses, and the opportunity to get contact lenses before I went to Standard Six was such a godsend.

Of course with contact lenses, one must get a cool hair cut which included short hair, a kuif (fringe) and a perm!!   All so bad, so very bad.  What ever my lenses redeemed, my near hair do shot out of the park.

Rocked 1985 like a rock star!!!!

The entire point of this post was to reminisce on my winning a writing competition as a child, which I had totally forgotten about and my mom had reminded me about this last weekend. Also on milk/orange juice disks.