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Hormones in labour are fascinating.

Updated: Sep 26, 2019

1. Oxytocin is stimulated by love, hugs, touch, dim lights, privacy and is responsible for contracting muscles. If oxytocin isn’t present, the birth process can be more challenging. 2. Melatonin works well in dim lights, privacy and warmth and makes you feel very relaxed, therefore a very essential hormone.

3. Endorphins (athletes will be familiar with an endorphin high after a physical activity) Birth by its nature is a very physical activity and women often experience a higher level of endorphins and therefore the sensations they feel are tolerable to them. 4. Adrenaline: An increase in this hormone at the start or before the process can counteract the effect of oxytocin. It can slow down labour. This is why particularly in first timers, midwives encourage the couples to stay at home for as long as possible. 5. Relaxin loosens the ligaments in the uterus and allows the body to become more stretchy and elastic.

6. Prolactin helps us produce milk for our baby after birth. Oxytocin receptors are present in the mining of milk ducts.

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