Essentially, you and I are mammals, very sophisticated, well-clothed and clever ones, but just mammals none the less. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Mammals that are left to give birth in a natural setting will characteristically:⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ * Find somewhere safe and quiet⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ * Usually give birth in the dark⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ * Appear very relaxed and calm⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ * Moan quietly and rhythmically⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ All mammals share the same physical processes and functions for reproduction - the release and fertilisation of eggs, the release of complex hormones, the contraction of the uterus to birth the baby and the production of milk. The strength and ability of the uterine muscles in a woman are similar to those of other female mammals. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ So, why is it that a human is often perceived to have such excruciating and agonising pain even giving birth, when other mammals do not?⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ The main difference between mammals and humans is that we have developed much larger and more complex brains. We still have the primal part of the brain, which functions in the same way as those in other mammals but we have also developed the newer part of the brain called the neocortex. It is this part which is responsible for the development of the intelligence, analysis, language, inhibitions and irrational fears. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ It is the stimulus to this part of the brain which causes the human mind to interfere with the instinctive birthing process and so lose ability to completely let go and surrender to the birthing brain. At the top of the list of differences are the emotions of fear and anxiety. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Fear and anxiety can have a real physical impact on the progress of labour in all mammals. ⠀
⠀⠀⠀⠀ During my course we talk more about the neocortex and ways to eliminate fear and anxiety when in labour.