Learning natural childbirth relaxation techniques provides many benefits - both mental and physical. In truth, relaxation techniques are critical coping skills for navigating the stresses of everyday life. In today's world, our stress levels are so much higher than ever before. It's not that our lives are harder, but that the types of stress we endure are different.
Much of our stress comes from things that are beyond our control - rising inflation, lessened job security, higher health care costs, unstable economies, tighter budgets... if you weren't stressed before, you are now! When a growing lack of family/community support is factored in, many people are at the end of their rope.
This mental and physical stress can manifest physically. The levels of hormones like adrenaline and cortisol rise, as does blood pressure. Stress can even impair brain function, leading to problems with healing, immune system function, sleep quality, and memory.
In short, without employing relaxation techniques, we are at the mercy of the stress in our lives.
While this is a nightmare for any person, it can be especially dangerous to a pregnancy. With higher blood pressure comes the danger of developing eclampsia. With decreased immunity and healing powers, the body is less equipped to handle and rebound from childbirth. It's also critical to note that when stress manifests physically, the hormonal changes that take place in the body can then affect the pregnancy and developing baby. This can be witnessed in fetal heart rate and growth patterns.
However, many studies have shown that frequent use of relaxation techniques can:
When natural childbirth relaxation techniques are implemented, stress and anxiety levels are lowered which can lead to other benefits such as:
While none of the natural childbirth relaxation techniques will work equally well for every person, there are many options available. Finding what works best for you is the key, and it's enjoyable too.
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Page Last Modified by Catherine Beier, MS, CBE
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