Bismillah al-Rahman al-Rahim
I am pleased to share this thought provoking article by Zuzana Nadova, a trained midwife and dear friend. She shares her research about some very important points concerning the risks and effects of the all-too-common practice of interfering with laboring women's natural patterns of hormonal secretions for birth.
Most mothers who agree to drug induced labor induction, augmentation (speeding labor), and non-emergency Cesarean are unaware of the interference in the natural hormonal symphony that is designed to take place in our bodies during labor for a reason, subhan'Allah. These important points are brushed over by the medical community, usually without a single mention to the mother who usually puts her unquestioning trust in her doctor.
I hope this article raises the awareness of many mothers and will cause them to think twice before allowing their birth team to interfere with the natural hormonal plan provided to us by our Creator.. I welcome such thought provoking articles and would love to share others...now on to the article...A Plea for Natural Birth...
In modern societies most childbirths occur in hospitals with the assistance of the latest technologies. Protocols are being carried out and policies followed. But what about mothers and their wishes or decisions? What do we really know about the consequences of such approaches to pregnancy and childbirth, the beginning of a journey of a new human being? Can we comprehend the effect it will have and what we will face in the future?
Currently, a lot of births are conducted as follows:
- Induction (forcing labor to start) by the administration of drugs (oxytocin and prostaglandins)
- Augmentation (speeding spontaneously occurring labor) by administrating drugs (oxytocin)
- Use of analgesics and epidural anesthesia (pain medications)
- Cesarean sections (surgical removal of baby) and even elective Cesarean section
- Deliveries in an unfamiliar environment (hospital)
Oxytocin is hormone which produced in brain. It stimulates:
- Peripheral action
- uterine contractions
- let down reflex of lactation
- Central effect
- decreases fear
- increases trust
- encourages bonding
- stimulates maternal behavior
Prostaglandins regulate contractions and are directly responsible for contraction of the uterus during labor. Synthetic prostaglandins, which are administered during induction of labor, suppress prolactin secretion , the hormone responsible for milk production, and thus cause difficulties with breastfeeding.
Endorphines are produced in brain during pain and prolonged workouts like childbirth. They resemble opiates and produce analgesia (natural relief from the pain). They also cross the placental barrier and help the baby coping with labor. Administering medical analgetics and opiates during labor may disturbe the natural opioid system and decrese the production of natural endorphins, thus decreasing the natural supply to the baby.
Childbirth in an unfamiliar environment may produce anxiety and stress. During stressful situations the body releases adrenalin to cope with emergencies. Adrenalin acts as an antagonist to oxytocin, so a stressful birthing environment can slow the progress of birth and endanger its results.
Clearly, interventions and the use of medications during labor have immediate effects on the mother and baby in terms of the spontaneous progress of labor. Interventions also create need for more interventions. Notably, many interventions result in difficulties with breastfeeding.
Some scientists are examining the long-term effects of such labors, hypothesing about possible conseqences after interfering with the natural hormonal system. They are studying the possible links between hormonal interference during labor and the baby's stress reactions, human bonding, anxiety disorders, depression, and even autism.
" 80% of the blood reaching the fetus via the umbilical vein goes directly to the inferior vena cava via the ductus venosus, bypassing the liver, and therefore immediately reaching the brain: it is all the more direct since the shunts (foramen ovale and ductus arteriosus) are not yet closed. . . . Furthermore, it appears that the permeability of the blood-brain barrier can increase in situations of oxidative stress—a situation that is common when drips of synthetic oxytocin are used during labor. We have, therefore, serious reasons to be concerned if we take into account the widely documented concept of “oxytocin-induced desensitization of the oxytocin receptors.” In other words, it is probable that, at a quasi-global level, we routinely interfere with the development of the oxytocin system of human beings at a critical phase for gene-environment interaction." M. Odent
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