Stress at baby delivery is something all moms need to take into account. Your stress gets transferred to the baby. Let’s find out how it affects them.
Stress both in pregnancy and delivery isn’t something we talk enough about. We act like pregnant women are workhorses that can handle anything, but in reality that stress is being passed on to their baby.
But, how do I know about this?
Hi! I’m Hilary — many people know me as The Pregnancy Nurse 👩⚕️. I have been a nurse since 1997 and I have 20 years of OB nursing experience, I am also the curly head behind this website Pulling Curls and The Online Prenatal Class for Couples. 🩺 With all that experience (plus three pregnancies of my own) I’ve learned a lot about how stress affects both mom and babies.
I’ve had a lot of freaked-out moms.
And I’ve had a lot of moms who didn’t want to get an epidural.
Some were prepared for it. They had taken classes in it or had really thought it through. Some even had an experienced and helpful doula.
But, more frequently I get a woman who feels like she “has great pain tolerance”.
Then, I get to hear her scream like a banshee for the next 12 hours until the baby comes out. Culminating her turning into the exorcist girl before delivery.
Sure all you labor nurse haters are saying that I’m standing to the side charting not caring at all — but I’m in there telling her to breathe as she pinches my boobs, kicks my stomach and screams obscenities — all the while refusing the epidural because it’s “what’s best for the baby.”
What happens next has started to make me take notice.
That baby comes out.
All those stress hormones, pumped into it’s little body from a mom who literally feels like she’s dying.
They come out, and they’re done. They don’t want to breathe, they don’t want to move. They want to just want a nap!
Only problem is — now is their turn. Time to cough up that fluid in their lungs, heat themselves, start pooping.
Now it’s their show.
But, they want to stay in the green room.
(so, we nurses do a lot of effort to get them started)
It’s really made me start to think about stress in the delivery room.
I’m sure, if you made it through high school science, you remember that there are stress hormones. The whole flight or fight response.
Those hormones give our bodies quite a workout. You know your heart pounds, your vision changes — the whole nine yards.
But, babies have lived a life of basically bliss. Yes, mom might have had episodes of stress, but following that — the baby had a time to relax and unwind.
Anyway — when you consider a “natural” delivery. I think it’s important to be prepared for the stress you will face with the pain.
If you can handle it with fortitude and tolerance, then things are going to be great. A natural delivery is one of my most favorite things in the world.
My big piece of advice: Labor pain is not something that the vast majority of women can face without a plan. That plan includes:
- Awareness of what will happen in the delivery room, so you aren’t caught off guard
- Some ideas on how to get through the pain, that you have practiced quite a bit before coming to your delivery
- Awareness of what will happen to your body as you progress through labor naturally
The Online Prenatal Class for Couples covers all of those. Awareness of what will go on, plus a whole bonus video on natural pain management to cope with pain as it comes.
How are you preparing for delivery? Tell me in the comments!
Be sure to grab my free hospital packing list right here: