Home About Us For Expectant Families Blog Directory For Professionals Calendar Continuing Education Contact
SHOPPING LINKS: My Account | View Cart | Checkout   YOUR CART TOTAL: $0.00   Bookmark and Share
Hormones During Labor and Birth  


Hormones play a huge role in pregnancy and in the birth process. Here is an overview of hormonal interactions.

hCG: The early chorionic villi of the implanted ovum secrete human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), which prolongs the life of the corpus luteum. The result is the continued production of estrogen and progesterone, which are necessary to maintain the endometrium. During pregnancy, hCG appears in maternal blood and is excreted in the mother's urine, allowing diagnosis of pregnancy by tests.

hPL: The chorionic cells of the placenta produce another hormone, human chorionic somatomammotropin which is also known as human placental lactogen (hPL). This hormone influences somatic cell growth of the fetus and facilitates preparation of the breasts for lactation.

The increase in hCG and hPL in the mother is thought to be responsible for many important changes during pregnancy such as growth of the uterus and the development of the breast duct system. Estrogen is also helpful in breast duct system development and progesterone is valuable in the development of the lobule-alveolar system.

The pituitary gland enlarges during pregnancy and is the source of production of oxytocin. The posterior lobe is the primary source of oxytocin, which has a stimulating effect on the uterine muscle and lactation.

The adrenal cortex increases in activity during pregnancy. The secretion of cortisol by the adrenals does not change yet the metabolism of cortisol is changed as a result of estrogen. There is an increase in aldosterone production by the adrenal glands and this hormone results in the decreased ability of the kidneys to handle salt during pregnancy. This leads to some fluid retention or edema.

Relaxin is produced by the ovaries and is primarily responsible for softening ligaments and cartilage. The softening of cartilage, especially in late pregnancy, is the cause of suprapubic discomfort, waddling, and the ability of the pelvis to spread during the birth process.

According to Pregnancy Childbirth and the Newborn by Simkin, Whalley and Keppler, "Caffeine causes an increased production of the stress hormones epinephrine (adrenalin) and norepinephrine (noradrenalin). These hormones constrict peripheral blood vessels, including those in the uterus, which results in a temporary decrease in the amount of oxygen available to the fetus." Fear and anxiety during labor can also facilitate the release of these two hormones, resulting in the prolonging or cessation of labor, most commonly at the 5 cm point.

Often mistaken as hormones, endorphins are naturally occurring opiate-like substances that influence the transmission of pain impulses. Possibly neurotransmitters, endorphins present at the synapses of nerve cells result in the cessation of pain. Failure to release endorphins allows pain to occur. When pain medication is administered, natural endorphins are not produced. As the medication subsides, the natural endorphin level is not matching the pain sensation, which has been rising. This is the reason why when an epidural is turned off to allow the client a chance to push with her urge to push, the pain of the contractions is nearly overwhelming. It is important to note that it is theorized that endorphin production may be inherited and may be stimulated by a variety of alternative therapies such as massage and acupressure.




6 is the New 4!

View More
6 is the New 4!

The definitions are changing! Let everyone know about it!

Our Price: $$2.00

Item in stock!
Benefits of Water Labor/Water Birth

View More
Benefits of Water Labor/Water Birth

Beautiful photos and references!

Our Price: $$7.95

Item in stock!
Childbirth Education Chart Set

View More
Childbirth Education Chart Set

15 of our best table top charts in one handy binder!



Our Price: $$99.95

Item in stock!
Peanut Ball

View More
Peanut Ball

Also known as the Physio-Ball, this increases stability during labor!

Our Price: $$69.95

Item in stock!
Lamaze Childbirth Education Seminars

View More
Lamaze Childbirth Education Seminars

This Seminar explores adult learning principles, group dynamics and how to teach about normal birth, interventions, cesareans/VBACs, how to use audiovisuals and so much more.

Free shipping for this item!
Item in stock!
Birthing Ball - 65 cm

View More
Birthing Ball - 65 cm

We have the lowest prices on medical-grade physio-therapy birth balls!



List Price: $$32.50
Our Price: $$30.00
You Save: $$2.50 (8%)

Item in stock!
Childbirth Educator Office CD-ROM

View More
Childbirth Educator Office CD-ROM

Essential forms + curriculum for your childbirth education business with over 50 handouts!

Our Price: $$29.95

Item in stock!
  
CIMS

Please feel free to look around, read our disclaimer, and check out the links to other related sites. If you have any questions, send us a message.

We will reply as soon as possible. Funding for this site is provided solely by Perinatal Education Associates, Inc. Perinatal Education Associates, Inc. undertake to honor or exceed the legal requirements of medical/health information privacy that apply in the State and Country where this website is located. All content is written by the owners of the site unless otherwise noted.

Privacy Policy: Perinatal Education Associates, Inc. does not record or maintain any information, confidential or otherwise, in any database. No names, email addresses or other data is retained. This website does not use cookies. The site undertakes to honor or exceed the legal requirements for medical/health information privacy worldwide.

All articles appearing on www.birthsource.com were written by the founder/President of Perinatal Education Associates, Inc unless otherwise noted. The information on www.birthsource.com is copyrighted. Unauthorized use of the exact content will be met with legal action. To obtain permission to use this information, please contact info@birthsource.com.


Birthsource.com...your ONE source for birthing information!

Vote for this site in The Webs Best Natural Birth Sites


Website Last Updated: Friday, October 24, 2014 | For information about this site or for permission to reprint, contact the Webmaster

Copyright 1999-2014 by Perinatal Education Associates, Inc. | Website Design by WEBSOURCE LLC, Dayton Ohio