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Why is screaming not helpful when giving birth?

Hands up if when you have watched a birth on a television programme or film that you have seen the woman screaming her head off or yelling at her birth partner through gritted teeth . . yeah mine hand is up in the air too!

So why is screaming not helpful for you and your baby during birth?

Screaming during birth puts your body in the fight or flight response.

Think about the last time you screamed. How were you feeling? What had happened to you?

When we scream we are normally terrified of something. I normally scream when I see a spider. It is my bodies natural response to a scary situation, to warm of danger and kicks my body in to its fight, flight or freeze response. All the blood with be pumped to my arm and leg muscles ready to fight or run.

Would this be helpful in labour and birth?

Think about your uterus being a big back of muscles. Not only will screaming mean that vital blood and oxygen will be redirected to your arms and legs and your body will be flooded with adrenaline which can actually stall or lengthen your labour.

Not what you want really is it?

Screaming during birth also causes tension in your jaw and the tension you hold in your jaw is linked to the tension you hold in your abdomen therefore screaming can also make the sensations of birth stronger leading you to become more uncomfortable.

Whilst screaming you are unable to practice all the amazing techniques that you may of learnt during your pregnancy to keep you calm such as calm breathing, listening to self hypnosis tracks or visualisations.

Screaming is also exhausting and you need to be using all the energy on working with your body to birth your baby.

So what can you do instead of screaming?

Mooing like a cow during birth will make you feel less tense

Think of the noises that animals make during birth. Mooing, humming, murmuring. These sounds will make you feel safe and will help your body to produce the bodies natural pain reliever, endorphins, which will be so helpful to you during your birth. It will also use less energy than screaming will too! Bonus!

As with all things it is important to 'go with your instincts' during birth. You may find yourself making strange noises that don't feel like they are coming from you . . . just go with it. Do what feels right for you in the moment.

My Hypnobirthing courses are full of tips and information like this and is designed to stack the odds in your favour to have a positive birth experience. We focus on understanding what is happening to your body so you know what to expect at every stage and things that you and your birth partner can do so that you are working with your body rather than against it.

For more information on my upcoming courses head to my website.

Kelly x x x

P.S I also have a free PDF workbook on my website packed with tips to support you in writing your birth preferences.


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