• Natural opiates in the body
  • Potent
  • effective painkillers.
  • ‘floaty light’ feeling like all opiates
  • hormone travels to the brain faster than any feelings of pain and blocks the pain receptors, so by the time pain signals reach the brain, the perception of pain is far less.
  • The levels of endorphins in your blood stream are going to be higher.
  • The high levels of amnesia-causing hormones are responsible for ‘baby brain’.
  • In pregnancy, YOU are physically working hard  – You are growing a human
  • They increase towards the end of your pregnancy helps you prepare for the physical effort of labour
  • You become more internally focused and tune into your baby.
  • Endorphin levels increase during labour, a few days after birth, they drop back to pre-pregnancy levels as other hormones start doing their job, and this drop is often experienced as ‘the baby blues not to be confused with post-natal depression.
So, during labour and birth, Endorphins:
  • Produce powerful pain-killers in response to the physical process of labour and the uterine contractions.
  • Create a sense of well-being and promote positive feelings.
  • Mother withdraws from the outside world, thinking brain increasingly internally focuses, she tunes into her baby and her body – more instinctive in her birthing behaviour.
  • Amnesiac effect = women have memory gaps of their labour = natural reward for giving birth
Following birth:
  • Prime the reward centres in the brain, making contact with and loving the baby a positive thing.
  • Create a positive emotional climate for the first meeting with the baby.
  • Provide a feeling of satisfaction and achievement with the birth which increases self-esteem and confidence.
  • Lower stress in both mother and new-born, making the initial breast feed easier.
The Oxytocin produced in labour, encourages the increasing production of endorphins via the body’s feedback system. Therefore  anything that interferes with the physiological production of Oxytocin is also going to have a knock-on effect when it comes to the production of Endorphins.