On top of learning labor support techniques, how to take various measurements like fetal heart rates, and perfecting emergency procedures, I now realize that I also need to work on my comedy routine — thanks to this lovely post on Using Comedy in Labor. Laughter massages the uterus, and helps us release endorphins and oxytocin, which incidentally plays a huge role in birth.
Of course! What fun; laughing your way to labor! I imagine this would also help to keep moms in early labor feeling good, safe, and positive rather than scared or worried about what is to come.
I like SarahVine’s advice to watch favorite youtube videos (virtual doula bag, anyone?), and tried to think of things that make me laugh. You know what makes me laugh the most? Other people laughing!
And speaking of youtube. Confession Time. When I’m not surfing for birth videos, I really enjoy watching clips of puppies (snoring, yawning, tumbling, galloping puppies). It’s the perfect end-of-a-long-day antidepressant and it makes me feel soo gooood. I started to wonder; does watching puppy videos help us release oxytocin, too?
Feeling the oxytocin now, right?
According to one blog by an applied animal behaviorist and dog trainer, at least one study shows that the level of oxytocin in dog owners increases when their dogs gaze at them.
Could mamas watch videos of puppies (or better yet, cuddle with their beloved pet) to help start their labor? I know it’s a little silly, but for dog lovers, why not? All folks are so different, and so are their births. Accordingly, I think it’s important to be creative in helping women cope with the process in whatever ways feel good to them.
Ok, just one more (thanks for this one, Sebastien!).
What are your favorite oxytocin-inducing videos?