What’s Physiologic Birth?
The mammalian nature of pregnant women has provided them with the innate ability to give birth. This instinct has been interfered with, on many occasions, by the predominant action protocols in current health systems. In many cases, these actions can lead to damages for both the mother and her baby’s health. Below, discover what physiologic birth consists of.
What’s physiologic birth?
Normal or physiologic birth is the biological process through which the baby sends signals to their mother to start labor. From that moment on, mother and baby begin a joint hormonal process that ends with the baby’s birth.
Just like the baby’s conception and development during pregnancy, both mother and baby are physiologically prepared for birth.
In what conditions does it occur?
Physiologic birth occurs through the segregation of two hormones:
- Firstly, oxytocin. It produces contractions and feelings of pleasure and prepares the mother and baby for birth.
- Secondly, adrenaline. It paralyzes childbirth in the face of any danger and focuses attention on fleeing and, also, on protection.
Birth occurs safely when directed by the mammalian brain. In this case, mother and baby come together in a sensory experience in which their instinct, regulated by oxytocin, guides the process. Any intervention of the neocortex (rational brain) secretes adrenaline. This hormone stops the natural birth process, inducing possible complications.
In order for the mother to secrete oxytocin and give birth naturally, she must feel safe, protected and, also, respected in an intimate setting. Experts indicate that, except for some complications, the birth process must occur naturally and without any type of intervention.
Why is it important to respect physiologic birth?
Respecting natural birth has positive consequences that go beyond the very fact of giving birth. A respected birth, which offers the mother an intimate environment, in which her freedom of action is respected and external interventions are minimized, allow the mother to immerse herself in the birth process in total connection with her baby.
The baby’s experience, from the moment of conception, will condition their development in adult life. Therefore, childbirth is another crucial moment whose development contributes to the baby’s subsequent evolution. The initiation of breastfeeding and the bond are highly conditioned by the type of delivery experienced by the mother-baby dyad.
Births in today’s health systems
During the 1970s, a birth care model called “Active Management of Labor” emerged in Ireland. In it, the gynecologist is the one who guides the labor and the laboring woman must follow their instructions to prevent possible pathologies that arise during labor. Many countries still use this system.
What happens when unnecessary interventions are made?
Based on the definition of physiologic birth, any intervention that’s a distraction for the mother, disrupts her connection with her body and her baby, and connects her with her neocortex can be considered unnecessary.
In this regard, many unjustified medical interventions (enema, shaving, continuous fetal monitoring, unnecessary pelvic exams, amniotomy, and, also episiotomy), along with other hospital conditions (too much light, too many people, noise, etc.) paralyze the secretion of oxytocin.
All this stops the natural birth process. Therefore, adrenaline starts to control the entire process, as a result of the mother’s fear and stress. From this moment on, birth complications can start.
The World Health Organization (WHO) includes the term obstetric violence to refer to the appropriation of a woman’s body and reproductive processes by health personnel, in the form of dehumanizing treatment, abusive medicalization, and pathologization of natural processes, involving a woman’s loss of autonomy and of the capacity to freely make her own decisions about her body and her sexuality, which has negative consequences for a woman’s quality of life.
Without ignoring the great benefits that medical advances produce in society, in the case of childbirth, experts should consider rethinking certain medical practices due to the damage they cause. In this sense, the WHO and other associations promote changes to benefit the re-establishment of respectful actions before childbirth.
In short, the health consequences will have a positive impact on future generations.It might interest you...
All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.
- Ministerios de Sanidad, Política Social e Igualdad. (2007). Estrategia de Atención al Parto Normal.
- Naciones Unidas. Naciones Unidas. Enfoque basado en los derechos humanos del maltrato y la violencia contra la mujer en los servicios de salud reproductiva, con especial hincapié en la atención del parto y la violencia obstétrica. Asamblea General.
- Lemay, Gloria. (n.d.). La naturaleza de parir y nacer. https://www.elpartoesnuestro.es/sites/default/files/public/documentos/parto/partonormal/2.-%20La%20naturaleza%20de%20parir%20y%20nacer_Gloria%20Lemay.pdf
- Odent, Michel. (n.d.). El Nacimiento de los mamíferos humanos. https://saludmentalperinatal.es/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/El-Nacimiento-de-los-mam%C3%ADferos-humanos.pdf