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The Importance of Oxytocin in Pregnancy and Birth

Oxytocin is often referred to as the "love" or "comfort" hormone and it plays a crucial role in pregnancy and birth. 


a couple enjoying a positive pregancy and birth

This powerful hormone is produced by the hypothalamus and released by the pituitary gland during labor and breastfeeding.


Oxytocin is responsible for stimulating the uterus during labor creating contractions (or as we prefer to call them in hypnobirthing, surges), helping the cervix to dilate and facilitating the delivery of your baby, this incredible hormone also stimulates the release of beta-endorphins, your body's own natural painkiller!


During pregnancy, oxytocin levels increase gradually, leading to the softening of the cervix and preparing it for labor. As labor progresses, oxytocin levels rise further, causing the uterus muscles to surge, working with you to help push your baby down through the birth canal. 


After birth, in the “golden hour”, oxytocin also helps you bond with your little one, as this hormone is released in large quantities during skin-to-skin contact and breastfeeding.


Oxytocin is not only important for the physical aspects of childbirth but also for the emotional well-being of both mother and baby, making it such a huge and important part of pregnancy and birth. 


So as you can see, oxytocin plays equally as important, but very different roles during both pregnancy and birth. There are many ways of boosting oxytocin levels during pregnancy, which can help guide you towards spontaneous labour. Check out a previous blog post I did How to Increase Oxytocin Naturally in Pregnancy, for a few ideas, or join me on my YouTube channel for a calming Oxytocin Boosting Meditation.


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