/ The Daisy Foundation with Ellie Schurer-Lewis

Oxytocin – The Love Hormone!

Following on from valentines day, let’s talk about Oxytocin and the power this hormone has in your labour and birth.

Oxytocin is often referred to as the love hormone as one of it’s roles is to help us feel good. The number of oxytocin receptors increases substantially late in pregnancy. (www.aims.org.uk/journal/item/undisturbed-birth). It helps you to relax and therefore bring on contractions that move baby down which in turn stimulates dilation of the cervix and moving baby down to birth. Oxytocin is the hormone that creates the final contractions that release baby quickly and easily. So all in all it holds an important role in birthing your baby!

We tend to be brought up to believe that birth is painful and scary so how are you supposed to produce oxytocin on labour?!

Low levels of oxytocin in labour and birth can cause problems such as:

– Contractions stopping or slowing and therefore lengthening labour.
– Result in excessive bleeding at the placenta site after birth.
– The above leading to care providers responding with interventions

There are many ways you can help produce oxytocin. One way is to learn breathing techniques that ensure enough oxygen is working its way into the muscles and fibres that are working to bring baby into the world this also helps to reduce the body’s fight or flight response and therefore minimise adrenaline that can inhibit progression of labour.

Your birth partner can also help raise your oxytocin levels with labour massage techniques and sometimes verbal affirmations if that works for you!

If you check out your local maternity ward/midwife led Centre or even for a home birth you can create your own playlist on and bring in home comforts such as cushions, battery powered candles to help create a relaxed environment to stimulate the production of oxytocin. You can also include these in your birth preferences if you are planning for a caesarean section and talking to your care provider about what can be accommodated as this may change depending on your location. But more widely a ‘gentle caesarean section’ is being accommodated due to its links in helping parent and baby form a positive connection following birth.

By increasing our Oxytocin levels in labour we can help our body to increase it’s┬ápain thresholds, reduce anxiety and adrenaline and arouse positive feelings in our body to aid a confident birth.

We all want to do our best to bring our baby into the world in a positive and safe manner, and what better way to do that than focussing on love to bring them into our arms!

For further reading I would suggest checking out the www.aims.org.uk site and also the blogs on our website!

/ The Daisy Foundation with Ellie Schurer-Lewis

Why I became a Daisy Teacher

I thought the best way to start off would be to introduce myself and offer a little insight as to why I became a Daisy Teacher.

Following the birth of my second baby I decided to train as a Perinatal Educator to support expectant parents during their journey through pregnancy, birth, and parenthood. Knowing first hand the challenges that can come with pregnancy and beyond but also that it can be an incredibly exciting time, creates a minefield of questions and information across several areas. This can be from social media, google searches and surrounding friends and parents. I wanted to create a space that offered the chance for you to access education that will empower your decisions and make informed choices for you and your baby.

Being completely clueless when I was pregnant with my first baby and through the recommendation of a good friend, I attended Daisy birthing classes and subsequently baby classes. They gave me information of what to expect from birth and all the information I would need to make informed choices when the time came to bring my little ones into the world. It gave me the confidence to vocalise what I wanted and trust what my body was telling me.

Attending the Daisy baby classes gave me my ‘village’ of local mums, some of whom have become life long friends through this journey of motherhood. It gave me a safe space to ask questions and gain support form peers going through similar experiences and gain other perspectives.

Having had such a positive introduction to motherhood because of my own journey with Daisy, I wanted to create that space and become a teacher myself to build a community full of informed and supported parents.

I look forward to sharing this experience with other parents and meeting you soon!

Ellie x