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Humans are a lot like other mammals in the context of birth. Scientists have found that if under threat, such as from a predator, mammals can release adrenaline which pauses their labour until they find safety.

Fortunately us humans don’t face the same kind of threats, but even smaller stresses can cause spikes of adrenaline and slow our surges. A common example is a change of environment, transferring into a birth centre or hospital for example from home. You may be having 3-4 surges in 10 minutes at home, then reach the hospital and suddenly they’re 1-2 in 10 minutes. This is a normal reaction and nothing to be worried about. Once settled (see the birth environment post for how to create a nice oxytocin friendly atmosphere) your adrenaline should fall, oxytocin will rise again and your surges will pick back up.

Hypnobirthing techniques – breathing techniques, relaxations, affirmations and visualisations – can also help to calm, bring back focus and get you back on track.

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