While doulas and good vibes regularly go together, we want to dive into vibration a little more.
Science and emotions get to jive together here. The physical reality of vibrations is that they are the consequence of a disturbed equilibrium, resulting in waves. The emotional value of vibration is the atmosphere of a place and how the people in that place experience it.
Vibrations are all around a person in labor because hopefully, the origin of the room's vibe emanates from the person giving birth.
That person is the axis.
When doulas see people in labor start to submit to the patterns of labor, we translate to the room. We help partners know the sounds and sights are normal and are an excellent sign that labor is progressing.
When contractions begin to come in a regular pattern, so much that it feels like waves are cresting and moving through, doulas try to protect the flow or get back to it when it's disturbed.
However, it's an uncomfortable place for many who have not visited this part of their themselves. The meditative space of labor is a journey and a destination. It occurs over and over as repeating moments are felt, experienced, and released. Moreover, for those who can accept their role as the source of this disturbed equilibrium, they can thrive in these waves.
So how do you get these vibes started?
Well, for those who are looking for non-medical ways to encourage labor to get going at the end of your pregnancy, you may find it good news to know that vibes beget vibes. For those people with a low-risk pregnancy, there is typically no medical reason to abstain from sexual activity (any personal reasons to refrain are totally legit, however!) However, if you want to get it on with yourself, or your partner, the increased blood flow and uterine contractions that come from arousal and orgasm do not hurt the baby or you.
There is an argument to be made for bringing sex back to birth. Kate Dimpfl shares in her TEDx talk that the hormones that are a part of arousal and intimacy, are the same hormones that trigger contractions and labor.
Even Pitocin, a synthetic form of your body's natural oxytocin, is the hormone administered during many inductions to help labor to begin or progress.
So if more oxytocin is the goal for labor and birth, know that any activities that help you feel open, relaxed, and loved are typically encouraged!
If intercourse seems uncomfortable or taxing, stimulation with the help of a vibrator is also regarded as safe, as long as your bags of waters have not ruptured.
If you are looking for good vibes, but are not interested in the kind made from a personal massager, there are other great ways to connect and increase the flow of oxytocin in a labor room. Things like holding hands, having a shoulder rub (that would be partner giving the pregnant person the message, thank you!), making eye contact with your partner, slow swaying together, or having an extended hug. Oxytocin is a hormone of connection and bonding, so even things like laughter, listening to music, and consuming a meal together have been shown to support those connections.
You already know how you feel best, we want to encourage you to tap into your needs and likes even while preparing for and in labor!