The Psychology Of Labour

8 Replies
WP - September 30

I've had a few bouts of false labour recently and it got me thinking, do you think you can will yourself from progressing in labour? I've been looking online and have found very little on this subject, but I've read a few things about stalled labour (usually related to fatigue) and the mother resisting labour. Has anyone heard of, experienced or know where I can find (free) online information on this topic?


musicbaby - September 30

hmmm good question... I was wondering something similar the other day. :-) Have no idea though, seems to make sense that we have some form of control over things though.


docbytch - September 30

WP...Even in medicine, we are taught that the Human Mind is the most powerful tool of all. Example: The Placebo Effect...well doc_mented and backed by Empirical Data. It's a known Phenomenon in both Pharmacology and Medicine. Another example: Cancer. There are known cases of people who have used their minds as tools in that act of willing the cancer away... Conversely...there are also cases where the diagnosis of Cancer sent a person's Health spiraling if the person lost the will to live or gave up. In fact...I learned that Physicians in Scandinavia don't TELL their Cancer patients they even have the disease. They just treat the pt!! Perhaps a reflection of?? With that in mind...I do believe a woman can stave off her labor if she puts her mind to it....and it the baby is truly not ready to be born. I cannot back this belief up with fact of course...but it makes sense intuitively.


WP - September 30

It seems likely that you can will yourself to do, or not to do just about anything. I like your examples of the placebo effect, docbytch - if someone can will cancer away, labour doesn't seem so far a stretch. The only online info I can find about it is through midwifery and home birth sites, which I thought was interesting too. There's a lot on the psychology of labour and birth, but you have to pay for the files. Anyway, just a curiosity. Maybe if I spent less time thinking about this kind of stuff and more time concentrating on giving birth, I would be in the hospital right now :)


WP - October 2

Sorry for not responding sooner, docbytch. My computer has a bug and keeps shutting down my web browser. I'm due on Oct 7 and at this point I don't care if this baby comes out of my a__s, I just want my body back LOL!. Y'know, I could tell by your posts we are very much alike. I'm sure I come across as a total b___h online to some people (one thing we DON"T have in common), but I'm pretty much just a harmless realist. I need to work on finessing my online persona for these types of forums :) I've been reading your posts and I really feel for you in this pregnancy. You've had a pretty rough go, but it sounds like you've researched the c___p outta everything and keeping yourself well-informed is the best way to get through this. Nothing wrong or unusual about feeling apprehensive, especially after what you've been through. So many mixed emotions with pregnancy, eh?


Tammy276 - October 2

I'm not sure if you can actually "will" yourself not to progress in labour, but it is true if you are tense and don't relax, it can make your labor last longer. That is why when woman get an epidural, they tend to progress alot faster....for instance, when I went into labor this time around, I was having contractions every 4 minutes for 6 hours and I progressed 1 cm. After I got the epidural, I progressed to 10 within an hour. It is because I was tense while having contractions.


docbytch - October 2

WP: Out your a__s...LOL!!! That's great. I don't think you come off as a b___h at all!! You're posts reveal you to be open-minded and supportive if anything. Even the controversial topics. I have never heard you sound judgmental in any way. It's why I like your posts so much. Also something I try to emulate myself... God knows life likes to throw it's share of punches. Having been kicked around by life the way I have has certainly helped me to realize that bad things happen to good people. I draw the line in certain situations of course...and try to hold myself to a certain level of integrity...but that doesn't insulate me from the realities of life in this day and age. Definitely a realist...just like you. However...I am a little (maybe a lot is more like it) too blunt and in your face for some people's taste. But at least I don't act nice to a person's face all the while jabbing the proverbial knife in their backs! Ugh. Yes I am ready for the pg to be OVER OVER OVER! My BP got all whacked out last week so they had be in the Hosp. Dragged me back in yesterday for yet another NST (sick of those things), then did the amnio to check baby's L:S ratio (fetal lung maturity marker), only to find out he's not quite ready. Had he been ready my son would have been born today. more week to go. Pregnancy has turned me into a basket case that's for sure (not that I am always the bastion of rationality...LOL). My fear of surgery seems to have dissipated....I frankly could give a c___p now. GET this kiddo OUT!


WP - October 3

Tammy, I completely agree. I was 2 cm dilated with my first for 3-4 weeks. As soon as I was given the epidural, the dilation progressed. I was so freaked out by the pain, I think I actually stalled the progress. Docbytch, another thing I think we share is that we are both a bit older (I'll be 38 in Nov) and have had a lot of the idealism sucked out of us over the past few years/decades. I guess we're just destined to be the ones that are targeted by crazy fundamentalists and naturalists :) Being pregnant/having children later in life is a completely different experience than in your twenties (mentally and physically). I've been fortunate enough to have had a really easy pregnancy, so I'm not familiar with a lot of the tests you've mentioned. What's a NST (I'm thinking 'stress test'?) and what does it entail? In an earlier post you mentioned you had pre-clampsia. How are you feeling? I was speaking with someone who was diagnosed with it and she described her last few weeks as "a perpetual migraine". Has it been really rough?


docbytch - October 3

WP: Yes. NSTs are nonstress tests. You get hooked up to the fetal monitor where they look for fetal heartrate accelerations/decelerations/movement patterns. I have been having them once a week now for about the past month. My kiddo tends to beat the living c___p out of me while I am hooked up to the machine and i find myself writhing in pain sometimes. It seems he either has "beat mom up " mode...."total sleepyhead" mode or "mellow" mode. My pre-eclampsia is a mild case so no headaches thus far... Just bedrest..although that can be hard to achieve when no one else is home with me for days at a time sometimes. Most of my misery is related to all these other issues I have had this pregnancy. As far as the age thing goes...I spent the vast majority of my adulthood under the a__sumption my dd would remain my only child. Marriage was not something I ever counted on that's for sure. Being older for some women I think gives us the wisdom to understand how negative things in life can happen. However, I have seen other women who are older who totally come off as little-miss-knowitalls who like to point their fingers at everyone else's mistakes. I stay away from those types if at all possible. Another thing I try to maintain is a sense of humility. Not sure how things are in Canada where you are (what city?) but in the US there sure is a helluva lot of stereotyping/pigeonholing of people whose lives stray away from the "straight and narrow" I blame this country's Judeo-Christian Puritanical roots for that. Yet one of the many reasons I abhor organized religion of any kind. Life has taught me that success comes to those who perservere...especially against the odds. How old are your kids? I have my dd..age 21, dss...age 14...dsd..age 11...and now our first son together. His name will be Derek. How about yours?



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