BYD Blog

Moods for Birth

by | Mar 15, 2016

Moods and emotions abound in pregnancy, birth and postpartum. Moods are emotions or manifestations in your nervous system created by interactions with your environment or people in your environment.  Moods are usually positive or negative reactive states. Where the individual reacts to the words that are used, the space the words are used in and the tone behind the words.  These emotions start in the mind but move and exist in the body.  Although emotions are subjective they seem to have a life of their own and grow until we project them out into our environments.

Awareness of your mood allows you to adjust it or manipulate it to your advantage. Changing your out look, changing our actions and changing the actions of those around us. Basically rebooting your mood change then Chang your outlook, your actions and the actions and words of those around you.  Learning how to identify your mood is a critical skill that can help you to live in the world differently.  It can change the situation you are in and help you to craft a new and better outcome.  This powerful skill promotes confidence in yourself, your body and your outcomes.

Moods and their effect can influence labor. When the mother is feeling safe and happy in her situation her body is able to release oxytocin and beta endorphins that promote an easy and effective labor.  And when the mother feels scared  and unsafe her body releases adrenaline and cortisol  promoting a negative state.

When the staff supporting the mother witness her calm they will reflect back her calm.  When the staff is in an anxious or panicked state they can bring their mood into your space affecting your environment and maybe your outcome.

Below are some of the ways moods affect the body.

Positive mood Negative mood
Happiness or excitement Anxiety or depression
Confidence Worry
Stable moods Mood swings
Clear thinking Confusion
Normal heart rate Elevated heart rate
Deep breathing Chest breathing
Relaxation Tension
Normal circulation Nausea, sweating
Normal sleep Insomnia
Perception of safety Perception of pain & danger
Positive thoughts & imagery Negative thoughts & fears
Knowledge of ability to cope Fear of lack of coping
Perceived capabilities Perceived limitations

Rebooting a mood is both simple and complicated. By familiarizing your self with the signs and symptoms of positive and negative moods, you can identify and catch your mood quickly and counter act them.

Four steps to identifying and rebooting your mood

  1. First identify your mood by name. “I am scared.”
  2. Accept the mood by saying “I scared by being here in the hospital”.  Breathe into it, recognize the turmoil and allow it to exist for a few minutes.
  3. Then actively focus on the mood and consider your options, goals or desired outcome. Ask yourself “Where do I want to be?”.
  4. Reboot your mood to reflect your desired outcome and mood. Say “I am safe and open. My baby is ready to be born.”

Four steps to proactively manage your mood in birth:

  1. Once you are admitted, request a quiet and calm environment. Surround yourself with providers and a doula who can support your needs.
  2. Close the door and pull the curtain. These two barriers help staff to remember that they are in a different space when they enter your room. It also helps to not hear other women in labor or the staff discussing business or their lives.
  3. Create a safe environment. Dim the lights, play your music and use aromatherapy to make a sanctuary that is home like. Battery operated candles or Christmas lights are good lighting alternatives.  Prepare both relaxation music and music that you would butt dance to on a long car ride. Aromatherapy is very powerful.  Consider diffusing lavender or release oil for relaxation. Clary Sage or Ylang Ylang to encourage labor. Bergamot or orange to reduce anxiety.
  4. Speak in low encouraging tones. Respect the value of silence and be present as your welcome your baby.

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