We’ve talked about so many things during the labor & birth processes. We discuss the ever so important breathing – and of course keeping our bodies relaxed so baby can more easily make their way down and out. Turns out… the sounds we do or do not make, actually have an affect on this as well… who knew? 

In the birthing classes we took, we learned that any sound you make will use some of your energy. That being said, some sounds can have very positive effects and some… not so much.

Let’s jump to it – 

Why not screaming? Well… 

  • Can trigger anxiety which heightens your fight or flight meaning our body will be creating catecholamines and our blood and oxygen will be flowing to our extremities, not our core. This has you in the sympathetic nervous system
  • It raises your blood pressure & heart rate
  • Your focus will be tossed out the window. When you scream, you lose your ability to focus and remain calm – because – well – you’re screaming. You feel like you’re not in control of your body or mind
  • It tightens the muscles that help you to have a bowel movement – and ones to help you have a baby
  • lowers your immune system for up to 6 hours
  • Can create headaches and other bodily discomfort
  • It uses a LOT of energy, energy that you need
  • Tightens vocal cords – and your whole body. Your vocal cords are also  physiologically connected to your cervix so all of your relaxing and loosening goes back to tightened – the opposite of what we want.

What noises can we make?

One of my favorite snippets of a birth video that I ever saw had this lovely woman saying… and I quote…

“I… sound… like… a… horse….”

And it was absolutely fabulous! She was smiling… even laughing… and just making her way calmly through her labor & birth. This is so important as when your mind and body are relaxed, your body and baby are able to work together far more productively.

Sounds we can make during labor & birth & why…

  • Grunting, groaning, moaning
  • Earthy – guttural sounds
  • Oohs… ahhhs… ohhhs… help to open the throat and keep it relaxed, thereby keeping your body loose & relaxed and of course – being physiologically connected to the cervix –  helping the cervix to dilate and remain relaxed
  • Keeps your blood pressure and heart rate steady
  • Keeps both your mind and your body relaxed… which is exactly what we wanted in the first place

One of my favorite new quotes is ‘In short, labour can sound like anything from a Roman orgy to a barnyard’ – Sarah Tennant in Oh Baby.

As always, stay happy, healthy & hydrated and we’ll see you next time 🙂