Mind Your Eyeballs at a Birth
Birthing women are always a remarkable sight to see. Every. Single. Time. What an honor to witness a woman in her most powerful form, bringing a spirit earth side! Although there is much beauty to be observed, it is important to mind your eyes.
Women are not theater acts. They are not ones who should be stared down. Believe it or not, it is a known fact that being watched while laboring can stop/stall labor. This is often why women’s labors stall when they arrive at a captive birthing facility. They are being watched, in a foreign environment. By multiple strangers, mind you. Labor staling is a physiological hormonal reaction.
The stress hormone catecholamines recognize the lack of privacy and relates this to being ‘unsafe’. Her labor stops in order to give mom time to retreat to a ‘safe’ place, where she is relaxed in private, for labor to begin again. This is a natural body response! She didn’t need pitocin – she needed PRIVACY.
Know this when you attend a birth. Limit the eyes, encourage others to mind their eyeballs as well. It will usually only elongate her labor, why put her through more than she has to experience? Having only your closest intimate persons in your space, if anyone at all, is also crucial. A topic for another day, I suppose!
I like to suggest more ears, less eyes. You will usually learn more from her voice than you will by watching her. More effective and helpful for everyone involved!
Here is an article in the medical Journal of Perinatal Education that explains how crucial it is that the mother has privacy. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1595201/