Labor is believed to be influenced by a combination of factors originating from the mother & fetus. In fact, there are different theories that have been postulated to somehow help people understand the mechanisms behind labor and delivery. Theories are tentative insights regarding the natural world. In some cases, they are not yet verified but if they have been, for sure they can help explain a certain phenomenon. Here are the theories of labor and delivery and try uncovering them:

Placental Aging Theory

This theory states that the physical aging of the placenta may cause insufficient nutrients to reach the fetus. For those who do not know this yet, the placenta is a very important structure in utero designed for maternal circulation and exchange of nutrients needed by the unborn child. However, there can be a situation that the placenta may deteriorate and lose its function because of an overdue pregnancy, usually after 40 weeks of gestation.

Uterine Stretch Theory

The uterus reaches a crucial point of distension, which may cause tension on muscle fibers and stimulate their activity. Uterine contraction is essential because its force allows the baby to be expelled out of the perineum.

Progesterone Deprivation Theory

This theory can usually be applied at the end of pregnancy as it states that labor begins when progesterone level drops. In effect, this causes major uterine changes and subsequent delivery.

Oxytocin theory

This is the hormone responsible to initiate uterine contractions and eject milk from the mother. Oxytocin is released by the master gland, which is the hypothalamus after it receives a go signal from the uterus.

Fetal Adrenal Gland Theory

This theory emphasizes that when the fetus is at term or matured enough, its fetal adrenal gland releases a substance causing uterine contractions that will push the baby out of the mother’s perineum.

Prostaglandin Cascade Theory

All throughout pregnancy, the hypothalamus, the adrenal gland, uterus and the fetus interacts with one another. With this, prostaglandin is released and causes labor to be activated.

Hypobirthing Theory

This theory operates on the belief that laboring pain will be reduced if the woman frees her mind from fear and tension. Deep breathing exercises, hypnosis are usually used to counteract emotional and mental disturbances to ensure that labor and delivery will be safe and stress free.

Theory of Alexander

This theory deals with the effect of posture on a woman’s laboring body. Alexander technique encourages women to maintain good body mechanics and be relaxed as these can all promote a less painful and quick delivery.

As I discuss the theories of labor, I hope as you progress with your pregnancy to labor , you will somehow be guided accordingly. May you be filled with enough strength and courage as you face the moment of truth. Regardless of the theories you choose to practice, always be confident and aim for safety.

Related posts:

  1. Medications Used During and After Labor and Delivery
  2. Inducing Labor: Why, When and How?
  3. Labor and Birth Terms You Need to Know
  4. Preparing Your Body For Labor And Delivery
  5. What to Pack for Labor and Delivery?

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