And other Important tools to help facilitate
Help the Hormones of Labor Flow
The three layers of the uterus each have different jobs. One layer contracts in an upward direction, forming a platform at the top of the uterus. Since everything is moving upwards, the cervix disappears. Another layer of intertwined muscular fibers brings oxygen and nutrients to the baby and placenta. These two layers are involuntary and work regardless of our intent. The third layer is voluntary and can be consciously relaxed by the laboring mom so that the blood can flow easily and smoothly to nourish the uterine muscle and the placenta.
The VOLUNTARY HORIZONTAL muscular fibers can be actively released to facilitate a more comfortable and efficient labor pattern. When they are actively tightened and engaged, they work against the important jobs that the INVOLUNTARY muscular fibers are tying to accomplish, of bringing blood and oxygen to your baby and drawing your cervix up and open. This is one reason why RELAXATION is so important. This muscle needs to be actively relaxed so that it is not inhibiting the process. It is essential to the the natural process. The more it is practiced, the more automatic and easy it becomes.
These muscular fibers are intertwined. If the VOLUNTARY HORIZONTAL muscular fibers are relaxed then the INVOLUNTARY INTERTWINED muscular fibers will carry oxygen and nutrients easily to the placenta and your baby. If not, then blood flow may be restricted to this giant muscle, which would create pain, leading to the FEAR - TENSION - PAIN cycle identified by Dr. Grantly Dick-Read. Tension leads to pain, because the muscular fibers are FIGHTING against themselves rather than working uninhibited. When there is no tension, the blood flows easily, and the fibers contract smoothly, without any resistance.
The cervix becomes softer and shorter as labor moves forward. The INVOLUNTARY VERTICAL muscular fibers draw the cervix in an upward direction, which opens it up and thins it out. This is called DILATION and EFFACEMENT. The muscular fibers form a platform on the top of the uterus. This platform moves the baby down and out. This process works really well when baby is in a good position, when blood is flowing well to the uterus, from the mother's deep, slow and regular breaths, and when the mother actively and consciously relaxes the VOLUNTARY HORIZONTAL muscular fibers.