Parturition pain, the thing most women dread. What does a contraction feel like and can I handle the pain. This is something you wonder especially before a first birth. We always say: as long as you are in doubt whether it is a contraction, it is not a contraction. Often these are pre contractions that are definitely already painful but do not yet cause dilation. As you have read in my previous blog, I have also been plagued by these contractions. What exactly a contraction feels like I can't tell you. Not only because you forget ( yes it's really true......). Also because every woman experiences contractions differently. If we start looking at the biological process of contractions, there are two main hormones that play a role in making contractions happen. Oxytocin and endorphins. These two hormones allow your body to make contractions and also ensure that your body can cope with them. There is also a hormone that can interfere with this process: Adrenaline. Your body produces this hormone when you experience stress. In practice, I always take the following example: Your body does not know where you are going to give birth, for the same money you are somewhere in the jungle. Your body gives you birth pains so you know you have to find a safe place (so you are in the jungle with all its dangers and not in your safe house). If you don't feel safe, your body produces adrenaline to indicate that you are not safe enough to give birth, the result: the contractions weaken and your body stops labour. When you feel safe and relaxed, your adrenaline hormone is little to nonexistent and your body does not receive a stop signal. So your body can freely produce the hormones needed for good contractions: Oxytocin for contractions and endorphins for pain relief. How you ensure that your body can produce these hormones properly is very personal for everyone. During training, for instance, we did a training to discover what helped us deal with pain. We had to hold an ice cube in our hand and try out different things each time. For instance, we had to put on happy music or relaxation music and we had to massage each other to find out what helped against pain. So to prepare yourself well for childbirth, you can go on a journey of discovery to find out what helps you when you are in pain. For me, for example, that was relaxation and being alone. I had made a playlist beforehand with music that made me feel relaxed and had a diffuser with lavender oil on. Furthermore, it helped me to tell myself with each contraction that the pain was okay and that it was going to help me. In the end, there are often two moments in labour when you think you can't cope. Usually this is around 2-3 cm and around 9 cm. Prepare for these moments and discuss what you need with the people attending your labour. Giving birth is about letting go and surrendering to your body and nature. This is easiest if you know what is happening in your body. You can gain this knowledge by reading books or taking a course. Not sure which book or course suits you best? Ask during our consultation hours and we will be happy to help you!