Romance is something that can feel like a real struggle during your pregnancy.
The initial shock of the news can make life feel a little bit uncertain for a period of time which can affect the places you want to go and the things you want to do.
It’s almost a bit of a rehearsal for when the pregnancy sickness kicks in at which point many women go into survival mode and avoid leaving the house unless it is completely necessary. Simply getting through the workday can be a challenge.
When it comes to romance there are certain activities and feelings that you may associate with that part of your life.
It may be a certain number of date nights, talking in a particular way to each other or just a special kind of emotion that washes over you through the various different ways you communicate with your partner. Bottom line is that romance feels good. This is where Oxytocin comes in to play.
Oxytocin is a hormone that is involved in childbirth and breastfeeding. It also happens to be the driving force behind trust, friendship and sexual activity.
For this reason, it is often referred to as the “love hormone”. When you hold hands, hug, kiss or make love your oxytocin levels increase.
Maintaining high levels of oxytocin during your pregnancy may feel quite difficult for a number of reasons. As mentioned above, pregnancy nausea can play a huge part. Anxiety and fatigue can also inhibit this feeling of being relaxed and connected and they are emotions that tend to thread pregnancy due to your growing bump, body changes and racing mind.
Pregnancy is often a time of deep thought, self-discovery and fear of change. These feelings are quite far removed from those that oxytocin pours from.
So is there any truth when it comes to romance and labour induction? You’ve been recommended to try eating pineapple, guzzling raspberry leaf tea and being as active as possible but has anyone recommended some good old fashioned “couple time”?
As it turns out, it actually makes quite a lot of sense. Feeling connected to your partner and to your body can certainly encourage the production of oxytocin and as it plays such a huge part in childbirth there are many who feel that it helped them go into labour. Some of the activities included cuddling, holding hands, lighting candles, enjoying your favourite food, laughing together and making love.
Making love might just be the last thing you could imagine wanting to do at full term but there is some logic that it might help induce labour.
Having an orgasm can help stimulate your uterus (womb) which can help kick-start it into action. Your uterus is responsible for the contractions that help deliver your baby to you.
Oxytocin plays a similar role. During sexual activity, oxytocin tends to increase and this can also play a role in the way your Uterus responds and contracts. There is also a point to be made about Semen. It was the starting point of this journey as it travelled through your body to fertilise an egg and now it might just help to soften and ripen your cervix which may help your labour start quicker.