Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Birthing and stress

28.05.2002


Giving birth is clearly a high-stress experience. But usually it involves positive stress, which helps the woman cope with the exigencies of delivery and prepares the baby for a life outside the mother’s womb.” These are the words of Siw Alehagen from Linköping University, Sweden, who has written a dissertation about fear, pain, and stress hormones in women giving birth. Among other things, she has performed studies during actual delivery, a method that few researchers have dared to attempt anywhere in the world.

Siw Alehagen’s dissertation work started with the construction of an instrument of measurement--a series of questions--to measure the degree of fear women experience in giving birth. She then used this instrument and combined it with urine and saliva samples at the end of pregnancy, each hour during delivery, and on three occasions after delivery.

The stress hormones metered in the samples were adrenalin, noradrenalin, and cortisol. Adrenalin and cortisol, which mark mental stress, increased by up to 1,000 percent in some women during phases of delivery. Noradrenalin content, which above all marks physical stress, did not increase nearly as much. According to Siw Alehagen, this indicates that birthing stress is not primarily physical but mental.



Siw Alehagen also found that pain and cortisol levels rose in the course of delivery in women who did not receive epidural anesthesia. Women who did receive this anesthesia initially experience less fear and pain, and evinced lower hormone levels. However, in the final phases of delivery, pain and fear also increased among these women.

Those women who were most frightened before receiving anesthesia were those who had the most negative impression of birthing afterward. Women who were truly frightened viewed birthing as a threat, experienced it negatively while it was happening (regardless of anesthesia), and saw it in retrospect as something unpleasant or terrifying. Siw Alehagen sees this as a justification of efforts in maternal care to identify women who are afraid of their approaching delivery and to offer them support and treatment. Care during delivery should be flexible and individual, geared to bolstering the self-confidence of the woman, thereby reducing her fear.

Ingela Björck | alphagalileo

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht One gene closer to regenerative therapy for muscular disorders
01.06.2017 | Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center

nachricht The gut microbiota plays a key role in treatment with classic diabetes medication
01.06.2017 | University of Gothenburg

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Quantum thermometer or optical refrigerator?

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A 100-year-old physics problem has been solved at EPFL

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Equipping form with function

23.06.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>