We all know there's a lot of hormones associated with pregnancy, birth, and postpartum, but can you use them to your advantage?
Our body naturally produces endorphins during labour to help reduce pain, and if you prepare your endorphin receivers before birth, you can tap into those feel good hormones faster & more efficiently.
Here's a few ways to get those endorphins flowing and improve those receptors so they're primed for birth.
1. Exercise Regularly:
Physical activity is one of the most effective ways to increase endorphin production and improve receptor sensitivity. Aerobic exercises like running, swimming, and cycling are particularly effective. Aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise a few times a week.
Even a brisk walk will do!
2. Practice Mindfulness Meditation:
Mindfulness meditation can help reduce stress and improve endorphin receptor function. Regular practice can increase your sensitivity to these natural mood-enhancing chemicals.
Plus practicing mindfulness can be a great way to clear your head during labour and find peace through contractions.
3. Eat a Balanced Diet:
Nutrition plays a crucial role in overall health, including neurotransmitter function. Eat foods rich in amino acids, such as tryptophan and tyrosine, which are precursors to endorphin production. Foods like bananas, nuts, and lean proteins can be beneficial.
4. Socialize and Laugh:
Having fun and laughing triggers an endorphin release. Spend time with your partner, your friends, and engage in activities that make you laugh to naturally enhance your mood.
5. Get Adequate Sleep:
Sleep is essential for overall brain health, including endorphin receptor function. Aim for 7-9 hours of quality sleep each night to support your mood and well-being. Quality sleep can be difficult during pregnancy, try to get as comfortable as possible with help from things like a pregnancy pillow.
6. Manage Stress:
Chronic stress can negatively impact endorphin receptors. Incorporate stress management techniques such as deep breathing, yoga, or progressive muscle relaxation into your daily routine.
Even if you can't practice all of these every day, incorporating as many of these into your day as possible will not only help make your day a little more positive, it may help make your birth experience a little more positive as well!