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Presentation Information

Ibone Olza

The Psychological Experience of Physiological Childbirth

  • Speaker: Ibone Olza , MD; Phd; Child and Perinatal Psychiatrist
  • Presentation Type:
  • Duration: 60 Mins
  • Credits: 1 CERP, 1 Nursing CEU, 1 CME, 0.1 Midwifery CEU

Childbirth is a profound psychological experience that has a physical, psychological, social and existential impact in both the short and longer term. It leaves lifelong vivid memories for women. The effects of a birth experience can be positive and empowering, or negative and traumatizing. Neurobiologically, childbirth is directed by hormones produced both by the maternal and the fetal brain. During childbirth and immediately after delivery both brains are immersed in a very specific neurohormonal scenario, impossible to reproduce artificially. The psychology of childbirth is likely to be mediated by these neuro hormones, as well as by particular cultural and personal issues. The peaks of endogenous oxytocin during labour, together with the progressive release of endorphins in the maternal brain, are likely to cause the altered state of consciousness most typical of unmedicated labour that midwives and mothers easily recognise or describe as “labour land” but that has received little attention from neuropsychology. Our research showed that giving birth physiologically is an intense and transformative psychological experience that generates a sense of empowerment. The benefits of this process can be maximised through physical, emotional and social support for women, enhancing their belief in their ability to birth and not disturbing physiology unless it is necessary.

Live Presentation Schedule

Oct 21, 2019