When student moms start their HypnoBirthing class with me, I ask them to use their imagination planning their birth and describe it. One of the moms described her labor start at 11:30am, on a Saturday. Actually, her labor began on Saturday morning, but very early in the wee hours.
So what does research show us? Why so many of the family lore includes rushing to the hospital at 3 a.m.?
Chronobiology is a relatively new profession. It studies the human body rhythm throughout life, on a yearly basis, and from month to month, day to day and throughout the day. Part of this study includes the rhythm of our body throughout the day, called circadian rhythm, and even in much smaller increments, throughout the hour, called ultradian rhythm. Without taking you into semantics of the titles let me explain the research showing that spontaneous labor in human starts around and after midnight.
Birth is a body's natural progression, so as soon as mother enters into a safe mode of rest in a safe place, the baby knows it is a good time to come out. A study in 1979 on labor of more than 200,000 women shows that 20% more babies ar born between 2-6am than between 2-6pm. Later studies involving 2 mil. women support night birthing.
Studies also show the same progression for second and third babies. Additionally, same studies show that on average the length of labor for those starting laboring at night take 2 hours less than those starting labor after dawn.
Speaking of hospital births, be aware, that most artificially induced births happen on a Tuesday, and none on weekends. Doctors schedules usually greatly contribute to this pattern.
Natural births occur more often on Saturday or a Sunday, according to a study in 1997 involving births among the US women.
If you want to know more about your body learn to give yourself positive suggestions. When you are tired, rest, when you are emotional, relax. Relax more often than before pregnancy or more often during the day. Listen to your body and it will pay you off handsomely during peaceful labor.
Morrin is available for further information and discussion of your personal preparation to your labor.