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can stress delay labor?

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twocrazydogs Posted: 01-22-2010 11:17 PM

Just wondering.......

Me 33 Heart DH 33

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GOPLawyer replied on 01-22-2010 11:24 PM

I've heard many stories of women who were in labor and had labor stall or just flat out stop when stress was introduced so it wouldn't surprise me if stress actually delayed labor.  Seems logical.

- Kim


One evening, a grandfather was teaching his young grandson about the internal battle that each person faces. "There are two wolves struggling inside of us," the old man said. "One wolf is vengefulness, anger, resentment, self- pity, fear. The other wolf is compassion, faithfulness, hope, truth and love." The grandson sat, thinking, and then asked, "Which wolf wins, Grandfather?" His grandfather replied, "The one you feed." - Cherokee fable

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MrsPeru replied on 01-23-2010 1:03 AM

I've read about this, too.  I have been super emotional at night, really upset/crying that I am going over my EDD, because of my OB who is antsy to induce with my "big baby".  I think this might be keeping my body from doing anything other than this start/stop labor I feel like I am going through. Tongue Tied

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Sheryl replied on 01-23-2010 10:37 AM

Lots of animals who are in active labour will halt completely if they sense any threat. I've always considered this the main reason many women do not progress in hospital.

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Calladona replied on 01-23-2010 10:17 PM

Yes, I'm pretty sure stress can delay or halt labor. Flowers

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Rebecca Marie born naturally April 18, 2010

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mommytoboys replied on 01-23-2010 10:56 PM

Yes it can. Ina May's guide to childbirth shares a couple of stories where stress delayed, stopped or prolonged labor.

I've had patients who were 7-8 cm when I checked their cervix but when a doctor that they didn't like came in and checked them they were 3-4, in matter of minutes. (after the doc left and another doc came on call the patient relaxed and dilated rather quickly after) My midwife has had the same thing happen to her.


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EA77 replied on 01-24-2010 3:46 PM

Absolutely!  It's nature's way of preventing women/females from giving birth in dangerous situations.  Midwives have lots of stories of women whose labours don't start until their mother or husband arrives from out of town (for example), and also labours that stall when lots of medical personnel enter the delivery room or a doctor is abrasive with a woman.  My sister's midwives say that women with other children often don't go into labour until they are tucked into bed for the day.  Smile

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MrsBee replied on 01-24-2010 5:20 PM

absolutely.  Cortisol blocks oxytocin release--it's a protection mechanism for not going to labor in dangerous situations.

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missymack2003 replied on 01-24-2010 5:31 PM

As everyone else has said, YES! I was talking to a friend who had a vbac a few months back. She was telling me about how she was in active labor, and had been all day. She felt like it was time to go into the hospital and that she was getting really close to delivery. When she called the hospital to see who was on call, she found out that it was a midwife that she did not feel comfortable with at all.  Her labor immediately stopped. It didn't resume for several more hours and she knows it is because she was so stressed about that midwife possibly delivering her baby. She was so glad though, because it put off her labor long enough to where she didn't have to go in until a midwife she liked was on call.

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Manders replied on 01-25-2010 4:13 PM

Yes. I absolutely believe this.


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Apryl replied on 01-25-2010 4:38 PM

Funny story but I was lamenting on OS about potentially going late and having another big baby with DS2 and how I really didn't want to go late..blah blah blah. My water broke the next day and I had my 5lb 12oz baby on the 5th of July...he was 4 weeks early.

My post was this huge blubbery mess of whine whine I'm not sure if it helped or he was going to be in distress (compromised placenta that we didn't know about) but I think writing helps destress.

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LizzyBennet replied on 01-26-2010 10:15 AM

One of the midwives in my practice, who is teaching our childbirthing class, says that it is very common for women who have particular situations going on to go into labor late- basically anything that still needs to be wrapped up, like a house renovation, big project at work, etc.

It makes sense to me that more immediate stress can stall/stop labor, though, too.

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yvonnemari replied on 01-26-2010 10:59 AM

Sounds like the perfect excuse to me to tell that crazy MIL of yours to not come out for a visit until the beginning of March...

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Tami replied on 01-27-2010 10:25 AM

When I was in labor with my VBAC baby, I had a great pattern of ctx going until I got to the hospital. Then I was afraid of a lot of things, and my labor slowed a bit until I could relax. Stress can definitely affect things!

Tami ~ 41  Heart Steve ~ 42     Est. 3/19/94   Ryker ~ 14.2 (C/S)  Hudson ~ 11 (VBAC!)  Cameron ~ 9.5 (C/S) & Shepard ~ 5/6/10 (C/S)

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