Birth Hormones: What are they and how do they work?

Birth Hormones : What are they and how do they work?

Birth Hormones: What are they and how do they work?Birth Hormones : What are they and how do they work?


Hormones are such an amazing part of the human body. You and your baby are born with the ability to start labour, give birth, breastfeed and become deeply attached to each other via bonding with the flow of hormones running through your body.

It is very important that your health care providers and therapists are fully aware of the hormones that are present during pregnancy and understand not only how they work but also which ones need to be avoided.


Also known as the “Love Hormone,” oxytocin helps to increase uterine activity or contractions of the womb. Oxytocin stimulates the uterine muscles to contract and also increase production of prostaglandins which increase the contractions further.

There are ways that you can help the natural production of oxytocin during labour and birth:

  • Staying calm, comfortable and confident
  • Avoiding unwelcome people or noises
  • Staying upright and using gravity so baby can press against your cervix. Then as baby is born, against the pelvic floor tissues
  • Stimulating your nipples or clitoris before birth
  • Avoiding epidurals
  • Giving your baby a chance to breastfeed shortly after birth.

I remember when Vera-Rose was born the midwife placed her on my chest and she found her way straight to the breast and started suckling…. it was an amazing experience. I highly recommend you do this and let your midwife know this before you give birth. Then once baby is latched, do not let anyone interfere with you. Have that first moment with your little one. It starts the foundation of what is to come between you and your beautiful baby.


When you are going through some stress or pain, your body can produce calming and pain-relieving hormones called endorphins.  You may have higher levels towards the end of your pregnancy.

For woman who don’t use pain medication during labour, the levels can steadily rise through the birth of your baby. Studies have found a sharp drop in endorphin levels with use of epidurals.

High endorphin levels during labor and birth can produce an altered state of consciousness that can help you deal with the process of giving birth, even if it is long and challenging. High endorphin levels can make you feel alert, attentive and even euphoric after birth, as you begin to get to know and care for your baby.

In this early postpartum period, endorphins are believed to play a role in strengthening the mother-infant relationship. A drop in endorphin levels at this time may contribute to the “blues” or postpartum depression, that many women experience for a brief time after birth.

You can enhance your body’s production of endorphins during labor and birth by:

  • Staying calm, comfortable and confident.
  • Avoiding disturbances, such as unwelcome people or noise and uncomfortable procedures.
  • Delaying or avoiding epidural or opioids for pain relief.

Adrenaline is the “fight or flight” hormone that humans produce to help ensure survival. Women who feel threatened during labor (for example, by fear or severe pain) may produce high levels of adrenaline. Adrenaline can slow labor or stop it altogether. Earlier in human evolution, this disruption helped birthing women move to a place of greater safety.

Too much adrenaline can cause problems in labor and birth by:

  • Causing distress to the baby before birth.
  • Causing contractions to stop, slow or have an erratic pattern, and lengthening labor.
  • Creating a sense of panic and increasing pain in the mother.
  • Leading health care providers to respond to these problems with caesarean surgery and other interventions.

You can keep adrenaline down during labor and birth by:

  • Staying calm, comfortable and relaxed.
  • Being informed and prepared.
  • Having trust and confidence in your body and your capabilities as a woman.
  • Having trust and confidence in your care providers and birth setting.
  • Being in a calm, peaceful and private environment and avoiding conflict.
  • Being with people who can provide comfort measures, good information, positive words and other support.
  • Avoiding intrusive, painful, disruptive procedures.


Prolactin is known as the “mothering” hormone. The role of prolactin around the time of birth has been less researched than the hormones described above. It increases during pregnancy and peaks when labor starts on its own.

As has been shown in other mammals, continued prolactin production during and after labor appears to be readying a woman’s body for breastfeeding. It may also play a role in moving labor along and helping the newborn adjust to life outside the womb.

Prolactin is central to breast milk production. High levels of prolactin with early breastfeeding may foster women’s caretaking behaviors and adjustment to being a mother. This hormone may also support the infant’s healthy development.

Low levels of prolactin may cause problems through:

  • Poorer transition of the baby at the time of birth.
  • Poorer growth and development of the baby.
  • Poorer adjustment of a woman to motherhood.

You can likely promote your body’s production of prolactin by:

  • Waiting for labor to start on its own.
  • Minimizing stress during labor and after birth.
  • Keeping woman and baby together after birth.
  • Breastfeeding early and thereafter on cue from the baby.


As you can probably tell from the information above, some features of typical hospital childbirth settings, like noise or medical interventions, can interfere with your body’s natural processes. To avoid this and maximize your body’s ability to follow its natural processes, it’s a good idea to seek out a birth setting that supports this.

Out-of-hospital birth settings and one-on-one continuous labor support, such as doula care, can help create conditions that enhance your body’s natural production of helpful hormones and keep disturbing hormones in check. You can also create your own birthing room. And if you are birthing within the hospital you have every right to design that room how you wish. You can take your own music, have photos or birth affirmations in that room.

I have many contacts for some beautiful doulas and if you would like some information on them, then please reach out.

Your birth can be how you wish it to be and I truly wish I knew all of the information I know now, before I birthed my son Hawaiki.

You might like to help your body get ready for birth with my Labour Preparation Experience.

While in labour, the following products can also assist:

Labour and Birth Flower Essence Blend

Full Bloom Pregnancy and Labour Herbal Tea

Metamorphosis: Intention Candle for Birthing

Empowered Birth Balm

Much love,

Jess Ngaheu Pregnancy and Post Natal Massage Specialist
Maternal Bodywork Specialist

Book a session with me here.



Flower Essences for Motherhood Support

Flower Essences for Motherhood Support

Flower Essences for Motherhood Support

Flower Essences for Motherhood Support

Using flower essences for motherhood support are a great natural remedy to assist with all stages of pregnancy, labour and postpartum.

Flower essences use the energetic imprint of the flowering part of  Australian native plants. Essence from the flower is then stored in filtered water and a very small amount of alcohol to preserve the essence. That’s all they contain. They are very safe to use by anyone with any condition or alongside any medication.


Flower Essences for Motherhood Support


The part that I think is truly amazing is that flower essences work on the subtle energy field of the body. They work on the emotional, mental and spiritual conditions we hold on to. Essences can help shift the negative emotions, negative thought patterns and beliefs to unlock your full potential and bring about harmony and balance. They can help move stuck, stagnant energy and emotions and restore calm and balance.

I think they are just the most magical holistic healing remedy and the best part is they are made from flowers that are grown from the ground aka Mother Earth. They are plant energy medicine, also known as vibrational remedies.

I have three specially hand-crafted flower essence blends I offer to my mamas. I have commissioned them locally on the Gold Coast from Yogi Tree who makes everything with love, heart and soul.



In the shop, I have customised flower essence remedies for Pregnancy, Birth/Labour and Postpartum.

You take seven drops under the tongue, morning and night at least thirty minutes away from food, drink and brushing of teeth. You can take them every ten minutes in times of high emotional need as well.

Pregnancy Flower Essence Blend is especially for pregnant mamas to help with confidence, calm, balance, trust in your journey, self love and acceptance.

Labour and Birth Flower Essence Blend is made for mamas in labour and the childbirth process to help with endurance, mother and child connection, openness and grounding.

Postpartum Flower Essence Blend is prepared for mamas who have just given birth to assist with connection, holistic balance, healing, bonding and transformation.

Flower Essences for Motherhood Support

I will work on getting some other ones for motherhood in general and I highly recommend giving them a try.

Daily life can be such a struggle and especially right now with the world turning upside down, we can feel overwhelmed and anxious. The flower essence blends can help keep us grounded, balanced and calm which is what our babies need from us!

You can find out more here.

As always if you have any questions at all, please send get in touch. I am always here!

Much love,

Jess Ngaheu Pregnancy and Post Natal Massage Specialist

Jess Ngaheu 
Maternal Bodywork Specialist

Book a session with me here.

Maternal Grounding’s Healing Balms

Maternal Grounding's Healing BalmsMaternal Grounding’s Healing Balms

How did Maternal Grounding’s Healing Balms come about? When I very first started my business, I really wanted to have amazing services to cater for an entire community of mums and their babies. I also had a dream to share the very products I use and truly believe in and for you to have access to these products in between appointments with me.

It makes me so happy to be able to provide you with these now in my shop, after finding the PERFECT products to use through pregnancy, labour, postnatal, motherhood and on our babies.

I wanted to share with you a little about how I came to finding these.

It actually started when a business friend of mine had her baby and booked me for some deep postnatal healing massages. She posted about it online and then Michelle Palasia (who I am doing the Post Natal Healing Workshop with) contacted me to see if I would be interested in massaging some of her birth and postnatal clients. I, of course, said yes and jumped at this chance as I had just started working again after having a quite a while off after the birth of my son Hawaiki.

Michelle had then also posted about me online and this lead to a lot of new followers and people really seeing and valuing my work.  This then led to Lou from Yogi Tree seeing my work and we formed a connection as we were both working and creating services for mamas.

I got a beautiful new client after Lou had recommended me. Lou is an amazing Placenta Encapsulation Specialist.  I highly recommend jumping on her page on Instagram or her website and get in contact with her if you are interested in this service.

Now after some time I realised that she is also a beautifully creative person that makes the most heavenly products for pregnancy, labour and postnatal mums and babies. So I made an enquiry and was given some testers and as soon as I just felt the jars of balms….. I knew this is exactly what I wanted!

You can literally feel the pure love and energy that she puts into these amazing products. Not only does she hand-make everything, she even grows some of the ingredients she uses herself.

So I wanted to share with you today the divine balms that Lou makes for me for the Maternal Grounding Shop.

I know you will love them as much as I do!

Empowered Birth Balm

Empowered Birth Balm

This beautiful healing Empowered Birth Balm is designed to support mamas during their birthing process. With all natural ingredients, it is totally safe for birthing mamas from 38 weeks.


Organic blue cohosh and red raspberry leaf are gently infused into coconut oil and combined with shea butter, local beeswax, jojoba oil and pure essential oils of rose, clary sage, geranium and frankincense.

Lovingly massage this balm into your belly, lower back and hips to support your body in preparation for birth. Use from 38 weeks and throughout your labour and birth process.

Shop here for the Empowered Birth Balm.


Postpartum Warming Recovery Balm


Postpartum Warming Recovery Balm

This  beautiful healing and nurturing Postpartum Warming Recovery balm is designed to support mamas to recover after the birthing process. With all natural ingredients, it will help boost circulation, ease aches and pains and return heat to the body after labour.


Organic lemongrass, ginger, black pepper, fennel, cinnamon and turmeric are gently infused with calendula, comfrey, coconut and almond oils and combined with arnica, shea butter and local beeswax.

While this Warming Recovery balm is perfect for immediately after giving birth, the Postpartum Healing Balm for Mums and Babies is perfect for ongoing use after the recovery period.

Mindfully massage a small amount into the womb-space, lower back and any sore muscles post birth. You can also apply to acupressure points and soles of the feet.

Shop here for the Postpartum Warming Recovery Balm.

Postpartum Healing Balm for Mum & Baby

Postpartum Healing Balm for Mum & Baby

This beautiful Postpartum Healing Balm for Mum and Baby is designed to soothe and heal in the post natal period. With all natural ingredients, it is totally safe for mamas, babies and breastfeeding use.


Organic calendula, comfrey and chamomile are slow-infused into coconut, olive and avocado oils and combined with soothing shea butter and local beeswax.
You can apply to any areas of mama or baby’s body that requires soothing and healing. It works well on sore or cracked nipples, the perineum, dry irritated skin, scars, nappy rash and cradle cap.


Maternal Grounding’s Healing Balms are truly magical! They are all plant-based, totally natural and made with love especially for mums and babies.

If you have any questions at all about any of the products, please do not hesitate to contact me, as I would love to be share more about how they can support you.

Much love,


Jess Ngaheu Pregnancy and Post Natal Massage Specialist

Jess Ngaheu, Maternal Bodywork Specialist