Friday, 18 October 2013
Hazards to a Pain Free Labour - 5
There are some people who are incapable of relaxing. Coffee drinkers are adrenalin junkies, they find it difficult to sit still for five minutes let alone relax and become tension free for a whole labour. Caffeine is a psychoactive stimulant which acts on the central nervous system by promoting the release of catecholamines such as adrenalin.
Caffeine can also cause dehydration which is not a good idea in pregnancy as the blood needs to remain quite dilute in order to get in and out of the placenta easily. Your baby gets all his nourishment and oxygen from you, if your blood is too thick by you being dehydrated then your baby will suffer. Research has also shown that caffeine intake during early pregnancy can contribute to miscarriages.
Caffeine is not only found in coffee. It is also in black tea, green tea, cola and some energy drinks. If you stop your caffeine intake suddenly you may experience withdrawal symptoms, which include headache and nausea. There is a reduction in serotonin levels when caffeine input is stopped which can cause anxiety, irritability, inability to concentrate and lethargy. It would therefore be a good idea to cut down slowly on caffeine intake before becoming pregnant.
It is not only the fact that caffeine makes it difficult for people to relax and so relaxation techniques become ineffective. It is the fact that caffeine causes the body to release adrenalin. As you have seen previously, adrenalin causes all kinds of problems in labour and is to be avoided at all cost. If you are unable to kick the caffeine habit before pregnancy then try stopping caffeine intake well before labour begins. This will leave you in a calmer state of mind, ready to respond to your chosen relaxation technique in labour.
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