What starts delivery

It is not yet known exactly what causes birth to begin. We do know that your baby plays an important role in this. The most important hormones during childbirth are oxytocin, endorphins and adrenaline.


Oxytocin has been called the ‘love hormone’. It causes strong contractions of the uterus.


Endorphins are opiate-like substances found naturally in the body during childbirth. They are very important as they help you to relax during labour and delivery. As you relax and feel more at ease during delivery, more endorphins will be released in your body and make it more pleasant for you. That is why it is so important for you to feel at ease at all times. We will help you with this.


Adrenaline is also a hormone. It is a hormone that is released if there is anxiety, tension or fear. This hormone stops the delivery hormones and endorphins and therefore the contractions. During the daytime you always have more adrenaline in your body because it is light, there are more noises and more impressions. That is why most women give birth at night.


In order to release only a small amount of adrenaline during delivery and as much oxytocin and endorphins as possible during delivery:

  • Organise warm surroundings to give birth in.
  • Wear soft and comfortable clothes.
  • Avoid bright light. Dim the lights (this is also possible in a hospital) or light some candles.
  • Turn off telephone, radio and television if you notice that this distracts you.
  • Take a warm shower and fill a hot-water bottle with warm water.
  • Ask someone to give you a massage.