Updated: Jun 29, 2022
Labor Land is a special place designed to help you to cope with the intensity of labor. If you can let go of control, feel confident and safe in your surroundings, and labor without an epidural, you will drop into labor about the time that you hit active labor.
How does it help, you ask? Well, Labor Land provides mechanisms within your body to cope with the pain. Yep, that's right! Without pharmaceutical support, your body actually produces its own natural pain drugs!! It's called Oxytocin and it is a powerful natural drug that helps reduce pain signals! It's so powerful that pharmaceutical companies have created a synthetic version, called Pitocin. Be careful though, they are not equal. The Oxytocin produced by your body is far superior than the man made version which can’t quite compare.
Labor Land also helps you to conserve energy by blocking out things that you don't need. Have you ever noticed that most laboring women have their eyes closed! Yep, it's because sight brings in a huge amount of data that needs to be processed and that takes energy. Consider your computer CPU. Certain programs take up a lot more processing power than others. When that happens your computer begins to slow down and not function optimally. The body is wise and realizes that it must reallocate resources. With your eyes closed you conserve energy for the work of getting through labor.
A woman in labor land will also lose track of time and space. Again this is a protective mechanism and is helpful for coping with the intensity of labor. A healthy labor that is unfolding normally will often take between 8-12 hours. That’s a long time to live in an intense place. So the body starts to make the concept of time very fuzzy. What is 6 hours for the laboring woman's support team can feel as short as 30 minutes for the laboring woman. And now you can see how this is super helpful. Because the perception of doing something that is very difficult for 30 minutes makes it much more do-able than the perception of doing something hard for 6 hours!
Just remember how to get there. Before labor starts, be sure to make plans to birth in a location that feels safe. You don’t want to be in a place that makes you uncomfortable or a place that makes you feel that you have to be on guard.
You want to build a birth team that you can trust, that understands your birthing desires and goals, and that you can be vulnerable with. Finally, and this is the hardest part, when labor starts, you need to begin to let go of control. Let your team manage everything and you just focus on riding the wave of one contraction at a time. Do these things and you will find the sweet comfort of Labor Land.
Photo on this page by Colorado Springs Birth and Family Photographer Danica Donnelly