Many pregnant women believe that labour often begins at night, leading them to wonder if there is any truth behind this common belief: do most labours start at night?
While every pregnancy and childbirth is unique, research suggests that there may be some validity to this widely held belief.
In this blog post, we will take a closer look at why many labours start at night and what you can expect during this time, providing you with valuable information to help you prepare for labour and delivery.
Our Body’s Circadian Rhythm
Our bodies have a built-in clock known as the “circadian rhythm,” which regulates various physiological and behavioral processes in response to natural cycles of light and darkness.
This means that our bodies are biologically programmed to be more active during the day and more relaxed at night.
This natural rhythm can influence the timing of labour as well, causing many women to experience contractions and labour pains more frequently at night.
A Drop in Stress Hormones
Another reason why many labours begin at night could be due to a drop in stress hormones such as cortisol.
Cortisol levels typically decrease towards the end of the day, which can trigger the onset of labour.
Additionally, at night, there is often less external stimulation and distractions, which can allow a woman to focus on her body and become more attuned to labour signals.
More Relaxation and Comfort
When the body is relaxed, it is easier for contractions to progress and for labour to begin.
Many women report feeling more relaxed and comfortable at night due to a quieter and more peaceful environment, making it an ideal time for their bodies to begin labour.
Additionally, many healthcare providers are less busy at night, allowing for more support and attention during labour.
Finally, there could be evolutionary reasons for why many women experience labour at night. In ancient times, humans would have likely given birth in a protected, quiet, and dark space out of harm’s way.
This would usually involve giving birth at night, where there is less risk of disturbance and noise. Since birth is such a vulnerable and intimate experience, it’s not surprising that the human body has adapted to prefer a specific environment in which to give birth.
Preparing for Night-Time Labour
If you are an expectant mother, it’s essential to prepare yourself for the possibility of labour starting at night.
Ensure that you have a birthing plan in place, communicate any concerns or preferences to your healthcare provider, and pack a hospital bag with any essential items you may need.
It’s also vital to have your support person(s) informed and prepared for the potential of a night-time labour.
While there is no guarantee that your labour will start at night, it is essential to be aware of some common factors that may influence the timing of your baby’s arrival.
Listening to your body, staying relaxed, and working closely with your healthcare provider can help ensure a smoother and more comfortable birth experience.
Remember, every labour and delivery are unique, and what’s most important is that you and your baby are healthy and safe.