You know labor has started by the strong, regular contractions of the uterus that grow stronger over time. But what exactly triggers this process? With as much as doctors know about labor and birth, this remains a mystery. They don’t quite understand what starts the process.
Doctors are conducting research in an attempt to better understand the process that triggers labor. In addition to better understanding the mechanism that triggers full term labor, they are hoping to better understand and prevent preterm labor.
While they still don’t know for sure what causes labor to begin, there are several theories. One theory is that the mother’s pituitary gland begins to secrete oxytocin when the baby is fully developed and ready to be born. Oxytocin is the hormone that stimulates contractions. Pitocin is a synthetic form of oxytocin that is routinely used to induce labor.
For many years, it was believed that the mother’s body was responsible for starting labor. Some researchers now believe that the baby actually starts labor. The baby sends a signal to the mother’s body that causes labor to start. There are a few different theories about how this may work.
One theory is that the baby’s lungs secrete an enzyme or chemical when they are fully developed. This causes prostaglandins to be released into the mother’s system. The prostaglandins then trigger changes in the cervix and contractions. Prostaglandins are sometimes used to induce labor.
Another theory is that the baby’s adrenal glands send a signal to start labor. When the baby is ready to be born, the adrenal glands produce hormones. These hormones cause hormonal changes in the mother. These changes are responsible for the process that starts labor.
While there are many theories, no one really knows what triggers labor. This process remains a mystery. As research continues, the answer to this question may soon be answered. This will increase our understanding of the birth process and possibly save thousands of babies from preterm births each year.