The Fetal Ejection Reflex


What if I told you you don’t even need to push?🤫  Did you know your body is capable of pushing your baby out all on its own without extreme effort and/or hours of pushing?  Ever heard a mommy say “I just couldn’t stop pushing and suddenly my baby was out!”.

  It’s called The Fetal Ejection Reflex!❤️ 

This is true for all humans as well as other mammals.  So why are women told to purple push?🤨 Purple pushing is what we have accepted as normal in a medicalized world.  Imagine a woman laying on her back while everyone in the room is telling her to hold her breath, put her chin to her chest, grab her legs and push for 10 second counts.  All while at least 2-3 people are yelling “push push push push”. nThat’s what we call purple pushing and/or directed pushing.  It is not the most effective, comfortable or natural way to give birth. 

 The fetal ejection reflex happens for women when they are fully safe, supported, and allowed to birth in peace.  This can be rare to be seen or experienced in a birth filled with interventions, inductions and medication.  What is the normal process for the fetal ejection reflex?🤔  How can you increase your chances of experiencing FER(fetal ejection reflex)?🤔What are the benefits of FER?🤔

📌It is very common for a mother to experience labor to begin at night and progress rather easily in her home when it is dark and less people are around with less stimulation. Mommy feels it’s time to go to the hospital, she gets there, is surrounded by bright lights, loud sounds, a new environment with strangers which all raise her adrenaline levels and suddenly her labor slows down or will stop completely. This is a normal response to over stimulation and “flight or fight”. The neocortex of the mothers brain has been stimulated further preventing the mother from accessing her parasympathetic nervous system necessary for the primal state of giving birth. This is when hospitals start intervening the birthing process.
📌Often times, once mother is reaching the FER on her own, her labor will naturally slow or stop. This is the spot where hospital, again is wondering why labor is “stalling”, further introducing interventions like more pitocin or breaking your bag of waters. When in reality your body is resting up and building adrenaline to finish birthing the baby, and giving you an extreme amount of adrenaline and oxytocin to have you wide eyed and bushy tailed when your baby is born. It is not harmful to you or your baby to wait for your body to start laboring again. THIS IS NORMAL!
📌FER causes large amounts of adrenaline which in turn makes mommy seem uncontrollable. She might start to say things like “I can’t do this”, or “I’m gonna die”. This is a natural response to FER beginning. Hospital staff at this point works hard to try to get mommy under control or tell her she needs an epidural or narcotics to “calm down”. THIS RESPONSE FROM MOMMY IS NORMAL AND SHOULD BE MET WITH NOTHING BUT KIND WORDS AND ENCOURAGEMENT TO KEEP LABORING!
📌We are taught in a hospital setting that once we reach 10cm, it’s time to purple push. This can lead to hours upon hours of heavy duty pushing that can be ineffective, cause more vaginal tearing, cause stress to mother and baby and lead to a cesarean if mommy doesn’t push her baby out in a timely fashion and/or use of forceps for delivery. This is when we start to hear “your pelvis is too small”, or “baby is stuck”, or “baby is too big to come down”. Baby will come out on it’s own with patience and the understanding of how a woman’s body is meant to give birth!
📌During FER mommy experiences each contraction allowing her body to move baby down on its own until finally a large amount of Oxytocin is released and baby is ejected with only 3-4 strong contractions/pushes. Mommy will guide her own baby out with just listening to her body and using none to minimal effort. This reduces stress, vaginal tearing, and allows the delicate dance of perfectly balanced hormones to begin. Perfectly bonding and guiding mother and baby. It’s truly a magical sight and experience 😍

➖Meet anyone and everyone who could be delivering your baby
➖Get acquainted with the facility you will be giving birth in
➖Don’t allow everyone in your family to your birth. The less amount of people watching you birth, the better.
➖Make your birth intimate by lighting candles(if in a hospital you can use flameless candles). Bring essential oils and/or oil diffuser. Dim the lights in the room as much as possible. Ask everyone to use soft voices and only talk in between contractions. Lots of massages by your partner. Slow music to help you relax. Familiar items from your home, like pillows, blankets and a few favorite items of yours.
➖Make it known that you do not want directed pushing/purple pushing
➖With the epidural, FER can be hard to come by but it’s still achievable with a well placed epidural and if you wait till you have the deep overwhelming urge to push.

Photograph by Kayla Grey