The individual experiences the messages of a space subjectively; it is always “filtered” by human perception, processing of information, and judgment of their meaning. The subconscious often responds to numerous stimuli from the environment; He feels and responds to it, even if he is not actively observing it. The conscious and unconscious abilities to perceive, experience, and synthesize many messages from the environment and from within (ourselves) are crucial for the survival of humanity and human beings as an individual.
It constantly responds to these messages in order to survive as organisms, to survive as individuals and to perpetuate the species. Both aspects are concentrated during labor for the survival of the giving birth and the newborn, and for the biological model of maintaining the species to continue functioning.
Until recently, the spatial experience of the birthing woman and the staff who built and designed modern birthing spaces in hospitals was often overlooked or at least not seen as a priority. This is generally true for health-related areas and partly because these processes are mostly subconscious.
Studies of human birth, birth physiology and the biology of a newborn show that these have not changed much (given the timeline of evolution), unlike the conditions surrounding them, which have changed greatly in a relatively short time. Medicalized delivery environments prevalent in maternity hospitals deviate from recognizing and considering these rather long-lasting patterns that can be classified as pathogenic birthing environments according to their effects on the woman giving birth.
Scientific research helps to answer questions about the ideal birth environment when viewed through the prism of evolution. Birth studies and motherhood research in primates and indigenous people help with this. Numerous findings suggest that female primates (including females) are natural and well known to have a “domestic”, non-intimidating and pleasant environment. They are typical for a particular group and behavior at birth, for example, that do not contain disturbing elements related to the cultural forms that co-design their daily life.
For a proper delivery, the woman giving birth must define the specified ‘birthing area’ boundaries to control the ‘birthing zone’ and no intervention is allowed. As a result, she can give birth with all her strength and abilities, without any fear-inducing situation and without a defensive reaction, withdrawal, or a passive response or a “freezing” (fight, flight, or freeze response). A spontaneous physiological birth enables the woman’s free movement and actions stimulated by her body; group is close but respects the boundaries of the birth area by maintaining an appropriate distance.
Unlike other primates, the thinking brain “silences” a woman’s instinctive behavior at birth. Some researchers suggest that for a smooth birthing process, women need to activate the neocortex less and act more spontaneously, that is, giving birth in an environment according to the “primitive mammalian brain.” Research findings on certain behaviors defined as “nesting” indirectly confirm their advantages. Nesting is observed among women in less institutionalized settings such as birth centers. However, it can also be seen in modern planned home births. Research on traditional birth cultures and practices of indigenous people revealed some common characteristics: Birth usually takes place in the company of a known person. Women rarely choose to give birth with strangers and usually give birth at home or in their current place of residence; a non-domestic environment is rare. If chosen, this is usually a setting belonging to a close relative or a special space for women’s events in a particular community. A woman usually gives birth in a separate, usually protected area, divided, for example, by a blanket.
A woman rarely gives birth outside, and her friends often motivate her and support the birthing process. The woman is free to move, crouch, kneel or sit while giving birth, usually supported by a person standing or sitting behind her. A (normally female) obstetrician is usually available. Females often form a complete birth support circle. Research on various birth cultures related to indigenous people as well as modern medical birth shows the different specific features of individual birth aid in general birth patterns. These features reflect the prevailing beliefs of the woman’s body and its abilities and are based on a particular view of a woman and her social position.
The specialist literature on midwifery in popular culture also includes descriptions of pre-medical forms of birth assistance and ancient labor practices that idealized the figure of a lay midwife. These statements should be replaced by critical thinking based on facts. Due to the rapid development of information technology, collecting data on past and present types of birth aid and its conditions, including spatial factors, is significantly easier. We can include them in our knowledge and skills as part of humanity’s intangible legacy (or midwifery legacy). Such types of maternity aid should be examined in terms of integrity and risks to the mother and child, and incorporate them into practical use if considered appropriate and effective.
It simply summarizes that both factors provide the right conditions for optimal physiological delivery, with well-functioning biological models and selected positive cultural practices and message. The findings of neuroscience and neurobiology regarding the complex “game of hormones” involving oxytocin, endorphins and catecholamines in a woman giving birth, and to some extent, the important influence of the environment on the course of labor in the present midwife are explained. Simply put: a gap has an important role in achieving or preventing a physiological delivery due to its inhibitory or stimulating effects on the secretion of antagonistic hormones (oxytocin and adrenaline).
The home-like and intimate spaces adapted to the woman giving birth trigger “positive” feelings or moods via the parasympathetic nervous system and allow oxytocin to be released pulsally in the mother’s body. Labor contractions are effective and the body opens. By understanding which aspects of the space related to adrenaline trigger or increase stress and cause anxiety, fear and restlessness, and by taking appropriate spatial measures according to these findings, it can reduce or prevent the negative impact on the woman giving birth.
The welfare of the giving birth woman is always of paramount importance, but other people using these areas should also be considered because of their impact on the well-being of the giving birth woman and herself. The midwife and partner who feel uncomfortable, for example, due to the lack of a comfortable seat or being exposed to strong lights without the possibility to relax, will negatively affect the woman giving birth and the birth process by building. (Increasing tension and anxiety) Appropriate spatial measures should be taken regarding adrenaline and according to these findings.
Author: Ozlem Guvenc Agaoglu