Optimising endorphins

Mavis Kirkham, Margaret Jowitt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


The interactions of the hormones of pregnancy, labour and birth are complex and subtle and their effects are far reaching. Within these complex interactions beta endorphin (beta-end) has a key balancing function, being a hormone of relationship and a stress hormone. As well as helping the mother cope with labour, beta-end enhances relationships with the newborn and the initiation of breastfeeding. Both too much endorphin and too little can create problems in labour. Optimising endorphin levels is therefore more complex than simply enhancing them and calls for midwifery skills to relieve fear so that women feel safe.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)33-5
Number of pages3
JournalThe Practising Midwife
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Labor Pain
  • Labor, Obstetric
  • Midwifery
  • Natural Childbirth
  • Pregnancy
  • Women's Health
  • Young Adult
  • beta-Endorphin


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