Shaking during birth

Shaking During Birth Learn About the Transition Phase of Labour

During birth, you may go through a stage of shaking.

Your legs may start shaking and you may feel like you have lost control over your body. It may come as a shock and make you start to panic, if you are not prepared for it. It certainly made me feel out of control during my first birth. I didn’t know what was happening. Nothing had prepared me for this stage of the birth. The medical staff present during the birth did not explain to me that this could be normal. I received no reassurance and felt very alone and scared, despite having my husband and professionals in the room with me.

It is normal for your body to react like this during birth:

  • The body can start shaking uncontrollably during the transitional stage.
  • This is the stage of birth where the cervix is almost fully dilated and the body is preparing to push baby out.
  • This stage can also be the most painful of the birth process.
  • Many women will feel like they are out of control and cannot go on anymore.
  • The transition stage takes around 15 – 20 minutes, so the shaking will calm down again.

What Causes Shaking During Birth?

  • Shaking could be a reaction to the hormone shift during the final stages of labour.
  • The body could get a huge influx of adrenaline, causing the body to shake and also the onset of feelings of panic.

Recommendations and Being Prepared for Going Into Labour

  • Create a birth plan – make sure you know about each stage of the birth and how it can affect your body – then write down notes how you would like to cope with this stage and what you would like your birthing partner to do to support you.
  • If you are feeling out of control or panicky. Ask your birthing partner or the medical staff for help. Tell them how you are feeling. Ask them what is happening.
  • Think about how you normally react to a big influx of adrenalin. What do you do to bring the situation under control? Use the same techniques again during childbirth. These are techniques that are familiar to you and should therefore come easily.