Royal labour: What kind of pressure is the Duchess under?
Published Monday, July 22, 2013 9:15AM EDT
Last Updated Monday, July 22, 2013 7:05PM EDT
The experience of giving birth is one shared by all mothers -- with anxiety, pain and joy all commonplace in the delivery room.
But one psychology expert says the intense attention on Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, makes for a unique experience.
Despite the throngs of royal watchers and media outside St. Mary’s Hospital in London, child psychologist Amanda Gummer says Kate is likely trying to create as normal an environment as possible inside the hospital.
“I think she needs to withdraw back into Kate, rather than being the Duchess at this time,” says Dr. Amanda Gummer, a child psychologist based in London, England.
Gummer told CTV’s Canada AM on Monday that the throngs of spectators and media who’ve descended on the hospital only adds more stress to an already stressful event.
“It’s a biological process. It’s a natural event that millions of women go through,” she said. “So I think bringing it back to the biology, and the raw emotion, and the raw process, will help distance herself from the media frenzy.”
What helps the labour process along?
Gummer said that keeping calm is key to bringing on labour as naturally as possible.
When the body feel relaxed it reduces the stress hormone cortisol and allows oxytocin, the hormone the body produces during labour, to bring about the process “as naturally and as smoothly as possible,” Gummer said.
“By keeping those stress hormones reduced, it will allow (Kate) to experience as natural of a birth as possible.”
What emotions does a mom experience after giving birth?
Gummer said a recently released poll on care.com, an online forum for parents, shows the three key emotions for new parents are excitement, anxiety and exhaustion.
“Obviously, labour is a really intense and exhausting process, so those three emotions are at the top of most parents’ lists,” she said.
Can the royal baby experience a “normal” childhood?
With the pressures of the media, and the expectation that the royal baby will be heir to the throne, Gummer said a normal childhood may be an “ambitious” goal.
“As you grow up to be on the throne, you’re not expected to be normal. You’re not expected to be like everyone else,” Gummer said. “You’re a royal baby that will have all the benefits, but also all the pressures, of living that life.”