Night BabiesTemitope Oyetunji
Why does labour commonly occur at night?
This is the question I started to ask myself when after a quiet daytime call, three women came in labour after 9pm.
They say necessity is the mother of invention, I say necessity is the mother of knowledge.
I did not ask this same question when I was a medical student, when I carried my bag and went home after each day’s work. Even when I did what we used to tag calls in those days, I left the hospital once it was 8pm.
I did not ask the question when I was a house officer, perhaps because I was confused most of the time. I had made peace with the fact that I signed up for one year of intense suffering and sacrifice of sleep, comfort and a clear head. So it did not matter that women chose the night hours to labour, I would not sleep anyway, if it was not labour, it would be ‘tissued’ lines or any other thing the nurse on duty felt needed my urgent attention.
I picked a place for my national youth service based on purely economic reasons, so there were no labours going on in the hospital where I worked, just university students coming in with headaches and running noses.
But what of during my first O&G rotation? At least I had gained a level of clarity then, instead of being the chief sufferer, I now had house officers working with me, and I had more brain room to ask intelligent questions. Why didn’t I ask the same question then?
I didn’t ask because there was no necessity. But now that I have to think about you, my reader, and what I’m going to write about every other day, I have started asking more intelligent questions with the aim of sharing the answers with you. Cool huh!
Now, having given you that elaborate background on the origin of the necessity of this incumbent question, there’s actually a scientific reason why women often go into labour at night.
Word has it that the hormones Melatonin and Oxytocin are the ones who join hands to make sure babies arrive this planet at night or in the early hours of the morning.
Since this is a blog and not a medical or scientific journal, you might have to read more on how they do that, provided there is a necessity for you to do so, but most importantly, now you know.
And now that I have shared this knowledge with you, I think I should go to sleep because I didn’t get much sleep last night because of these women who came in labour at night.
And if you already knew this little knowledge I just shared, tell us, what was the necessity that led to that knowledge for you?
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