Are you worrying about how to cope with Labour Pain?
After all everyone keeps telling you it is the most painful thing you will ever endure.
I want to tell you a secret… It’s not meant to be painful.
It is meant to be a wonderful, positive experience…one you want to do again.
So why do people keep telling you otherwise?
There has been some research into women’s memory of labour pain, because remember that is what it is, just their memory of it.
The conventional wisdom is that women “forget” all about the labour pain once the baby is born.
So how come everyone keeps going on about it?
A literature review in 2000 concluded that:
” the analysis suggested that women do not completely forget labor pain, and recall is often vivid but not always entirely accurate.”
So we don’t forget but we might be remembering it wrong!
Another study went a bit further and asked over 1300 women two questions at 2 months, 1 year and 5 years after the birth
‘How did you experience the intensity of labour pain?’ and ‘How was your experience of labour and birth?’
They found that:
“women who evaluated childbirth as a very positive experience when asked 2 months after the birth reported the lowest pain scores, and women with a negative overall experience reported the highest scores.”
“women who had a very positive or positive memory of childbirth at 2 months changed their assessment of labour pain over time. They remembered pain as less and less intense.”
“women who said childbirth was a negative or very negative experience did not change their assessment of labour pain’.
This research suggests that it the experience that causes birth to be remembered as painful rather than the birth itself. Which is something childbirth educators have know for a long time.
We are all different and we will all experience labour and birth in our own unique way.
But if we understand what our bodies are doing and learn ways to have a positive birth we can reduce our labour pains or even not perceive them as pain but as a physiological process necessary to birth our babies. This is certainly the state many of my Hypnobirthing Australia clients get to.
Because they realize that :
Labour Pain in Mainly in the Brain
Pain really is mainly perception which is why different people will react differently to the same sensation.
Remember : We are all different and we will all experience labour and birth in our own unique way.
So don’t let someone else’s perception of birth ruin your birth.
I wrote a blog on this because it is fascinating how we can control our minds and our sensations, if we also learn to alter our perceptions.
But if you are not convinced Hypnobirthing will work for you, there are some other ways you can cope beautifully with labour and birth.
1. Understand the Difference Pain VS Suffering.
I love listening to Penny Simkin talk about pain versus suffering in labour and you can watch her video after reading this blog.
I think this is a really important concept for mums-to-be, their partners and care-givers to understand.
Penny talks about pain being a physiological response, whereas suffering is an emotional response characterised by a feeling of being overwhelmed, out of control and not knowing what to do about it.
No woman should “suffer” through labour but many do, because they feel overwhelmed, out of control and don’t know what to do about it.
2. Stop feeling overwhelmed.
For a start stop googling “Labour Pain” and watching “One Born Every Minute”
You can do this. You were born to do this.
Learn all you can about normal birth and the way your body was designed to birth easily, efficiently and with reward.
Yes reward: you will be rewarded by a massive endorphin high and dopamine rush if you birth with all your hormones flowing.
You really don’t have to feel overwhelmed your body and your baby know what to do.
3. Learn some ways to be in control so you know what to do.