Labor pain may be a good thing according to male professor

An associate professor in midwifery at the Nottingham University, Dr Denis Walsh is now saying that pain during childbirth is a good thing. He describes it as a "rite of passage" which often helps to regulate childbirth as well as help to strengthen a mother's bond with her baby, thus preparing her for motherhood.

Dr Walsh, who wrote on the subject in the journal Evidence Based Midwifery, agreed that in some cases epidurals were very useful.

But he said epidural rates had been rising over the last 20 years, despite the fact that alternative, less invasive ways to manage pain in labour were available.

He said pain in labour was known to have positive physiological effects, such as helping to establish a rhythm to childbirth.

It also triggered the release of endorphins which helped women to adjust to pain.

Dr Walsh said epidurals were known to increase the risk that hormone treatment would be needed to boost contractions, and that devices such as forceps would be needed to complete the birth successfully.

He said: "I am concerned that if we increase epidural rates we do not know the long-term impacts of that."

But he warned that a culture had emerged where most hospitals effectively offered women epidurals on demand.

Figures show the number of women receiving epidurals is on the rise. The have gone up from 17% in 1989 to 1990 to 33% in 2007 to 2008.

Dr Walsh said the NHS should encourage alternative ways to deal with pain such as yoga, hypnosis, massage and birthing pools.

I agree with many of Dr. Walsh's points however his colleague Ms. Longton's words mirror my own thoughts on the matter.

She said: "It is very difficult to talk about this unless you have been through it. Childbirth is such a different experience to breaking a leg, or breaking an ankle, and it is different for every woman.

"So anybody saying you must not do anything is unwelcome."

Ms Longton said it was vital that women who asked for an epidural were not made to feel they had failed in some way, as that was very likely to damage the bonding process with their baby.

Natural childbirth is not a common choice these days with C-sections, inductions, and epidurals considered the norm. I strongly suggest researching both sides before making a decision on your birth. I had both of my children without any form of pain medication and both births were empowering, life changing experiences.

The following is a video showing what happens during an epidural "What Happens during an Epidural".

Source: BBC NEWS

Source: Growing your Baby


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