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Belief in a no pain labor/birth? - Page 3

post #41 of 139
I believe that some women experience pain-free births, but I do not believe that it has anything to do with whether you believe you will have one or not. It is my personal belief that how much pain you feel during labour has more to do with genetics than the power of the mind.

When I birthed ds, I had no idea how much pain to really expect. Having heard many horror stories though, I was prepared to have to endure a VERY painful experience (I had decided on a homebirth). So I believed it could possibly be an excruciatingly painful experience - but it wasn't. I mean, it hurt a lot, but not as bad as I had expected. The one thing that really helped me a lot was having read somewhere that "if you believe you can do it, you can. If you don't believe you can do it, you can't". That is where I believe the mind is very important - you need to believe that you can DEAL with the pain and birth without medication in order to actually be able to. I just don't think you can believe the pain away.

In addition, I have a friend who had read that it's possible to birth pain-free as long as you believe it will be so. She was a VERY positive thinker and was absolutely, completely convinced that she would have a pain-free, and possibly even pleasurable, birth. If there was one person on the face of the earth who could believe herself into having a pain-free birth, it was her. When the time came, however, she had 16 hours of the worst back labour imaginable. She said it was the most excruciating pain she could have ever imagined. She has since sworn never to have any more children.

So...based on my and my friend's experiences, I would say to just work on believing you can deal with whatever pain you're faced with, rather than working on believing you won't have any pain whatsoever.
post #42 of 139
Quote:
Originally Posted by charmander
it seems normal that there would be some discomfort (or pain.)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gray's Mommy View Post
I have attended many births & there normally is pain involved.
The prevalence of pain in birth is not evidence that human physiology mandates it, as there are other factors in the equation, so that we have no way of knowing if they are responsible for all of it or only part.
post #43 of 139
Quote:
Originally Posted by fourlittlebirds View Post
Sure. There are also the problems of the self-fulfilling prophecy and the fact that it's debatable whether one can be prepared for pain simply by knowing that it might be present. But I'm not going to get into that right now. What I really want to know is why she assumes that the atmosphere that a mother chooses for her birth is indicative of her ability to be realistic about the possibility of pain? And why she feels qualified to psychoanalyze the mother's behavior? I find it really disturbing that there are midwives that allow themselves to make these kind of judgments. I certainly wouldn't want a midwife coming into my birth space questioning the validity of my choices and my vision. It sets up a hierarchical dynamic from the very beginning: the mother is delusional and needs to be set right, and the midwife is the wise one come to save her. Um, no thanks.

From Birthing From Within, p.120:



Such arrogance! Completely disregards the value of the mother making the experience her own, and that the mother's intuitive wisdom in preparing for the labor may very well include easing into it in such a way. It's not always about "just getting it over with."

I agree. The birth experience is a very important one, and if that involves candles and soft music and things enjoyable and relaxing to the laboring woman (the only person whose opinions matter in that moment!) then the midwife has NO RIGHT to question or deride that. FWIW the birth where I did take the time to have candles, pleasant sounds, and pretty scents, was my most peaceful, most enjoyable, least painful, and definitely a beautiful experience for me and my husband as we welcomed our baby.

This MWs attitude reminds me of L&D nurses and OBs who see a birth plan and automatically think "She's headed to a c-section!" Simple arrogance and narrow mindedness IMO.
post #44 of 139
Whoa - finger off the trigger, mamas! I feel that in my pp, the thought my midwife had about walking into a birth with candles and music was blown way out of proportion. OF COURSE she's not coming in doubting and "psychoanalyzing" the laboring mama and telling everyone what to do and snuffing out candles! Sometimes I feel like instead of sticking to the topic at hand and trying to help the op, some mamas are looking to find any little thing to pick apart. I sometimes feel like I'm "typing on eggshells" here.

My midwife has raved about how beautiful and amazing the candlelight births she's attended were and I'm sorry I wasn't more clear about that earlier, but please, sometimes give people the benefit of the doubt and don't be so quick to throw stones.

And, I have to say that I bought a bunch of candles and had a birth mix on my iPod because I envisioned this quiet, relaxing birth and when labor arrived, I didn't even think about using any of that stuff! For the trigger happy mamas - that's not to say that someone else wouldn't completely benefit from these things, it's just that I didn't personally, even though I thought I would.

post #45 of 139
Quote:
Originally Posted by happy2bamama View Post
OF COURSE she's not coming in doubting and "psychoanalyzing" the laboring mama
But that's exactly what the following is: "Whenever I go to a birth where there are candles lit and soft music playing, I think 'Oh sh*t...' because it makes me feel like the woman doesn't know that there's work to be done."

Quote:
Sometimes I feel like instead of sticking to the topic at hand and trying to help the op, some mamas are looking to find any little thing to pick apart.
And it is really insulting to have one's concerns and perspective dismissed as a simple character flaw.

Quote:
My midwife has raved about how beautiful and amazing the candlelight births she's attended were and I'm sorry I wasn't more clear about that earlier, but please, sometimes give people the benefit of the doubt and don't be so quick to throw stones.
It's great that she loves candlelit births. I'm sure she's a very nice person. I still find her statement disturbing.

Quote:
And, I have to say that I bought a bunch of candles and had a birth mix on my iPod because I envisioned this quiet, relaxing birth and when labor arrived, I didn't even think about using any of that stuff! For the trigger happy mamas - that's not to say that someone else wouldn't completely benefit from these things, it's just that I didn't personally, even though I thought I would.
Again, this is insulting. Both the accusation "trigger happy", as if what I replied to isn't a real issue; and the notion that I would take your personal preferences as an offense because I found the other statement disturbing, as if it's at all the same sort of thing.
post #46 of 139
personally, i do not believe that birth 'absoutely must be painful.' i think that based on any number of factors, it can be painful, but as FLB mentioned, it doesn't seem to me that it is biologically required.

beyond this, i think that labor can be and often is 'hard work' but that 'hard work' also need not be painful.
post #47 of 139
Wow, and I thought my post had been picked apart before! You completely proved my point.

OP - sorry for the diversion - I hope at least some of this has helped you decide how you will prepare for your birth.
post #48 of 139
For those who believe that the pain is a result of the mother's expectation of said pain, I have a question.

How do you explain women who are in pain before they even realize they're in labour? With ds1, I suffered from a severe backache for several hours before I experienced any recognizable contractions, and I didn't realize I was in labour.
post #49 of 139
Storm Bride, I'm new at this and frankly quite scared. As you can see I joined in '04 and today I've written my first two post. I was traumatized at a different forum, MOPS, a Christian site. I tried to explain that circumcision wasn't necessary. The moderator let me stay for as long as I could handle it, because she too had intact sons. Anyways, the answer to your question... Being in denial is probably a great thing if your having a natural birth because you've killed a lot of time.

I have 4 children. I gave birth 8wks ago to a beautiful 9lb 8oz boy we named Liam. No pain until the pushing part, that was 4 minutes. My daughter Ireland was born in the water 10lb 5oz. With her, I was in denial. I felt pressure and a huge amount of endorphins flooded my body. We walked all day that day and when I got home, called the midwife. She came to check me and I was a 7cm. Two hours later my baby girl was born. The child before her, Jaden was the first to be born at home. His birth was mighty painful! My very first child was in the hospital - Had epidural, 4th degree episiotomy, and forceps. He was my smallest kid 8-9.

Since I've had large babies, I now have uterine prolapse. I saw a doctor and he scared the s**t out of me. Said I needed a hysterectomy. This was a second opinion too. He had worse news to give me than the first doctor. However, I do feel tons better as I've been doing 300 kegels a day! I'm not bulging as much anymore. And for those of you who don't mind details, bless you! My "insides" should be a 2cm and I'm a 7 and a half. Is there anyone out there who may have experienced this?
post #50 of 139
Quote:
Originally Posted by SuperMoM2GTO View Post
I am reading a book now (Ina May's guide to childbirth) and it basically says (not exact words) that birth is only as painful as you think it will be. Well with DS, I totally believed he was just going to "fall out" and birth was not going to be painful. Long story short, it was painful.

Now this was a long time before I started reading this book (and hearing the idea that if you believe its not painful, it wont be) I still don't think it should be painful and think the reason I experienced pain last time was because I was induced. I believe that allowed to labor naturally, it wouldn't be painful. Am I right in thinking this? Or do I need to reevaluate my birth plan?
Interesting that you pose this question/train of thought at this time. I have been thinking about this myself. As I read Laura Shanley's site and other UC stories and articles about birth perhaps being intense, but not painful, it gives me much to think about and reconsider about birth.

I realized that when the contractions would start with my 2 other labors, I'd announce, "Here comes another one" and sort of brace myself for the pain. The second labor and birth, it was more intense and less pain, and for this third baby's birth, I'd like to really let go of my notions of feeling pain and "expect pleasure". I have read about women feeling like they are floating toward heaven with each surge (Ina's Spiritual Midwifery has those accounts, as well as the new video "Birth as We Know It")

I think fearing each contraction is one way of expecting them to be painful. So, today, when my braxton hicks contrx came, I noticed I tensed up and felt worried that my body/baby could handle it and stopped myself there and replaced that worry with welcome and imagined the "swells" as expanding my uterus like a balloon, and reminded myself my body is *strong* and capable and will not burst. (Edit to add: when I paid attention to the sensations and made conscious effort to welcome them, it was not frightening or painful anymore. These had initially been pretty strong and I was beginning to feel the anxiety of expecting pain to increase)

We women really can connect inward and do what is best to be peaceful with labor and birth. It can be a process to learn and internalize these things. Edit to add: Each woman is different and will find what works best for her in her labors, especially if she feels supported and cared for.

HTH and looking forward to reading the rest of the thread now that I just went ahead and posted a response without really reading through.
post #51 of 139
Quote:
Originally Posted by McMandy View Post
The mind is a powerful thing, and removing our negative thoughts and fears can do wonders for our birthing experience.
This statement has power to it. Women can tap into their own power and find the ability to change their feelings and perceptions. It is a journey, not an event. It takes a lot of faith sometimes and not everyone will reach the same "goal" (each birth may "look" differently from another woman's birth, but it can be a good birth experience for the woman). The one that the woman achieves is just right for her b/c of her efforts.

I really like how it is said in the birth film "Birth as We Know It" that birth is a culmination of the entire work of conception and pregnancy. It is not just an end event. What we think, feel, perceive and believe during our pregnancies wraps up in the final act of birth. We women have an incredible ability to affect how we feel about labor and birth and how we respond to the challenge, and how we approach it during pregnancy can make all the difference when the moment of labor and birth arrives. I think we women do not conceptualize the extent of the power and strength within us sometimes. There is so much there to be tapped into.
post #52 of 139
Quote:
Originally Posted by zoebird View Post
personally, i do not believe that birth 'absoutely must be painful.' i think that based on any number of factors, it can be painful, but as FLB mentioned, it doesn't seem to me that it is biologically required.

beyond this, i think that labor can be and often is 'hard work' but that 'hard work' also need not be painful.
I can agree with these statements They ring true for me.
post #53 of 139
Quote:
Originally Posted by greenthumb3 View Post
This statement has power to it. Women can tap into their own power and find the ability to change their feelings and perceptions. It is a journey, not an event. It takes a lot of faith sometimes and not everyone will reach the same "goal" (each birth may "look" differently from another woman's birth, but it can be a good birth experience for the woman). The one that the woman achieves is just right for her b/c of her efforts.

I really like how it is said in the birth film "Birth as We Know It" that birth is a culmination of the entire work of conception and pregnancy. It is not just an end event. What we think, feel, perceive and believe during our pregnancies wraps up in the final act of birth. We women have an incredible ability to affect how we feel about labor and birth and how we respond to the challenge, and how we approach it during pregnancy can make all the difference when the moment of labor and birth arrives. I think we women do not conceptualize the extent of the power and strength within us sometimes. There is so much there to be tapped into.

I was going to put a "nodding" emoticon here, but I have to go with instead. Beautifully put. Just beautiful!!
post #54 of 139
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post
For those who believe that the pain is a result of the mother's expectation of said pain, I have a question.

How do you explain women who are in pain before they even realize they're in labour? With ds1, I suffered from a severe backache for several hours before I experienced any recognizable contractions, and I didn't realize I was in labour.
Perhaps we are veering off into a discussion about what pain means to each of us. Backache is not pain to me. Pain is a cold drink and a cracked tooth.
This coming from someone whose first child was coming transverse and had to be turned via internal version in order to present head-first..and was born posterior after back-labor galore (my DP pounded my back so hard I was black/blue from waist to neck the next day). My second was also posterior with two nuchal hands. No walk in the park. Unpleasant at times, yes. Pain, no.

I also think that I need to clarify my posts. In responding to the original question, I state that I believe what we internalize does shape our births. I truly believe that. That said, I don't think it's the old "if you have enough faith, you won't get sick". Sometimes there are things at work outside yourself that you may have no control over. BUT, I do firmly believe that approaching birth with ingrained fear of pain will definately affect the way you experience your births (and your definition of pain). I just don't think it's the ONLY factor.
post #55 of 139
I don't know LOL (how's that for a decisive answer? ) Last time around I wasn't even sure I was in labor until transition hit.. I thought I was but just didn't know if it was the "real thing" or not. The last 2 hours were very uncomfortable but also very manageable. I tore during the birth and being stitched up was 10x worse than the actual labor. I think for me the pain is MUCH helped by knowing that #1- it won't last forever #2- I'm getting a BABY out of this! The minute the baby arrives I lose all pain tolerance and can not STAND birthing the placenta and getting stitched LOL. There is def. alot of mental work that helps a birth be a bit less painless. This time around I'm going to do hypnobirthing and I really think I can have a birth that is more uncomfortable than painful.
post #56 of 139
My 2 births were definitely like being stabbed with knives in the legs (why the legs, I don't know!!???) But it didn't hurt just because I thought it did - it really did hurt!
post #57 of 139
I have a question - hope it's not too OT - if pain is based on your belief or expectation of pain, can the same be said for nausea? I'm curious how many mamas here avoided the discomfort of pregnancy-related nausea using the same techniques as for avoiding birth-related pain?
post #58 of 139
Jumping in here, of my 5 births (4 at home) 2 have been almost completely pain free. The 1st was a hospital birth w/my body absolutely not wanting to go into labor (35 wks with contractions 4x an hr when I went in. Had been admitted for a possible emergency section the week before and they wanted me in immediately if anything else happened. Got in and they said my water bag was leaking and so kept me and eventually induced. Even pit didn't work, my son so didn't want to be born. Barely missed a c-sec again.) The first 52 hrs didn't hurt with him, but the last 5 or so did. I wasn't allowed out of bed, wasn't allowed to eat or drink, and was exhausted because I was having trouble sleeping. Only real sleep I got was when they gave me some demerol to help me sleep. Was so tired I slept until transition even though the drug had long worn off. Second was at home, 15 hrs, again didn't hurt much until near the end, maybe the last hr or so. 3rd was a water birth and an overwhelming desire to have my mom there this time. She got there, baby was born after 7 hrs and was completely pain free except for the ring of fire. The contractions caught my attention, but didn't hurt. Was just like I was exercising and needed to concentrate. 4th was a planned waterbirth that didn't happen, 11 1/2 hr labor, that hurt from the very first contraction. Didn't dilate past a 3 until after 11 hrs and then hit transition and went from a 3 to a 10 and delivered in 30 min. Hurt worse than anything I could ever think of. Baby was posterior during labor and NEVER turned, delivered sunny side up. Didn't get my water birth, had to be lying down and couldn't stand anything else. Baby knew I needed to deliver on my side and that's what caused him to shift that little bit needed and get his head on the cervix and dilate it. Also kept me from tearing (my biggest baby). 5th was a 7 1/2 hr waterbirth, again with mom and this time sister that didn't make it to the last one and was completely pain free except for ring of fire. I have absolutely no expectations for this last one and will just take it as it comes, but there are some tensions that may keep it from being pain free. If those are settled well ahead of time, than I believe it will be a pain free one again. With my 1st and all the interventions, etc and no idea what was going on there was no way I could have truly relaxed. With my 2nd I think it would have been pain free through the whole thing, even those last hrs if my 1st had been normal and I knew what to expect. 3rd was perfect, just the way I wanted it. 4th babies position made it impossible to be pain free, but it was still good. No one made it there on time and it was just me and DH and my 2 boys who were going to be there for the birth and was beautiful. 5th was perfect (if you can call 8 kids in the house and awake perfect) and just the way I wanted it again. The ones where everything went just right were perfect, I was calm, relaxed, etc. The ones where there was any uncertainty I felt pain. Sorry this is so long, but what it comes down to is I think a pain free birth is possible for anyone if the circumstances are just right. I don't think it happens for most because it doesn't take much for those circumstances to be thrown off, but in a perfect birth with everything just so (and definitely not a posterior baby!, at least for me) it is POSSIBLE (not destined) for someone to have a strong, but pain free labor and delivery.
post #59 of 139
Agree with the leg thing, that's where I feel my menstrual pains is as an aching in my legs, not my stomach. The painful contractions spread to my legs as well, though with the posterior baby I needed a lot of attention and pressure on the small of my back.
post #60 of 139
I wouldn't consider my labors painful but pushing is another story. Pushing wasn't bad for my first two that weighed 6/8 and 5/12 with little heads.

Having said that, I don't care how relaxed you are when something comes out of your vagina weighing 9 pounds 8 ounces with a 14.5inch head it's going to hurt! Or an 8/8 baby with compound presenation - OUCH! I wasn't really in pain until baby was presenting. Thankfully I push them out fast

Keri
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