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

Forum Jump: 
Reply
 
Thread Tools
#61 of 139 Old 06-20-2007, 03:17 PM
 
Storm Bride's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Vancouver, BC
Posts: 25,596
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by gcgirl View Post
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?
I can't help you there. I've been sick a total of once during a pregnancy and that was during my first trimester of my first pregnancy....I'd been up all night dealing with a family emergency (in-laws) and then went ahead and had blood drawn. I didn't expect it to be an issue, as blood draws don't bother me, but the combination (hormones, fatigue and blood draw) nailed me pretty hard. Other than that, in seven pregnancies (three miscarried at 12 wks.), I've never suffered from more than a hint of an upset stomach, which went away as soon as I ate something. FWIW, I figured I would have "morning sickness", as it was very ingrained that every woman gets it.

Pain is definitely subjective. The backache I had with ds1 was 100X worse than getting a dental filling with no freezing - for me. I'm sure others would disagree. The labour contractions (went to full dilation, but didn't push), on the other hand, weren't that bad...somewhat painful, but more intense. We'll see what this one is like, but while I expect pain, I don't actually fear it. Pain is just...pain...it's part of life. I don't necessarily expect to get through any given day without feeling pain (accidentally touching a hot pan, stumbling and bashing my arm on something, etc.), so the idea that birth may/will hurt really isn't a big deal. I can tell you that I'd rather go through what labour I've experienced a hundred times over having a migraine, or a c-section recovery, as both were much, much more painful than labour...for me.

Lisa, lucky mama of Kelly (3/93) ribboncesarean.gif, Emma (5/03) ribboncesarean.gif, Evan (7/05) ribboncesarean.gif, & Jenna (6/09) ribboncesarean.gif
Loving my amazing dh, James & forever missing ribbonpb.gif Aaron Ambrose ribboncesarean.gif (11/07) ribbonpb.gif

Storm Bride is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
#62 of 139 Old 06-20-2007, 04:25 PM
 
hapersmion's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Knoxville, TN
Posts: 1,770
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by gcgirl View Post
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?
I found that during transition, whenever I tried to lie down (on my side) through a contraction, I would throw up. (So glad I wasn't confined to a hospital bed!) It was really annoying, because I was tired and wanted to rest, but I just had to keep going and rest after ds was born. So, I didn't exactly avoid nausea, but it might be helpful to be aware of your position. I'm not saying that position is the only thing that causes nausea, of course, but it doesn't hurt to be aware of the possibility.

hapersmion
hapersmion is offline  
#63 of 139 Old 06-20-2007, 05:19 PM
 
mwherbs's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Tucson, AZ
Posts: 5,491
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
If you experience pain is there something wrong with you?

what use does pain have in a body? can the body be helped by the sense of or lack of pain?

----------------------
I have 4 children and with the first- the feelings were surprising - and in one sense I could say painful- in another it was a very different pain- look I can be upset all day from just a hang nail- and labor did not feel like a hang nail- it was a bigger experience than I could even really speak of with the language tools I have. in essence it is the process of becoming a mother, and you are shifted from the inside out- things hurt more when I was frighted or distracted in ways that were not comfortable- my younger sister was staying with me at the time and she had some friend over they were in the living room - and the noise they were making intruded- made me less settled and in more pain when they were quiet I could focus more- I kicked them out of the house--I was learning and my body was teaching me... that is what was happening and yelling out did not help for me-- it really works for me to be a centered as I can be- even self-centered/but really I mean birth centered tune really in find the places I felt safest - I even went and did a hospital tour because I hadn't gotten around to doing that yet- the old nurses there were so seasoned one said I think we will be seeing you later tonight- there were so many push pull things- none of it was completely comfortable- I think that our socialization is complex and how we feel safe- may also tug against how we feel instinctually safe -- I went to the hospital after midnight and was in active labor- probably 5 cm- from then on it is very blurry to me I was very altered and at a point disassociated because they were intruding on me , the shave, now the other women laboring was not scary-- being strapped down - spoken rough to- yelled at this all felt like violence- so yes there was pain and I disassociated the brutality of the rest is what hurt- the physical discomfort of labor not the thing not the pain I couldn't live with the intrusions of others- the internal struggle that put me there fear for my life and the baby's life- I felt safe and unsafe there-- yes that struggle caused pain- I could feel things the weight of the lights on me- then fear of the people in the room when I was screamed at--- things I know I was loaded with endorphins- in pregnancy I had hit my wrist against the edge of a dresser that I had moved into the hall way- stupid place to have put the dresser but any how it actually broke my wrist- I told the doc and he just thought I had carpel tunnel -- well during pushing- legs in high stirrups head of the bed flat- I had to pull myself up with the stirrup bars inorder to be more upright- with each push didn't feel a thing in my wrist not one thing- this arm did have a break and was put into a cast later - so should have hurt like h-l but didn't even through most of my labor too-- but after yes--
I think that pain in labor triggers things- endorphins for you and the baby, and there are other things it can tell you to move do something- this is just one of my births and the one that taught me how to find my way in labor.
----------
I have other thoughs on pain like DH has such a tolerance to pain that he doesn't feel things that would normally warn a person away from doing things- he has reflux disease and the only way he knew it was when he couldn't swallow food any more- because of the swelling and ulcers in his throat-if I get 5 minutes of heart burn I am in tears and drinking water or doing something to soothe the pain- now if he could feel the acid burning his throat he would be warned and could have prevented --- also when he had an appendicitis he would have said a pain level of 2 on a scale of 1-10, and he could have died from it but I knew something was wrong- and insisted on having further investigation- after the imaging and surgery the doctor was certianly sheepish- yes very very infected and enlarged appendix-doc felt that DH should come with a warning label because he doesn't have a normal pain sense---
mwherbs is offline  
#64 of 139 Old 06-20-2007, 07:32 PM
 
pookel's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Catching more flies with honey
Posts: 3,706
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by wannabe View Post
I think that people who gloss over how much it really hurts are doing first timers a disservice. The main reason I collapsed and asked for drugs was how totally unexpected the pain, and the *wrong* feeling of that pain was. I fell hook line and sinker for the "it's just hard work" line, and of course ignored anyone who patronisingly said I'd scream for drugs.

If just one person had said "yes, it hurts like nothing you'll ever feel again, and you will be convinced it's going terribly wrong, and will want to die from the pain, but you can do, just aim to be alive at the end". Then I would have had better preparation.
YES, YES, YES!

I, too, fell for the "it's just hard work" line, and was completely unprepared for feeling like I was being slowly tortured to death.
pookel is offline  
#65 of 139 Old 06-20-2007, 08:18 PM
 
jljeppson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Moorhead
Posts: 860
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
As I said before, I think it's POSSIBLE for all labors to be pain free, but it depends on so many factors, as mentioned before genetics etc, that have to be accounted for that overall it is very rare. I do think, however, that in every case the amount of pain can at least be diminished, if not entirely gotten rid of. With my excruciating back labor with DS #4, whenever my hubby pressed on a certain part of my back the pain was relieved. I still felt the contractions, but the overwhelming pain was gone. I've never told any soon to be mom that I've been friends with or worked with not to expect pain, that it's just hard work. Goes back to the too many variables thing. I've made it clear that, unless somethings wrong, if they feel pain no matter what it will be pain they can deal with and remind them that when they get to the I can't do it anymore stage they are probably in transition and almost done, but never that they won't feel pain. I've felt it myself, so why would I set them up for an ideal that may not happen? I've definitely worked with moms that have felt they were going to die, but when reassured that nothing was wrong and everything was going the way it should they have always been comforted and felt a renewed resolve that they can go on. As for the nausea, I've never had it. I get super tired when I am around 2-3 mths for a month or so, but no morning sickness. I've read that food sensitivites can play a part in morning sickness; if your body is dealing with stuff it doesn't like than the hormonal changes of pregnancies is going to make it even more stressed possibly leading to morning sickness. Just goes back to the too many variables thing.
jljeppson is offline  
#66 of 139 Old 06-20-2007, 09:31 PM
 
Quindin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 5,633
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I gave birth 4 times: only the last time did I have a wonderful and easy labour! What did I do different? I was allowed to labour in peace and quiet with DH in a dark and relaxing bedroom at the birth center. I was able to deeply relax and focus AND I had a very good meal as soon as I arrived there. It was fantastic and truly how I always hoped giving birth would be.

So yes, I believe that women can have virtually or truly pain free labours if they are allowed to follow their instincts, listen to their bodies, relax and embrace the experience.
Quindin is offline  
#67 of 139 Old 06-20-2007, 09:44 PM
 
Quindin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 5,633
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by gcgirl View Post
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?
I do have nausea, but but I have learned to concentrate, relax and make the worse part of it go away. It takes a little while, but I have not vomited due to pregnancy nausea since last time.
Quindin is offline  
#68 of 139 Old 06-20-2007, 10:56 PM
 
greenthumb3's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 1,517
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by mwherbs View Post
If you experience pain is there something wrong with you?

what use does pain have in a body? can the body be helped by the sense of or lack of pain?
These two questions are so important to ask oneself!!

I asked these after the birth of my first child and I found the answers that made sense to me in Adrienne Lieberman's book "Easing Labor Pain". I especially liked the section on whether pain has a place or purpose in labor or if everyone were "supposed" to have totally pain-free childbirth experiences if they "did" enough to make it happen. ooooohhh, such a touchy subject! I would say each woman has to find her own answers. I enjoyed reading yours.

Mama to DS (10), DS (8), DS (5), DD (3), & DD (6 months).
Lucky Wife to My Techy DH for 11 years.
We stillheart.gif Homebirth, Full-term Breastfeeding,
Connection Parenting, Life Learning, our LDS faith.
mdcblog5.gif

greenthumb3 is offline  
#69 of 139 Old 06-20-2007, 11:05 PM
 
greenthumb3's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 1,517
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by jljeppson View Post
I've definitely worked with moms that have felt they were going to die, but when reassured that nothing was wrong and everything was going the way it should they have always been comforted and felt a renewed resolve that they can go on.
Those moms are lucky to have someone reassuring them, who has been there. That can make such a difference to a mother in the moment who can't see "outside" of the reality of the moment. Birth is so real and present!

And the questions at the heart of this thread is of physical pain, but what about emotional pain or dread? Many women also experience feelings of trauma from past life experiences (or abuse) brought up during the labor and birth.

I know the physical sensations were disturbing to me, but it was the emotional "reality" of it that caused me the most distress. And after the birth, I bled and fainted and couldn't sleep for at least four days straight as every time I drifted off, I felt like I was falling off a cliff and I would die. Yikes. For me, the sensations of labor are bearable, but the emotional challenges have been what I work on releasing the most.

Isn't it interesting how labor and birth are so very different for each woman, and for each pregnancy? I feel so much gratitude for the possibility birth offers me to release my pains and traumas and heal. I felt "reborn" as a person after my second pregnancy and birth and the effort I went to to examine myself and the experience was worth it so I could overcome the negativity of the first experience. I say to anyone who wants to heal from a past experience, it can happen, and I did have inner power, but I also received support and strength from many other sources, too. Thank goodness for other caring women!

Mama to DS (10), DS (8), DS (5), DD (3), & DD (6 months).
Lucky Wife to My Techy DH for 11 years.
We stillheart.gif Homebirth, Full-term Breastfeeding,
Connection Parenting, Life Learning, our LDS faith.
mdcblog5.gif

greenthumb3 is offline  
#70 of 139 Old 06-20-2007, 11:08 PM
 
greenthumb3's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 1,517
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by pookel View Post
YES, YES, YES!

I, too, fell for the "it's just hard work" line, and was completely unprepared for feeling like I was being slowly tortured to death.
Or how about every homebirth is a good birth? I wish someone would have said it's not all about "where" you give birth always, but more of what you "bring" to your experience that can make the difference, whether at home, hospital, birth center or car in the parking lot. I had the impression that if I gave birth at home, then everything would be peachy, and it wasn't so for me. Ahhh, life experience lessons.

Mama to DS (10), DS (8), DS (5), DD (3), & DD (6 months).
Lucky Wife to My Techy DH for 11 years.
We stillheart.gif Homebirth, Full-term Breastfeeding,
Connection Parenting, Life Learning, our LDS faith.
mdcblog5.gif

greenthumb3 is offline  
#71 of 139 Old 06-21-2007, 06:13 AM
 
Quindin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 5,633
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by greenthumb3 View Post
Or how about every homebirth is a good birth? I wish someone would have said it's not all about "where" you give birth always, but more of what you "bring" to your experience that can make the difference, whether at home, hospital, birth center or car in the parking lot. I had the impression that if I gave birth at home, then everything would be peachy, and it wasn't so for me. Ahhh, life experience lessons.
I agree that a birth won't automatically be wonderful just because it happens at home. However, from my own experience, giving birth at a hospital made it VERY DIFFICULT for me to bring anything to the experience. All the people walking in, all the lights, the noise, the pressure. For me, where I give birth has a HUGE effect on the outcome.
Quindin is offline  
#72 of 139 Old 06-21-2007, 11:39 AM
 
mikayla's mama's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 135
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I don't have time to read all the replies so I'm just going to throw in my two cents.

I had an induction with my first and it was horribly painful. Then when I had my second baby all natural it really wasn't too bad. I think the worst part of it was my expectation of pain because I only had one delivery to compare it to.
mikayla's mama is offline  
#73 of 139 Old 06-21-2007, 12:30 PM
 
pookel's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Catching more flies with honey
Posts: 3,706
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by jljeppson View Post
I've made it clear that, unless somethings wrong, if they feel pain no matter what it will be pain they can deal with and remind them that when they get to the I can't do it anymore stage they are probably in transition and almost done
That's what I thought, too, but I was at that stage before I was dilated to 1. : I had a posterior baby and back labor, but I don't know if that should really count as something "wrong." It's normal, just harder.
pookel is offline  
#74 of 139 Old 06-21-2007, 01:04 PM
 
greenthumb3's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 1,517
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by polihaupt View Post
I agree that a birth won't automatically be wonderful just because it happens at home. However, from my own experience, giving birth at a hospital made it VERY DIFFICULT for me to bring anything to the experience. All the people walking in, all the lights, the noise, the pressure. For me, where I give birth has a HUGE effect on the outcome.
Oh, yes. I can't imagine myself relaxing anywhere else but at my home now. I would be on edge 100% of the time at any hospital in my town. I do know moms who can relax and have a positive labor in the hospital (hypnobirthing and a doula helped my friend to have such an experience), so it is possible. Knowing what works for the individual is key.

I think the important thing (and just rolling with my train of thought here, not necessarily replying to anything you wrote) is to not look for or accept a "magic solution" or formula for a good experience. What looks like a good experience for one mom may actually be terrible for another, and what looks like a terrible experience to someone else may be a positive one for the mom. For instance, a local childbirth instructor here ended up with a homebirth transport to C section with a footling breech. She wasn't thrilled with the birth, but could accept it and work with it. On the topic of pain, if a mother experiences pain during labor and/or birth, that doesn't mean the experience was not meaningful and special to her in its own way, as I think the above example could suggest.

I do know that my first experience wasn't physically terrible, speaking of pain. It was the most painful experience in birthing I have had, to cpmare it to my second son's birth: relatively short labor, homebirth, breastfeeding was rocky but ended up ok. To everyone else, it looked like a "good birth" (my midwife wondered what I was complaining about), but inside, I was really traumatized emotionally. You never can tell just by looking at the experience from the outside. Now, I do want to be open and see what I can make of this third baby's labor and birth and I do feel that it will be positive, whatever way it happens. I have an emotional/mental strategy, but am flexible. I know how I want to approach labor and have a mental image of what I'd like to create for the birth, but I know things can be different than expected and I open myself up to that possibility, to embrace the end result, however it happens. Kinda tough to explain in words.

A woman really needs to find what works for her best, not what her childbirth educator did or her mother or her friend or whatever. Learn about the ideas and experiences, try things out, and follow what feels best to you.

I have a question for the OP, to get more of an idea of what it is you are wanting yo know: What is it about physical pain in labor that interests you?

Do you wonder if pain has a purpose in labor for women? Do you wonder if no pain is the key for a good experience to take place for the mother/baby? Do you just wonder if it's possible for you to have a pain-free labor? Are you just curious to see what mothers here will say?

Most importantly, do you feel like your questions were adequately answered?

Mama to DS (10), DS (8), DS (5), DD (3), & DD (6 months).
Lucky Wife to My Techy DH for 11 years.
We stillheart.gif Homebirth, Full-term Breastfeeding,
Connection Parenting, Life Learning, our LDS faith.
mdcblog5.gif

greenthumb3 is offline  
#75 of 139 Old 06-21-2007, 02:44 PM
 
trmpetplaya's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 3,757
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I had a home water birth and the only part that I would describe as "painful" was when dd crowned for about an hour... the burning was about as painful as it got. The contractions were mightily uncomfortable, but were more like getting an intense backrub from a PT for my tendonitis in my right shoulder. Things were moving and it was uncomfortable, but it wasn't like something was broken or in serious pain.

I think I did orgasm (or I at least came very close) during the pushing phase... it felt really great to push and it felt good to feel her head go down through the birth canal. The crowning was the worst part, IMO, but that could have been because it was so LONG. Her hand was up by her head which is why it took so long. I'm really hoping this babe's hand is born AFTER his/her head.

Though... had dd not crowned for so long then I would have torn terribly. As it was, I had a tiny split and didn't need any stitches. So it *was* worth the long crowning in the end. In a hospital I'm certain that I would have been given an episiotomy.

love and peace.

mama to two girls and due in November!
: Circumcision can never be undone :
trmpetplaya is offline  
#76 of 139 Old 06-21-2007, 08:57 PM
 
Collinsky's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: On a flat Earth, circled by the Sun
Posts: 2,673
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I may end up sounding like an out-there freak LOL but it's not just the laboring woman's fear that affects her birth. The thoughts, feelings, and ideas of everyone around her affect her experience. If you are surrounded by people who believe birth is absolutely excrutiating, that contributes to your sensation of pain.

Also, there is a big difference between reading "Birth pain is because of fear" and going on to have a painless birth. Because it's so much deeper than intellectual knowledge. You're dealing with the subconscious at that point, and every message about birth that you've received your entire life. And that's not something that can be altered simply by accepting an idea as probably true.

I do think its' important for women to understand that pain is common, is in fact the norm *for our culture* and that it doesn't mean anything is wrong; they are well-equipped to handle any pain that comes their way. In my painful births, the pain was not the most important thing in the birth. Labor pains is not the same thing as having someone hit you with a hammer in the foot every two minutes. It's not the same as a broken leg. It is a different kind of pain entirely, and even the wimpiest women can find themselves birthing like warriors through labor pain.

I think it's also important to know that painless births are possible, and that in some cultures, it's the norm. And that by working through some of our underlying assumptions about birth, we might be able to break free of some of that pain as well.

~ Colleen ~ Joyful Unschooling Pagan mama to hearts.gifenergy.gifsuperhero.gifjog.gif and babyf.gif
"When I'm sad, I stop being sad and be AWESOME instead."
Collinsky is offline  
#77 of 139 Old 06-21-2007, 09:36 PM
 
jljeppson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Moorhead
Posts: 860
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Collinsky View Post
it's not just the laboring woman's fear that affects her birth. The thoughts, feelings, and ideas of everyone around her affect her experience. If you are surrounded by people who believe birth is absolutely excrutiating, that contributes to your sensation of pain.
I think it's also important to know that painless births are possible, and that in some cultures, it's the norm. And that by working through some of our underlying assumptions about birth, we might be able to break free of some of that pain as well.
I'll definitely agree with that. During my studies I've read a lot of birth stories including one of a particular woman that was having a difficult labor and delivery. Turned out there were major problems between her and the dad (not married and he had initially wanted an abortion) that was making things more difficult than they had to be. The father ended up being asked to leave until the time for delivery and mom tensed up again during it. Afterwards the baby had absolutely no desire to breathe. She was alert and healthy, but wasn't interested in breathing on her own no matter what the midwife did. Wise woman ended up telling the parents that their daughter felt loved and secure in the womb and that she could feel the tension between her parents during and after the birth and did not want to give up the security she had felt previously. Both parents were encouraged to express their love for her and to assure her she was wanted and welcomed. Only after that did she begin to breathe. Frankly, this is the kind of story that I can be very skeptical about but I've seen the effects a parents feelings can have on a child and have to believe that a laboring mother or a newborn can be stressed, even endangered, by the feelings of others present.
jljeppson is offline  
#78 of 139 Old 06-21-2007, 11:20 PM
 
greenthumb3's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 1,517
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Birth&Bunnies posted the article below in another thread here and I thought it fit pretty well into this discussion, too. Great thread going!



Ecstatic Birth: The Hormonal Blueprint of Labor Mothering Magazine - Issue 111, March/April 2002
By Sarah J. Buckley

Giving birth in ecstasy: this is our birthright and our body’s intent. Mother Nature, in her wisdom, prescribes birthing hormones that
take us outside (ec) our usual state (stasis) so that we can be transformed on every level as we enter motherhood. This exquisite
hormonal orchestration unfolds optimally when birth is undisturbed, enhancing safety for both mother and baby. Science is also
increasingly discovering what we realize as mothers- that our way of birth affects us life-long, mother and child, and that an ecstatic
birth, a birth that takes us beyond our Self, is the gift of a lifetime.
Four major hormonal systems are active during labor and birth. These involve oxytocin, the hormone of love; endorphins, hormones
of pleasure and transcendence; epinephrine and norepinephrine, hormones of excitement; and prolactin, the mothering hormone.
These systems are common to all mammals and originate in our mammalian or middle brain, also known as the limbic system. For
birth to proceed optimally, this part of the brain must take precedence over the neocortex, or rational brain. This shift can be helped
by an atmosphere of quiet and privacy, with, for example, dim lighting and little conversation, and no expectation of rationality from the
laboring woman. Under such conditions a woman intuitively will choose the movements, sounds, breathing, and positions that will birth
her baby most easily. This is her genetic and hormonal blueprint.
All of these systems are adversely affected by current birth practices. Hospital environments and routines are not conducive to the
shift in consciousness that giving birth naturally requires. A woman’s hormonal physiology is further disturbed by practices such as
induction, the use of painkillers and epidurals, caesarean surgery, and separation of mother and baby after birth.

Hormones in Birth
Oxytocin
Perhaps the best-known birth hormone is oxytocin, the hormone of love, which is secreted during sexual activity, male and female
orgasm, birth, and breastfeeding. Oxytocin engenders feelings of love and altruism; as Michel Odent says, “Whatever the facet of Love
we consider, oxytocin is involved.”
Oxytocin is made in the hypothalamus, the “master gland” deep in our brains, and stored in the posterior pituitary, from where it is
released in pulses. It is a crucial hormone in reproduction and mediates what have been called the ejection reflexes: the sperm
ejection reflex with male orgasm (and the corresponding sperm introjection reflex with female orgasm); the fetal ejection reflex at birth
(a phrase coined by Odent for the powerful contractions at the end of an undisturbed labor, which birth the baby quickly and easily);
and, postpartum, the placental ejection reflex and the milk ejection, or let-down reflex, in breastfeeding.
As well as reaching peak levels in each of these situations, oxytocin is secreted in large amounts in pregnancy, when it acts to enhance
nutrient absorption, reduce stress, and conserve energy by making us more sleepy. Oxytocin also causes the rhythmic uterine
contractions of labor, and levels peak at birth through stimulation of stretch receptors in a woman’s lower vagina as the baby
descends. The high levels continue after bir th, culminating with the birth of the placenta, and then gradually subside.
The baby also produces oxytocin during labor, perhaps even initiating labor; so, in the minutes after birth, both mother and baby are
bathed in an ecstatic cocktail of hormones. At this time ongoing oxytocin production is enhanced by skin-to-skin and eye-to-eye contact
and by the baby’s first suckling. Good levels of oxytocin also protect against postpartum hemorrhage by ensuring good uterine
contractions. In breastfeeding, oxytocin mediates the let-down reflex and is released in pulses as the baby suckles. During the months
and years of lactation, oxytocin continues to keep the mother relaxed and well nourished. One researcher calls it “a very efficient
antistress situation which prevents a lot of disease later on.” In her study, mothers who breastfed for more than seven weeks were
calmer than mothers who did not. Outside its role in reproduction, oxytocin is secreted in other situations of love and altruism, for
example, sharing a meal. Researchers have implicated malfunctions of the oxytocin system in conditions such as schizophrenia,
autism, cardiovascular disease, and drug dependency, and have suggested that oxytocin may mediate the antidepressant effect of
drugs such as Prozac.

Beta-endorphin
As a naturally occurring opiate, beta-endorphin has properties similar to meperidine (pethidine, Demerol), morphine, and heroin, and
has been shown to work on the same receptors of the brain. Like oxytocin, beta-endorphin is secreted from the pituitary gland, and
high levels are present during sex, pregnancy, birth, and breastfeeding. Beta-endorphin is also a stress hormone, released under
conditions of duress and pain, when it acts as an analgesic and, like other stress hormones, suppresses the immune system. This
effect may be important in preventing a pregnant mother’s immune system from acting against her baby, whose genetic material is
foreign to hers.
Like the addictive opiates, beta-endorphin induces feelings of pleasure, euphoria, and dependency or, with a partner, mutual dependency.
Beta-endorphin levels are high in pregnancy and increase throughout labor, when levels of beta-endorphin and corticotrophin
(another stress hormone) reach those found in male endurance athletes during maximal exercise on a treadmill. Such high levels help
the laboring woman to transmute pain and enter the altered state of consciousness that characterizes an undisturbed birth.
Beta-endorphin has complex and incompletely understood relationships with other hormonal systems. In labor, high levels will inhibit
oxytocin release. It makes sense that when pain or stress levels are very high, contractions will slow, thus “rationing labour according
to both physiological and psychological stress.” Beta-endorphin also facilitates the release of prolactin during labor, which prepares
the mother’s breasts for lactation and also aids in the final stages of lung maturation for the baby. Beta-endorphin is also important in
breastfeeding. Levels peak in the mother at 20 minutes, and beta-endorphin is present as well in breastmilk, inducing pleasure and
mutual dependency for both mother and baby in their ongoing relationship.

Fight-or-Flight Hormones
The hormones epinephrine and norepinephrine (adrenaline and noradrenaline) are also known as the fight-or-flight hormones or,
collectively, as catecholamines (CAs). They are secreted from the adrenal gland, above the kidney, in response to stresses such as
fright, anxiety, hunger, or cold, as well as excitement, when they activate the sympathetic nervous system for fight or flight.
In the first stage of labor, high CA levels inhibit oxytocin production, therefore slowing or inhibiting labor. CAs also act to reduce blood
flow to the uterus and placenta, and therefore to the baby. This makes sense for mammals birthing in the wild, where the presence of
danger would activate this sympathetic response, inhibiting labor and diverting blood to the major muscle groups so that the mother
can flee to safety.
In humans, high levels of CAs have been associated with longer labor and adverse fetal heart rate patterns. After an undisturbed
labor, however, when the moment of birth is imminent, these hormones act in a different way. There is a sudden increase in CA levels,
especially noradrenaline, which activates the fetal ejection reflex. The mother experiences a sudden rush of energy; she will be upright
and alert, with a dry mouth and shallow breathing and perhaps the urge to grasp something. She may express fear, anger, or excitement,
and the CA rush will cause several very strong contractions, which will birth the baby quickly and easily.
Some birth attendants have made good use of this reflex when a woman is having difficulties in the second stage of labor. For
example, an anthropologist working with an indigenous Canadian tribe recorded that when a woman was having difficulty in birth, the
young people of the village would gather together to help. They would suddenly and unexpectedly shout out close to her, with the shock
triggering her fetal ejection reflex and a quick birth.
After the birth, CA levels drop steeply. The new mother may feel shaky or cold as a consequence. A warm atmosphere is important, as
ongoing high CA levels will inhibit oxytocin and therefore increase the risk of postpartum hemorrhage.
Noradrenaline, as part of the ecstatic cocktail, is also implicated in instinctive mothering behavior. Mice bred to be deficient in noradrenaline
will not care for their young after birth unless noradrenaline is injected back into their system.
For the baby also, birth is an exciting and stressful event, reflected in high CA levels. These assist the baby during birth by protecting
against the effects of hypoxia (lack of oxygen) and subsequent acidosis. High CA levels at birth ensure that the baby is wide-eyed and
alert at first contact with the mother. The baby’s CA levels also drop rapidly after an undisturbed birth, being soothed by contact with
the mother.

Prolactin
Known as the mothering hormone, prolactin is the major hormone of breastmilk synthesis and breastfeeding. Traditionally it has been
thought to produce aggressively protective behavior (the “mother tiger” effect) in lactating females. Levels of prolactin increase in
pregnancy, although milk production is inhibited hormonally until the placenta is delivered. Levels further increase in labor and peak at
birth. Prolactin is also a hormone of submission or surrender (in primate troops, the dominant male has the lowest prolactin level)
and produces some degree of anxiety. In the breastfeeding relationship, these effects activate the mother’s vigilance and help her to
put her baby’s needs first. The baby also produces prolactin while in the womb, and high levels are found in amniotic fluid, possibly of
uterine or placental origin.30 The function of prolactin in the baby is unknown.

Undisturbed Birth
Undisturbed birth is exceedingly rare in our culture, even in birth centers and homebirths. Two factors that disturb bir th in all mammals
are firstly being in an unfamiliar place and secondly the presence of an observer. Feelings of safety and privacy thus seem to be
fundamental. Yet the entire system of Western obstetrics is devoted to observation of pregnant and birthing women, by both people
and machines; when birth isn’t going smoothly, obstetricians respond with yet more intense observation. It is indeed amazing that any
woman can give birth under such conditions. Some writers have observed that, for a woman, having a baby has a lot of parallels with
making a baby: same hormones, same parts of the body, same sounds, and the same needs for feelings of safety and privacy. How
would it be to attempt to make love in the conditions under which we expect women to give birth?
For birthing Maia Rose, my fourth baby, I arranged a situation where I felt very safe and very private, and I had my shortest, easiest,
and most ecstatic labor and birth—one and a half hours with an 8-pound, unexpectedly breech baby. I believe this birth proceeded
optimally because I was totally free to follow my instincts, and because I felt safe and private. Each woman must labor where, and with
whom, she feels safest, and my situation would not suit everyone. But it underscores the huge gap between what was ideal for me and
my baby, physiologically and hormonally, and the standard care offered in most hospitals.

Mama to DS (10), DS (8), DS (5), DD (3), & DD (6 months).
Lucky Wife to My Techy DH for 11 years.
We stillheart.gif Homebirth, Full-term Breastfeeding,
Connection Parenting, Life Learning, our LDS faith.
mdcblog5.gif

greenthumb3 is offline  
#79 of 139 Old 06-21-2007, 11:22 PM
 
greenthumb3's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 1,517
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Collinsky View Post
I may end up sounding like an out-there freak LOL but it's not just the laboring woman's fear that affects her birth. The thoughts, feelings, and ideas of everyone around her affect her experience. If you are surrounded by people who believe birth is absolutely excrutiating, that contributes to your sensation of pain.
Oh, yes, I can agree with this statement! BTDT, too.

Mama to DS (10), DS (8), DS (5), DD (3), & DD (6 months).
Lucky Wife to My Techy DH for 11 years.
We stillheart.gif Homebirth, Full-term Breastfeeding,
Connection Parenting, Life Learning, our LDS faith.
mdcblog5.gif

greenthumb3 is offline  
#80 of 139 Old 06-22-2007, 01:43 PM
 
Storm Bride's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Vancouver, BC
Posts: 25,596
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Collinsky View Post
Also, there is a big difference between reading "Birth pain is because of fear" and going on to have a painless birth. Because it's so much deeper than intellectual knowledge. You're dealing with the subconscious at that point, and every message about birth that you've received your entire life. And that's not something that can be altered simply by accepting an idea as probably true.

I do think its' important for women to understand that pain is common, is in fact the norm *for our culture* and that it doesn't mean anything is wrong; they are well-equipped to handle any pain that comes their way. In my painful births, the pain was not the most important thing in the birth. Labor pains is not the same thing as having someone hit you with a hammer in the foot every two minutes. It's not the same as a broken leg. It is a different kind of pain entirely, and even the wimpiest women can find themselves birthing like warriors through labor pain.

I think it's also important to know that painless births are possible, and that in some cultures, it's the norm. And that by working through some of our underlying assumptions about birth, we might be able to break free of some of that pain as well.
I trimmed your post a little, but I think everything I wanted to respond to is here. There are several things:

1) "Other cultures". I'm never sure what to think about this one. I haven't done a lot of research into what other cultures expect from birth. But, two things strike me when I hear this. First of all, how do we know how much pain another woman is experiencing when she's giving birth, whether she's from another culture, or our own? Have there been studies asking how much pain, if any, women from other cultures feel, or are we simply jumping to conclusions based on observed behaviour during labour/birth? Secondly, how do we know whether this is a cultural difference, or an actual physical difference? Cultures which have been isolated from each other for long periods of time do develop physical changes (skin colour being one of the most obvious...and divisive *sigh*). It seems to me to be entirely possible that a culture in which painless birth is the norm may very well be benefiting from a genetic edge. There are certainly women here who have very differing experiences of birth pain, even with similar expectations - just as some women have longer average gestation periods than others, or have more or less frequent periods. Pregnancy, labour and birth are different from one woman to another, because of the way our bodies work. I can't see any reason to assume that pain can't be part of that.

2) I'm still wondering how the belief that the pain is all, or largely, due to our expectations as mothers accounts for pain when a woman doesn't know she's in labour. As I said earlier, my first labour started with an unrelenting, very painful backache. I spent several hours trying to ease it without suspecting in the least that I was in labour. I wasn't "due" for another week and a half, and it was my first baby - the pain wasn't in waves. I had no idea what was going on - but it hurt like hell. Even with ds2 - I was in a state of extreme emotional turmoil when labour started (the OB had told me just a few hours earlier that if I didn't show up for my scheduled section, he'd leave me with no caregiver), and labour was the last thing on my mind. I was sitting venting about the doctor, and started getting extremely painful "cramps". The pains were just like severe menstrual cramps - something I've also heard explained as "we get them because we're expecting them". (That's also bogus. I had no reason to expect cramp with my cycles, and almost never got them. The few times I did, they were brutal - but they were very, very rare.) The pains continued all night, and I knew I was in labour from the pain. If the pain only happens because we expect labour to hurt...then why does it hurt before we know we're in labour? A friend of my mom's slept through most of her early labour and woke up when she was almost in transition - thinking she was going to spend hours in that kind of pain. Why did it hurt when she was asleep and didn't even know she was labouring? She pushed the baby out only a little while later. Why are so many women surprised to find that pushing hurts so much more/less than they thought it would?

3) If labour pain happens because we expect it to...where did the expectation come from in the first place? Generations of women laboured without pain, then one day, a woman thought, "OMG - that must hurt" and had a brutal labour? I mean...where does the expectation come from, if the pain is a construct of the expectation?

I just don't quite buy this whole mindset. I do think we need to focus on trying to lesson the "demon" aspect of pain...in birth, and in our culture as a whole. Pain is part of life - it's not going away anytime soon. Do I want to embrace it? Not really...but I don't want to live my whole life trying to avoid something that's an inevitable part of being human, either.


ETA: I also want to mention that, while I believe the negativity of people around you can have a negative effect (I've done the hospital thing - terrifying...post-partum, as well as before the birth), my very painful labour with ds1 was when I was all alone. I hadn't called a caregiver, as I saw no reason to, and my ex was in bed asleep.

Lisa, lucky mama of Kelly (3/93) ribboncesarean.gif, Emma (5/03) ribboncesarean.gif, Evan (7/05) ribboncesarean.gif, & Jenna (6/09) ribboncesarean.gif
Loving my amazing dh, James & forever missing ribbonpb.gif Aaron Ambrose ribboncesarean.gif (11/07) ribbonpb.gif

Storm Bride is offline  
#81 of 139 Old 06-22-2007, 09:39 PM
 
greenthumb3's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 1,517
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post

1) "Other cultures". I'm never sure what to think about this one. I haven't done a lot of research into what other cultures expect from birth.
"Culture plays a significant role in attitudes toward childbirth pain, the definition of the meaning of childbirth pain, perceptions of pain, and coping mechanisms used to manage the pain of childbirth. According to Schuiling and Sampselle (1999, p. 77), nurses can provide comfort in the presence of pain. Pain does not have to be eliminated for women to be comforted, and comforting diminishes pain. The significance of comfort cannot be over emphasized (Jimenez, 2000)." Another perspective here.

I learned a lot from Adrienne Lieberman's book about dealing with pain in labor and her chapter about the concept of pain in a cross-cultural perspective was intriguing and seemed to resonate better with me than the pat answer given by some people that " all women in Africa would birth their babies and then work in the fields 5 minutes later".

If you look at illustrations of Native American women, women from other centuries in England, etc. etc, you'll find them in various positions that ease "pain" and that help a woman's body work productively (ie: hanging from a tree branch or pulling on a rope tied to the ceiling). In one culture (can't think of which one/s), a special blend of herbs to dull the pain was given, and stories go on and on. These are cultures where there are no doctors, nor hospitals, but the reality of childbirth was as real then as it is now.

There are also stories and accounts given by women and also be attendants that describe painless births. Read about some here, if you are interested.

To really make sense of the question, one needs to read both (many?) perspectives on the question.

There is so much to read and learn about. To OP: Yes, painless labor and birth is possible for some (many?), but if it doesn't happen for you, should you feel guilty, as though you'd done something wrong? NO! Perhaps ask if things *could* have been done differently to facilitate less pain, but accept you did your best. This allows for learning and growth in a healthy way. If you want a pain-lessened or free delivery, should you give up b/c someone else had pain in labor? NO! Make decisions that fit your own needs and have faith in something.

Mama to DS (10), DS (8), DS (5), DD (3), & DD (6 months).
Lucky Wife to My Techy DH for 11 years.
We stillheart.gif Homebirth, Full-term Breastfeeding,
Connection Parenting, Life Learning, our LDS faith.
mdcblog5.gif

greenthumb3 is offline  
#82 of 139 Old 06-23-2007, 02:55 AM
 
Storm Bride's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Vancouver, BC
Posts: 25,596
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by greenthumb3 View Post
"Culture plays a significant role in attitudes toward childbirth pain, the definition of the meaning of childbirth pain, perceptions of pain, and coping mechanisms used to manage the pain of childbirth. According to Schuiling and Sampselle (1999, p. 77), nurses can provide comfort in the presence of pain. Pain does not have to be eliminated for women to be comforted, and comforting diminishes pain. The significance of comfort cannot be over emphasized (Jimenez, 2000)." Another perspective here.

I learned a lot from Adrienne Lieberman's book about dealing with pain in labor and her chapter about the concept of pain in a cross-cultural perspective was intriguing and seemed to resonate better with me than the pat answer given by some people that " all women in Africa would birth their babies and then work in the fields 5 minutes later".

If you look at illustrations of Native American women, women from other centuries in England, etc. etc, you'll find them in various positions that ease "pain" and that help a woman's body work productively (ie: hanging from a tree branch or pulling on a rope tied to the ceiling). In one culture (can't think of which one/s), a special blend of herbs to dull the pain was given, and stories go on and on. These are cultures where there are no doctors, nor hospitals, but the reality of childbirth was as real then as it is now.
This is all interesting stuff (I'm familiar with quite a bit of it), but I don't see how that has anything to do with other cultures having "pain free" births. It means they actually work with the pain, manage the pain, and expect the pain to be bearable - that's not the same thing as not expecting, or not having, pain.

Quote:
There are also stories and accounts given by women and also be attendants that describe painless births. Read about some here, if you are interested.
I've heard and read many of these stories. I just don't consider them to be terribly relevant to the OP. I've talked to women who had pain-free c-sections, too...I don't think that means that surgery only hurts because we expect it to, yk?

Quote:
There is so much to read and learn about. To OP: Yes, painless labor and birth is possible for some (many?), but if it doesn't happen for you, should you feel guilty, as though you'd done something wrong? NO! Perhaps ask if things *could* have been done differently to facilitate less pain, but accept you did your best. This allows for learning and growth in a healthy way. If you want a pain-lessened or free delivery, should you give up b/c someone else had pain in labor? NO! Make decisions that fit your own needs and have faith in something.
I'm interested in the fact that you're mentioned "no pain" and "less pain" all bunched up together. I'm pretty sure I've had less pain (with the caveat that I haven't ever pushed out a baby) than many women in labour. I just don't see where that ties into having a "no pain" birth.

Lisa, lucky mama of Kelly (3/93) ribboncesarean.gif, Emma (5/03) ribboncesarean.gif, Evan (7/05) ribboncesarean.gif, & Jenna (6/09) ribboncesarean.gif
Loving my amazing dh, James & forever missing ribbonpb.gif Aaron Ambrose ribboncesarean.gif (11/07) ribbonpb.gif

Storm Bride is offline  
#83 of 139 Old 06-23-2007, 03:24 AM
 
sphinxie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 2,286
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I certainly think it's possible to have a pain-free and orgasmic birth, but I think it's probably related to more than just belief.
sphinxie is offline  
#84 of 139 Old 06-23-2007, 12:46 PM
 
jljeppson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Moorhead
Posts: 860
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Having had it both (painful births and pain free ones) ways would I say that there was something wrong with my painful births? My hospital birth, yes. My other home births, no. There is absolutely nothing I could have done more to deal with my posterior baby than follow what my body told me, which in this case was to lie down giving him the opportunity to readjust. There are things I could have done to make my 1st HB less painful, which frankly was only painful for the few minutes I was in transition, which was to lie on my side when I needed to lie down instead of on my back (wasn't exactly thinking clearly just then) and it probably would have been pain free the whole time as well. The 1st birth it was my forgetting to not lie on my back that caused me pain, the 2nd birth it was the positioning of the baby. So for at least one I couldn't have done anything to erase the pain, though I did do things that made it bearable. Again I don't think there was anything wrong with that birth, there were circumstances beyond my control that made it the way it was, and the delivery is one of my most treasured memories. I don't think pain in child birth is essential (In what way WOULD it be essential? Physically, spiritually, emotionally? We know children learn and develop better when taught without using pain as a teaching tool, so why would we as adults need it?), it just happens. Sometimes you have it, sometimes you don't but in no way is it needed. The Catholic church many, many yrs ago (we're talking centuries) used to feel that pain was essential for the birth of a child and a mother that didn't feel enough pain would be punished or in extreme cases killed. Maybe that's (not the Catholic church in particular, but that type of mentality) is how we came to believe that pain was a normal part of childbirth. When midwives were prevelant dr's were only called in to assist with the complicated delivery's and around the time drs started taking over the birthing process in America the main people they were seeing were the wealthy women who weren't very active and whose diets and clothing styles weren't healthy. These women knew nothing about their bodies and it's not surprising they had hard births. Also, when women started to go to the hospital it was a cold unwelcoming place where everything was designed to facilitate the dr's comfort during delivery not the mother's and they in turn again had harder more stressful delivery's. That's part of where the dr "all birth is dangerous and painful" mentality came from. It was all they knew. Somehow we have bought into the "Giving birth always hurts and that's the way it is" line. It's not true and does not apply to everyone woman. I would predict as birth education (TRUE education, not what the masses are taught in sex ed) improves and spreads the number of pain free births will rise. Not all women will have it that way and not all women who have one will have it with every birth (case in point, me), but it won't matter because we will have done it OUR way. I have been happy and satisfied with all my birth experiences (even the not as thrilling 1st; overall I birthed the way I wanted to and I definitely went home with the prize), pain or no pain. Just knowing I have had the choices I've had and birthing at home has made it possible for me (for some women it may be the hospital that makes them feel more free) to have the 2 pain free births I've had gives me hope that this last has a chance to be pain free as well. Whether it is or not, I will have birthed my way and I will be happy with my birth and my baby. I can't think of a better way to end that stage of my life than at home with my family welcoming my daughter? into the world.
jljeppson is offline  
#85 of 139 Old 06-23-2007, 01:56 PM
 
greenthumb3's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 1,517
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post
This is all interesting stuff (I'm familiar with quite a bit of it), but I don't see how that has anything to do with other cultures having "pain free" births. It means they actually work with the pain, manage the pain, and expect the pain to be bearable - that's not the same thing as not expecting, or not having, pain.
Well, I guess it depends on how one looks at it. I think this is relevant to what the OP asked regarding no pain labors/birth. I would love to hear what she is thinking about this thread. I shared those examples not to prove or disprove one idea, like "all birth should be painfree" but to offer a round-about idea of what pain in birth may look like in a cross-cultural perspective. I don't think it's fair to say that my opinion is fact, and I know I appreciate when someone else shares information and lets me decide. What is true for ONE mother, may not be true for another, and that includes it being okay if others don't agree with me. I chose to respond to what you wrote as it brought to mind some ideas and I wanted to expound on them. Since you do not agree with my post being relevant to the OP, I can agree to disagree. I respect your opinion.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post
I've heard and read many of these stories. I just don't consider them to be terribly relevant to the OP. I've talked to women who had pain-free c-sections, too...I don't think that means that surgery only hurts because we expect it to, yk?
If this is what you thought I was implying, then my message got mixed up somewhere. I was sharing the stories as one example of what was possible for some women. It was not meant to be *the* example of what birth should be, or make light of someone's medicalized birth.
FWIW, it is hard to decipher everything a person believes based on a few posts. It would take a real-life conversation of an hour or two to really understand all I really believe to be true about labor, birth, and most importantly, how I feel it applies to me. It sounds like your perception of me is that I am someone who thinks all women just need to relax and change their minds and they can all have pain-free experiences. . If that is what you believe, then I say, no, that's not true, and I would love to talk more in depth with you privately, if you want to know all I do believe. I do believe strongly in a woman's ability to choose how she will approach pregnancy, labor and birth, but I do not say that that stands independent of other factors influencing the birth. I could liken it to being a main ingredient in a multi-faceted recipe. Could you agree with that idea?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post
I'm interested in the fact that you're mentioned "no pain" and "less pain" all bunched up together. I'm pretty sure I've had less pain (with the caveat that I haven't ever pushed out a baby) than many women in labour. I just don't see where that ties into having a "no pain" birth.
Maybe it doesn't. Maybe the OP just wants to know one answer. I prefer to share what I feel is relevant and if someone disagrees, that's okay with me. I feel all responses are valid, whether one agrees with them or not. If the OP objects, then maybe I'll stop posting along my own train of thoughts and move on elsewhere.

Thanks for taking the time to read my posts and I appreciate your insights and your willingness to discuss them.

Mama to DS (10), DS (8), DS (5), DD (3), & DD (6 months).
Lucky Wife to My Techy DH for 11 years.
We stillheart.gif Homebirth, Full-term Breastfeeding,
Connection Parenting, Life Learning, our LDS faith.
mdcblog5.gif

greenthumb3 is offline  
#86 of 139 Old 06-23-2007, 10:20 PM
 
Storm Bride's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Vancouver, BC
Posts: 25,596
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by greenthumb3 View Post
If this is what you thought I was implying, then my message got mixed up somewhere. I was sharing the stories as one example of what was possible for some women. It was not meant to be *the* example of what birth should be, or make light of someone's medicalized birth.
FWIW, it is hard to decipher everything a person believes based on a few posts. It would take a real-life conversation of an hour or two to really understand all I really believe to be true about labor, birth, and most importantly, how I feel it applies to me. It sounds like your perception of me is that I am someone who thinks all women just need to relax and change their minds and they can all have pain-free experiences. . If that is what you believe, then I say, no, that's not true, and I would love to talk more in depth with you privately, if you want to know all I do believe. I do believe strongly in a woman's ability to choose how she will approach pregnancy, labor and birth, but I do not say that that stands independent of other factors influencing the birth. I could liken it to being a main ingredient in a multi-faceted recipe. Could you agree with that idea?
I definitely agree. Despite the fact that I was replying directly to your posts, I was also responding to the concept that we can more-or-less make our labours pain free. I think that the idea that our expectations are a big part of the labour process is a very valuable one to get "out there". The constant repetition of messages such as "give me the epi in the parking lot" and "get the epi" and "no woman should have to experience pain in labour" is dangerous, imo. I'm just wary of making women who do have pain for physical reasons feel as though they only feel it because they aren't ready enough, yk?

Quote:
Maybe it doesn't. Maybe the OP just wants to know one answer. I prefer to share what I feel is relevant and if someone disagrees, that's okay with me. I feel all responses are valid, whether one agrees with them or not. If the OP objects, then maybe I'll stop posting along my own train of thoughts and move on elsewhere.

Thanks for taking the time to read my posts and I appreciate your insights and your willingness to discuss them.
I hope you don't stop posting. I'm bouncing my idea back off what you write in a very non-structured "first response" kind of way...and it's helping me think through a lot of this stuff. The ways that our thinking, experiences and culture affect the way we labour is on my mind a lot right now. I'm going to be labouring with a scarred (3X) uterus in a few months, and am aware that I have a lot of issues regarding fear and failure (and other things) to work through between then and now. I think this thread is making me balk a little, because I start feeling as though I should also be trying to "re-program" myself into a pain-free birth...which seems like a lot of pressure.

Lisa, lucky mama of Kelly (3/93) ribboncesarean.gif, Emma (5/03) ribboncesarean.gif, Evan (7/05) ribboncesarean.gif, & Jenna (6/09) ribboncesarean.gif
Loving my amazing dh, James & forever missing ribbonpb.gif Aaron Ambrose ribboncesarean.gif (11/07) ribbonpb.gif

Storm Bride is offline  
#87 of 139 Old 06-23-2007, 10:29 PM
 
mwherbs's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Tucson, AZ
Posts: 5,491
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
you 2 keep posting- lots of info to share and explore. I am enjoying the reading
mwherbs is offline  
#88 of 139 Old 06-24-2007, 12:09 AM
 
greenthumb3's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 1,517
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post
The ways that our thinking, experiences and culture affect the way we labour is on my mind a lot right now. I'm going to be labouring with a scarred (3X) uterus in a few months, and am aware that I have a lot of issues regarding fear and failure (and other things) to work through between then and now. I think this thread is making me balk a little, because I start feeling as though I should also be trying to "re-program" myself into a pain-free birth...which seems like a lot of pressure.
Mmmm...I see. That makes a lot of sense to me. With this information in mind, I wish you all the best on your preparations for labor and your baby's birth. I know the details of your experiences differ from mine, but I do understand some of the mixed feelings of trepidation and hope, especially regarding fear and failure as it relates to childbearing and preparing for the next birth. I am due in about 3 weeks and wondering what goal I am shooting for, or what this experience will be like, as I had a traumatic experience first time round, a very positive experience second time round, and have a question mark for this baby's birth. I like the idea of pain-free labor and birth. Moreso, not so much the "freedom" from pain, but the fulness of joy, the welcoming, no matter the physical sensations. Do what you feel will work for you to have an experience that will be meaningful to you.

Mama to DS (10), DS (8), DS (5), DD (3), & DD (6 months).
Lucky Wife to My Techy DH for 11 years.
We stillheart.gif Homebirth, Full-term Breastfeeding,
Connection Parenting, Life Learning, our LDS faith.
mdcblog5.gif

greenthumb3 is offline  
#89 of 139 Old 06-24-2007, 07:35 PM
 
Storm Bride's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Vancouver, BC
Posts: 25,596
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by greenthumb3 View Post
Mmmm...I see. That makes a lot of sense to me. With this information in mind, I wish you all the best on your preparations for labor and your baby's birth. I know the details of your experiences differ from mine, but I do understand some of the mixed feelings of trepidation and hope, especially regarding fear and failure as it relates to childbearing and preparing for the next birth. I am due in about 3 weeks and wondering what goal I am shooting for, or what this experience will be like, as I had a traumatic experience first time round, a very positive experience second time round, and have a question mark for this baby's birth. I like the idea of pain-free labor and birth. Moreso, not so much the "freedom" from pain, but the fulness of joy, the welcoming, no matter the physical sensations. Do what you feel will work for you to have an experience that will be meaningful to you.
Thanks.

Perhaps some of this for me is that the pain is something I see as part of the process. With dd and ds2, I felt no pain (well, a little with ds2, but I was in very early labour when I was prepped). In fact, I felt nothing physically. I was given a spinal and cut off from my own body for the duration of the surgery. That feeling of being disconnected from myself bothered me - a lot. (I hate anesthetic so much that I have dental fillings done without freezing, simply to avoid the numbness.) I think that at this point, the idea of working for a pain-free birth seems almost counterproductive. Perhaps with more time to consider this, I could separate the pain from the other sensations, but right now, working towards pain free birth feels like working towards the numbness I hate so much...

I'm completely babbling at this point, but it's helping...

Lisa, lucky mama of Kelly (3/93) ribboncesarean.gif, Emma (5/03) ribboncesarean.gif, Evan (7/05) ribboncesarean.gif, & Jenna (6/09) ribboncesarean.gif
Loving my amazing dh, James & forever missing ribbonpb.gif Aaron Ambrose ribboncesarean.gif (11/07) ribbonpb.gif

Storm Bride is offline  
#90 of 139 Old 06-24-2007, 09:12 PM
 
jljeppson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Moorhead
Posts: 860
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Pain free doesn't mean feeling free. With my 2 7/8 that didn't hurt I still felt the contractions, near the end I had to concentrate on them, but they just didn't hurt. Just felt like any other exercise. A runner will feel their muscles working while doing a workout, but it won't hurt per se. Though with the times I did feel pain, I have to say I almost enjoyed it. Along the lines of, that's one less to get through until the babies here. And, you're doing this at home and doing great YOU ROCK. That type of thing. I get this feeling of euphoria, before/during/after, partially because I'm doing something that my sisters and most of my friends insist can't be done without massive amounts of pain meds and I'M DOING IT WELL. Totally egotistical, I know, but I actually love labor and delivery, pain and all. Gives me this massive sense of validation and makes me want to scream, "I am woman hear me roar!" After this last I don't want any more kids if I have to be the one that raises them, but I have to say that being a surrogate has been a thought in the back of my mind simply because I love being pregnant and delivering. If I could pass the baby off at the end for someone else to get up in the middle of the night with (not this baby, just any I acted as a surrogate for LOL), I would be all good.
jljeppson is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Drag and Drop File Upload
Drag files here to attach!
Upload Progress: 0
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off