Monday, July 13, 2009

Bring on the pain!

There is a discussion on pain over on Think of England. Being a Manly sort of blog, it focuses on Manly pain caused by sports injuries. According to an article in today's papers, women are deliberately avoiding pain, which is a Bad Thing:

"The pain involved in childbirth serves a purpose and more women should go through it in order to prepare themselves for the responsibility of bringing up a baby, according to Dr Denis Walsh." (Full article here)

I may have to censor some of your comments!

17 comments:

  1. Denis, give birth first. Then favor us with your opinions.

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  2. Yes, I took a bit of a deep breath when I saw this. I think there are good arguments against epidurals and other interventions, but my need to suffer pain isn't one of them! I rather envied my own grandmother. When she gave birth in 1916 the received wisdom was to knock out the mother with a good dose of chloroform. (Now that's what I call pain relief!) AliB

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  3. I understand that passing kidney stones is close to the pain of childbirth. May Denis pass an eight-pounder without the aid of pain relief. Then we'll take him seriously!

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  4. I read Denis the Menace's pontifications. Goodness, what an enlightened individual he is. I only wish he'd been there at the births of my children to offer his gentle support and a bit of meditation.
    I opted for no pain relief, purely so I felt more in control. I do not consider it a weakness if others choose to go a different route.
    I wonder if Denis believes in Karma?

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  5. Well done, RattlingOn. I trust your labours were without complications and lasted less than 28 hours. I don't believe the "too posh to push" stories that are peddled in the media; I'm sure that an epidural would only be given in a prolonged labour.

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  6. The NHS midwives are currently trained to vaguely discourage the epidural. It's something to do with hormones and bonding with the baby.

    In one of our antenatal class the midwife gave a long talk on the benefits of drug-free birthing. Then she turned to the only woman in the class who'd already had a baby and asked her what her experience had been like.

    "Oh I had an epidural. I fell asleep and the midwife woke me up when it was time to push. It was great."

    "Ah. Well, thank you."

    (She didn't complain about a lack of a hormonal bond with her baby).

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  7. PS. In a (weak) defence of Dr Denis, I would say that women are conditioned to fear the pain more than they perhaps would have been in the past. Let's face it, it's going to be painful however you go about it, so trying to see it as a 'positive' kind of pain (as opposed to the pain of illness) is not entirely nonsensical.

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  8. "Let's face it, it's going to be painful however you go about it, so trying to see it as a 'positive' kind of pain (as opposed to the pain of illness) is not entirely nonsensical." But that wouldn't have grabbed a headline!

    Childbirth has become a medical rather than natural procedure in the last 40 years and it is good to see that changing. However - 'pain is good' isn't the best slogan!

    I hope Baby Brit arrives promptly and with as little fuss as possible.

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  9. I had an epidural with my first child, a bouncing 9lb 11oz baby boy. I woke up unable to walk the next day. It took me hours to get up out of that bed. No surprise that my next two were delivered sans drugs and I did okay. Of course, #2 Son only weight 6 lbs.
    9 oz, so he fairly shot out of there but my daughter was a whopping 9 lbs. Did it hurt? Oh my, yes!! Who would think that it wouldn't hurt- you have something the size of a large watermelon coming out of you. But, I have passed a kidney stone and I'll take childbirth any day, thank you. lol

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  10. The NHS midwives are currently trained to vaguely discourage the epidural. It's something to do with hormones and bonding with the baby. More likely something to do with keeping costs down.

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  11. "Pain in labour is a purposeful, useful thing, which has quite a number of benefits, such as preparing a mother for the responsibility of nurturing a newborn baby."

    Is there a woman alive who would imagine without shuddering being married to a man who would say such a thing to her? I'll take the compassionate counsel of our family doctor, who told my nervous wife it would be her choice, but then gently reminded her that the overall objective was not to give birth, but rather to have a baby.

    OTOH, men who go through the whole pre-natal class exercise often detect a little zealous inter-female oneupmanship that, unchecked, can descend into one of those exquisite emotional tortures women sometimes reserve for one another. Those nurses who lead the classes can be dragons. My wife had a very difficult forceps delivery (successful) and within hours she was being bullied to tears by the nurses about nursing, bonding, etc. It took a male doctor to come in and tell them to take care of her baby for a day because this woman was going to have a well-deserved rest.

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  12. Peter, you are a star among men! It really is about babies and not how brave we can be. An exhausted mother cannot think straight so is unlikely to forming any bonds.

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  13. Bravo! Peter (all is forgiven). Mrs. Peter is a lucky lady.

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  14. Well, thank-you. Of course, the story ends predictably with the little terrorist and his mother bonding like epoxy within days. He's now fifteen and little has loosened despite all my efforts. Drives me crazy. :-)

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  15. If it'll make you feel better, he'll soon start blaming her for everything in his miserable alienated life and won't get a clue until his early 20's. That'll be the time for you to make your move, although statistics show, few fathers fare much better. ;-{

    In any case, good luck.

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  16. I daren't recount my experiences because my beloved son would murder me!

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  17. m. I forgot to say that I'm not speaking from personal experience and my sons don't know nuttin' of erp.

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