Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Past pain free labours 2

In her book 'Safer Childbirth?' Marjorie Tew outlines the move from mainly home births in the UK to mainly hospital based care and the effects this move had on childbirth. By the 1080s it was generally accepted that a "medical institution" was the place to give birth. Tew explains how this move led to women feeling less self-confident about birth, feeling that control of their bodies had been taken away. In her book Tew describes how women coped who underwent home births before the nationwide move to hospitals - "Having no fear, her body like her mind was relaxed and allowed the automatic processes to be completed with the ease with which other animals reproduce". Tew was obviously aware of the effects of adrenalin on the cervix discussed in Why labour hurts 3, when she stated "The body's response to the stimulus of fear is tension, affecting in particular the circular muscles of the cervix and causing them to resist dilatation. This causes pain and reinforces the vicious circle of fear-tension-pain." 
Reading her book is a little depressing but it is becoming clear why women simply do not believe in a pain free labour. In 1892, doctors were taking over the birth process which in their opinion could no longer be regarded as natural. "Throughout the 20th century, the incessant stream of propaganda has continued to capture public opinion, to make everyone believe that childbirth is fraught with dangers against which only care by obstetricians can protect."
In other words, we have been brain washed for generations. Well, now is the time to WAKE UP and take back control. Childbirth is a big industry, lots and lots of money is invested in keeping women pliant and keeping them in pain so that hospital medical interventions can be justified. If the majority of women suddenly started having low intervention pain free labours, hospitals would be thrown into disaray. Jobs would be lost and the system would have to change big time. People do not like change.
I am not saying that we will never need the services of obstetricians, there are always high risk women who will continue to need their specialised help. I am saying that for the majority of low risk women, there has always been a chance to choose. I chose to go pain free, what will your choice be?

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