Sunday, 10 April 2016

Why I believe in Pain Free Labour/Labor

I firmly believe in Pain Free Labours. Why, because 2 out of my 4 labours where pain free during the first stage, which is when the cervix is dilating to 10cm and you can push your baby out.

My first was an induction of labour at term for hypertension. My waters were broken and I was put straight onto an oxytocic drip. Today we give women 2 hours after having their waters broken to mobilise and go into a more normal labour before offering the drip, but this was in the bad old days 34 years ago. This was not a pain free labour.

My second was a spontaneous labour at T+7. I had researched more natural labours at my local library. Google was still a distant dot on the horizon 31 years ago. I found out how primitive women laboured without fear and stayed mainly upright. I found how to relax in yoga books so I would not feel afraid. I was ready. At 1am I started having painful contractions that woke me up. Sat on the couch downstairs I did progressive muscle relaxation and the pain stopped, but the painless contractions kept coming. When I got to hospital I sat on a comfy chair and relaxed till I was 10cm dilated. This was my first pain free labour.

My third was a spontaneous labour after a sweep at 39 weeks. I was having a pain free labour at home, my mum came round to mind the boys and I set off happily for hospital. Oh dear. A midwife from HELL made me lie down on a bed with a monitor in progress. When I explained that I had to sit up on a chair she laughed at me and pushed me back down. This was not a pain free labour.

My fourth was a home birth. I started contracting on and off during the day but was too busy with my 3 lovely boys to really notice. I was not afraid to give birth as I knew I was doing it at home and no one could make me lie down again. I fed, bathed and bedded the boys and then sent for the midwife. A lovely Irish midwife came to my house, she sat with me eating biscuits and drinking tea until I leapt off the couch when my waters went and wanted to push. This was my second pain free labour.

I so wanted to share this well kept secret with everyone that I then went to university to become a midwife. One senior midwife, who I told about my Pain Free Labour book, said "What is it really called, Bollocks, Bollocks and more Bollocks?"

Society teaches women that labour WILL be painful so that when they start to contract, adrenalin is secreted and messes up their labour. There is another way.

See posts on this blog:
Progressive muscle relaxation
Why labour hurts - 1 to 5
Hazards to a pain free labour 1 to 6
Evidence to support a pain free labour 1 to 3

Pain Free Labour books available from Amazon.

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