Thursday, December 14, 2006

Epidurals aren't for wimps

Epidurals aren't for wimps – labour can be different for every mother:
In everyday life, we respond in instinctive ways to pain. If you drop something on your foot, you automatically rub yourself because rubbing causes your body to make endorphins which are natural pain-killing substances. If you have a bad stomach ache, you would probably lie down and curl up in a ball with a heatpad because warmth and being in a particular position are very comforting. It would seem that pain tells us how to help ourselves recover from injury. In labour, there is no injury taking place, but the pain teaches the woman how to give birth. She is led by it to try a variety of positions to increase her comfort and by moving around and using different positions, she is also helping her baby's head to press down firmly all around the cervix so that it opens up evenly. Later in labour, her changes of position cause the baby to be shifted one way and then the other, helping him to find the easiest way down through the pelvis.

1 comment:

Julia said...

If it's a situation where a pitocin drip is involved, though, you've already mucked things up badly enough that the epidural may not be the worst idea in the world. And if it gets to where there's a C-section, an epidural may very well be preferable to most of the alternatives.

If none of that crap is in the picture, though, going without the epidural is probably for the best. (Not having given birth without pitocin being involved, I can't say for sure. I wish I'd been given the opportunity to do so, though.)