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.
Thursday, December 14, 2006
Epidurals aren't for wimps
Epidurals aren't for wimps – labour can be different for every mother: