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Analyzing labor pain is something that many experts have tried and it has made rivers of ink flow. Author Verena Schmid, for example, does a fantastic analysis in her bookThe pain of childbirth. As she reflects, pain in labor is always influenced by more factors than are usually mentioned.
Physical, psychological and emotional issues join the environmental influences referred to both the space and the people around us at the time of delivery to make the perception of pain be one or the other, depending on how each factor acts at the time. Therefore, each woman in her labor will have different perceptions.
Doulas are not the definitive solution to avoid labor pain, we are not the miracle to have labor without pain. But we doulas are the ones who sit with the woman during pregnancy and even during childbirth, offering understanding and support that translate into security and peace. Two things that are essential at the time of delivery.
Perhaps this is one of the reasons why various studies and meta-analyzes have documented less need for epidural anesthesia and better memory of childbirth in those births that have been accompanied by doulas. It is about removing fears, insecurities, nerves and tensions to sow tranquility, security, peace and trust. That is what we try to accompany the path of women to birth of their babies: that each woman lives the waves of her sea in the way she wishes, but with the tranquility and support they need.
On the other hand, we have that word that sometimes scares moms and dads so much: contraction. When someone names her, many faces change in a room full of mothers and fathers waiting for their baby. Obviously the word is absolutely correct, since it is a spasm of the muscle fibers that make up the uterus, which at the time of delivery are in an intense labor of contraction so that delivery is possible. But what happens to that term when naming it? What makes us feel? In general, it translates into tension and we fight what it means. We get more tense when what we need is precisely the opposite: dilate. And for our body to achieve this, one of the greatest helps is trying to relax.
It is important to banish the association of pain equal to disease that we have absolutely integrated and that in the case of childbirth it is not true. Childbirth is not a disease, but an absolutely natural and physiological process that culminates in the celebration of a new life, if everything happens as we expect. With our association between disease and pain and of pain with childbirth, we directly connect childbirth with the disease, causing insecurity and fear to appear and apply extra pressure as a psychological and emotional factor during the delivery of the woman.
Apart from the proven existence of painless and even pleasant natural births, pain is just a symptom that something is happening in our body or that it is going to happen. But it is not a disease in itself, nor does it always confirm that it appears that a disease comes to us or is already installed in us. If we assume and integrate this, we will break the association: pain equals disease, our pressure will decrease, and with it our perception of pain.
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