Monday, July 13, 2009

Pain thresholds

If you have not already read it, then may I urge you to read Marie's awesome post about the Dr Denis Walsh story.

Whilst I appreciate that as a non-mother (and one not seeking to give birth in this lifetime) even I can recognise bullshit when I hear it.

"Pain in labour is a purposeful, useful thing, which has quite a number of benefits, such as preparing a mother for the responsibility of nurturing a newborn baby."
That line really better be a misquote or frankly I'm going to be taking a short walk with the largest watermelon I can find and putting it where the sun don't shine. Purposeful? Useful? Well, perhaps in terms of timing and responding to contractions - but that seems to be mistaking cause and effect. A number of benefits? For whom exactly? (and surely it depends on the birthing situation of the individual mother/baby --- I had the cord around my neck....) And do not get me started on that part of the sentence to which I added emphasis. Fathers presumably then have no part to play, and certainly not responsibility, in nuturing a new born baby?

Give me strength.


Jane Henry said...

I was incandescent with rage when I read this. As if new mums don't get enough crap thrown at them. There are so many reasons to feel guilty anyway - should I take folic acid 3 years before I get pregnant? Should I never drink again? If I smoke will I kill my baby before its even born (guess who did all three. I never knew I was pregnant till after I'd got paralytic and smoked like a chimney with the first one, and she seems to be ok...).

If you work with your body in labour, you can focus the pain in a positive way. But I only learnt that with the last one, and I was only able to do it, because I got pain relief at the right time. ie, when I asked for it, not when someone who wasn't feeling my pain thought I needed it. I had two absolutely hideous experiences, one ok except for the last ten minutes, and the last one was wonderful. But I wouldn't have given a toss about not having gone through that pain had I had to have caesars. Cos the most important thing is that mother and baby survive the experience. It doesn't matter how, and it doesn't matter if you need an epidural or can just cope with gas and air. So long as the baby is ok, that's the whole point of the exercise. Everyone has different pain thresholds. In my experience, because I am not a shouty screamy type of person, I felt no one took my pain seriously. Particularly with the third which was horrendous. I was so traumatised by that I was begging for a caesarian with the last. I wasn't expecting the pregnancy and was a bit shocked about it, but for the best part of nine months I was stressing completely about having to go through another labour. I was persuaded in the end to go for it, but the lovely consultant wrote everywhere that I should have pain relief when I needed it, and it worked brilliantly.

This bloke hasn't got a clue. And shouldn't be dealing in women's lives at all. Grr!!!

jams o donnell said...

When I rad this I was waiting for him to quote Genesis 3:16!