MoonDragon's Pregnancy Information
Birthing From Within
THE TRUTH ABOUT LABOR PAIN
by Pam England, CNM, MA & Rob Horowitz, PhD
I often begin with an exercise called "Scaling Pain." I want to find out what parents believe about labor pain. I ask the class, "On a scale of 0 to 100, with zero being a painless birth and 100 being the most intense pain you can possible imagine, rate the expected intensity of your labor pain.
A year after taking our classes, Colleen, a first-time mother, pensively recalled what she learned during this process:
When you asked us to rate what we thought labor pain would be, I thought to myself, "It couldn't be as high as 90 or 100, or it would have been written about. Amazing Births I've read wouldn't have glossed over that part - so it must be an 80. "I waited to hear what other women would say first. The first said "50," others offered 60 and 90. Another suggested "80." I was trying to get the answer 'right'....
You responded, seriously, "You're not even close - near the end of labor, at the peak of the contractions, the pain will reach 100 ... 110 ... even 120." At first I thought, "Don't tell us that! You're scaring us! We're fragile and need to be told it's not that bad....
But I knew you were telling the truth. It just made sense! I was already motivated to birth without drugs but at that moment I understood I had to get ready in order to do that.
After that confronting introduction, I had Colleen's attention -- I had everyone's attention -- and curiosity. Now we were ready to begin practicing the pain-coping techniques.
WHY DO I PROVOKE WOMEN TO WORRY ABOUT LABOR PAIN? Because I know women who worry "the right amount" do the best in labor.
Why? Because worrying activates searching for resources, both inner and outer. Worrying also motivates mothers to practice pain-coping techniques while there's still time to master them. On the other hand women who are over-confident about handling labor pain and don't prepare for it, are in for a surprise.
I've identified five beliefs and attitudes that keep women (and their partners) from worrying the "right amount:"
1. "Labor is not that painful if a woman relaxes and has the right attitude."
2. "I want to be open minded. I'll try to do it without drugs, but if it gets too difficult, I'll get something to take the edge off, or get an epidural."
3. "There's no reason to suffer childbirth pain nowadays" (often linked to the rationale, "You wouldn't have a tooth pulled without anesthesia, would you?").
4. "My doctor said I could have an epidural as soon as I'm admitted to the hospital - so I don't have to worry about pain."
5. "The new drugs and epidurals are 'perfectly safe' and do not affect the baby."
About a third of each BFW class is devoted to developing a pain-coping mindset. Our goals are to expand mothers' pain-coping tolerance and confidence, teach our unique pain-coping techniques, and reveal the fallacies in the five beliefs and expectations listed above.
We also talk about the physiological role that pain plays in normal birth. Nature's blueprint for birth includes pain, and this pain is purposeful. The sensations women experience in labor are part of an ingenious feedback mechanism which is essential to normal labor and birth. The painful sensation of the cervix stretching open sends messages to the brain to release more oxytocin, the hormone that causes strong contractions of the uterus - which causes further opening of the cervix.
Labor pain also guides the mother. The positions and activities she feels more comfortable with are the same ones that promote good progress in labor and help shift the baby into the right position for birth. Removing labor pain wipes out that feedback mechanism. Mothers with epidurals wind up on their backs hooked up to machines, restricting their ability to move freely and use gravity to help get their baby out.
If you are interested in learning more about developing the pain-coping mindset and skills needed to birth through the pain of normal labor, read the 65 page section called "Birthing Through Pain" in our book, BIRTHING FROM WITHIN: An Extra-Ordinary Guide to Childbirth Preparation.
MoonDragon's Pregnancy Information: Birthing Within
MoonDragon's Library Index
MoonDragon's Pregnancy Information: Childbirth Classes - Are They Necessary?
MoonDragon's Pregnancy Information: Types of Childbirth Classes
MoonDragon's Pregnancy Information: Labor Laughter
MoonDragon's Pregnancy Information: Guided Imagery In Labor
MoonDragon's Pregnancy Information: HypnoBirthing
MoonDragon's Pregnancy Information Index
MoonDragon's Pregnancy Information & Survival Tips
AROMATHERAPY: ESSENTIAL OILS DESCRIPTIONS & USES
Allspice Leaf Oil Angelica Oil Anise Oil Baobab Oil Basil Oil Bay Laurel Oil Bay Oil Benzoin Oil Bergamot Oil Black Pepper Oil Chamomile (German) Oil Cajuput Oil Calamus Oil Camphor (White) Oil Caraway Oil Cardamom Oil Carrot Seed Oil Catnip Oil Cedarwood Oil Chamomile Oil Cinnamon Oil Citronella Oil Clary-Sage Oil Clove Oil Coriander Oil Cypress Oil Dill Oil Eucalyptus Oil Fennel Oil Fir Needle Oil Frankincense Oil Geranium Oil German Chamomile Oil Ginger Oil Grapefruit Oil Helichrysum Oil Hyssop Oil Iris-Root Oil Jasmine Oil Juniper Oil Labdanum Oil Lavender Oil Lemon-Balm Oil Lemongrass Oil Lemon Oil Lime Oil Longleaf-Pine Oil Mandarin Oil Marjoram Oil Mimosa Oil Myrrh Oil Myrtle Oil Neroli Oil Niaouli Oil Nutmeg Oil Orange Oil Oregano Oil Palmarosa Oil Patchouli Oil Peppermint Oil Peru-Balsam Oil Petitgrain Oil Pine-Long Leaf Oil Pine-Needle Oil Pine-Swiss Oil Rosemary Oil Rose Oil Rosewood Oil Sage Oil Sandalwood Oil Savory Oil Spearmint Oil Spikenard Oil Swiss-Pine Oil Tangerine Oil Tea-Tree Oil Thyme Oil Vanilla Oil Verbena Oil Vetiver Oil Violet Oil White-Camphor Oil Yarrow Oil Ylang-Ylang Oil Aromatherapy
Healing Baths For Colds
Using Essential Oils
AROMATHERAPY: HERBAL & CARRIER OILS DESCRIPTIONS & USES
Almond, Sweet Oil Apricot Kernel Oil Argan Oil Arnica Oil Avocado Oil Baobab Oil Black Cumin Oil Black Currant Oil Black Seed Oil Borage Seed Oil Calendula Oil Camelina Oil Castor Oil Coconut Oil Comfrey Oil Evening Primrose Oil Flaxseed Oil Grapeseed Oil Hazelnut Oil Hemp Seed Oil Jojoba Oil Kukui Nut Oil Macadamia Nut Oil Meadowfoam Seed Oil Mullein Oil Neem Oil Olive Oil Palm Oil Plantain Oil Plum Kernel Oil Poke Root Oil Pomegranate Seed Oil Pumpkin Seed Oil Rosehip Seed Oil Safflower Oil Sea Buckthorn Oil Sesame Seed Oil Shea Nut Oil Soybean Oil St. Johns Wort Oil Sunflower Oil Tamanu Oil Vitamin E Oil Wheat Germ Oil
HELPFUL RELATED MOONDRAGON NUTRITION BASICS LINKS
MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Amino Acids Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Antioxidants Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Enzymes Information MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Herbs Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Homeopathics Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Hydrosols Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Minerals Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Mineral Introduction MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Dietary & Cosmetic Supplements Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Dietary Supplements Introduction MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Specialty Supplements MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Vitamins Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Vitamins Introduction
NUTRITION BASICS ARTICLES
MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: 4 Basic Nutrients MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Avoid Foods That Contain Additives & Artificial Ingredients MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Is Aspartame A Safe Sugar Substitute? MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Guidelines For Selecting & Preparing Foods MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Foods That Destroy MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Foods That Heal MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: The Micronutrients: Vitamins & Minerals MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Avoid Overcooking Your Foods MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Phytochemicals MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Increase Your Consumption of Raw Produce MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Limit Your Use of Salt MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Use Proper Cooking Utensils MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Choosing The Best Water & Types of Water
RELATED MOONDRAGON HEALTH LINKS & INFORMATION
MoonDragon's Nutrition Information Index MoonDragon's Nutritional Therapy Index MoonDragon's Nutritional Analysis Index MoonDragon's Nutritional Diet Index MoonDragon's Nutritional Recipe Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Therapy: Preparing Produce for Juicing MoonDragon's Nutrition Information: Food Additives Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Information: Food Safety Links MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Index MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Articles MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Back Pain MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Labor & Birth MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Blending Chart MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Essential Oil Details MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Links MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Miscarriage MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Post Partum MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Childbearing MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Problems in Pregnancy & Birthing MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Chart of Essential Oils #1 MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Chart of Essential Oils #2 MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Tips MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Uses MoonDragon's Alternative Health Index MoonDragon's Alternative Health Information Overview MoonDragon's Alternative Health Therapy Index MoonDragon's Alternative Health: Touch & Movement Therapies Index MoonDragon's Alternative Health Therapy: Touch & Movement: Aromatherapy MoonDragon's Alternative Therapy: Touch & Movement - Massage Therapy MoonDragon's Alternative Health: Therapeutic Massage MoonDragon's Holistic Health Links Page 1 MoonDragon's Holistic Health Links Page 2 MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Nutrition Basics Index MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Therapy Index MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Massage Therapy MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Hydrotherapy MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Pain Control Therapy MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Relaxation Therapy MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Steam Inhalation Therapy MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Therapy - Herbal Oils Index
MOONDRAGON'S MERCHANT VENDORS & PRODUCTS
Educational materials and health products are available through Amazon.com.
Use the search box provided below to search for a particular item.
MOONDRAGON'S REALM - WEBSITE DIRECTORY
A website map to help you find what you are looking for on MoonDragon.org's Website. Available pages have been listed under appropriate directory headings.