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To not understand why 'no pain relief' in childbirth is a source of pride?

(353 Posts)
bronya Fri 02-Aug-13 12:31:56

I accept that some people hurt more than others when giving birth, but surely, it's not clever to go without pain relief if you need it? If you want it and can't get it, I feel for you. If you choose one variety over another, that is your choice. Equally, if your body simply doesn't hurt enough to need it, then aren't you lucky!

How is the whole screaming in agony for hours on end, a GOOD thing? I just don't see it. Pain relief is available, why not have it?????

PoppyAmex Fri 02-Aug-13 13:01:38

"It's hard and painful, why shouldn't you feel proud?"

You can feel whatever you want, but so is a root canal.

I wish all this pointless energy was harnessed into giving children the best possible parenting we can muster.

I had hypnotherapy, bullshit NCT sessions, read all the "right" books and not one of these very expensive courses/reading material focused on how to care for my baby once she was born - that's what I should've primarily focussed my energy on; educating myself as a future parent.

Anyway, I'm pregnant and my priority hasn't changed: most important thing is for me and my child to leave that hospital in the best possible mental and physical condition.

AidanTheRevengeNinja Fri 02-Aug-13 13:01:45

YANBU. I gave birth with no pain relief (because the anaesthetist was in theatre, couldn't have opiates, yadda yadda - not because of my innate sublime birthing skills) and I still - personally - don't get it.

For me, it was a means to an end, and you get through it as best you can. The experience just wasn't important to me - the outcome was. But I respect that other people feel differently and that is valid.

IfIonlyhadsomesleep Fri 02-Aug-13 13:02:19

The more I go on the less I feel entitled to feel proud as such of anything I've done that might be viewed as an achievement. Delighted, pleased, relieved, grateful for support and genetics - all of those. But anything I've done seems so much to be down to a bit of hard work, or even a lot, combined with huge amounts of luck in meeting the right people at the right time, having my choices turn out well (and being lucky enough to be guided to those choices) that it generally seems quite humbling. And then I also can rid myself of a bit of guilt for the things that haven't turned out so well as there is luck involved in those too.

janey68 Fri 02-Aug-13 13:02:46

Like I said on my thread yesterday, a lot of women who have an epidural with their first baby, are really keen to try to exerience birth without one for subsequent babies.
That tells us something. Among my friends who did this, many of them said that although the second birth was nore painful, it was a better experience overall .

It may not seem a logical thing, but there is definitely an innate desire among some women to experience natural birth.

Equally, there are many women who have epidural first time and are perfectly happy to have it for subsequent births too.

It's about respecting other women's experiences - without necessarily needing to understand them.

OddBoots Fri 02-Aug-13 13:02:52

The marathon analogy is an interesting one as it has long since confused me as to why anyone would choose to run a marathon/jump out of a plane/trek along the great wall of china and when they do choose to why they would expect not only to be admired for that choice but also in many cases for other people to pay out money in support of that decision.

Humans are all a bit strange, we all do odd things, I think it's much easier to think 'each to their own' when it comes to things that have no impact on us at all such as their marathon running or birthing choices and their discussions thereof.

IfIonlyhadsomesleep Fri 02-Aug-13 13:03:28

And for whatever reason, the people I know who had pain relief free births had straightforward, relatively short or at least well paced births-including me. Not sure quite how I can take pride in that.

worsestershiresauce Fri 02-Aug-13 13:03:54

I had no pain relief. The only people who express admiration are others, I don't personally feel it was a sign of anything other than how things went on the day.

Satnightdropout Fri 02-Aug-13 13:05:52

I've got a friend on Facebook who constantly boasts about not using pain relief to the extent she commented on Kate Middletons birth, saying "wonder if she went without pain relief like I did...doubt it". This is actually a very intelligent woman and usually modest. She has also said that whilst watching One Born Every Minute she hates the "drama queens who scream for England".

I went without any pain relief through both pregnancies, I sure as hell begged for it but was unfortunately too far along.
Have never thought to brag about it though. I only mention it when the topic comes up. But then it's not my biggest achievement tbh like it is for some people.

mrslyman Fri 02-Aug-13 13:05:57

I really think some women need to work on feeling ok about their own choices, then they wouldn't need to feel so defensive about other women's


TheSurgeonsMate Fri 02-Aug-13 13:06:49

Bear in mind that if you give birth without pain relief, you are likely, for whatever reason, to get comments along the lines of Well Done, thus perhaps giving you the impression that you have Done Well.

MiaowTheCat Fri 02-Aug-13 13:07:45

I never got much in the way of pain relief options - I don't dilate and go officially into labour until right at the bitter end (under 15 mins last time) so I get nowt cos the great cervix says no.

No brownie points or bragging - I just don't get much choice in the matter and with DD2 they only just about got the gas and air hose untangled in time for the "pushing" (well her just deciding to launch herself full pelt down the birth canal giving me no options in the matter) stage.

Doesn't make me better or worse - I've just got a slightly funnily wired body.

janey68 Fri 02-Aug-13 13:08:27

Precisely oddboots! I have no desire to run a marathon either, but I accept that for those who do, it's entirely understandable that they feel personal pride that they've pushed themselves through a pain barrier and achieved it.

But despite never running a marathon, I did very much desire to give birth naturally

As you say- we are all different.

Wbdn28 Fri 02-Aug-13 13:09:10

I'd like to hear people saying they are "proud" of using pain relief when giving birth, as well. They can be proud of making the right decision for them if it's purely by choice, or proud of reluctantly agreeing that it is necessary if it's the right thing to do in the circumstances.

Some people are going to end up needing pain relief and they can also be just as proud as the next woman smile

Satnightdropout Fri 02-Aug-13 13:09:28

No, tell I lie, had paracetamol the second time as that's what the midwife recommended when I called up, along with "try and get some sleep".
An hour later my daughter was born and the paracetamol did f all!!

Mutley77 Fri 02-Aug-13 13:10:14

I reckon I'd feel proud (the same way I feel proud that my DC are amazing and my DD is always top of the class!) - but it's how you handle that pride that I think is the issue.

WestieMamma Fri 02-Aug-13 13:10:54

Now I think about it I suppose I am a bit proud that I didn't have any pain relief. I don't think it's because it's better than having it though, more that I survived despite having no pain relief. If that makes sense confused

I didn't have pain relief because baby chose not to hang around long enough for me to have any. If there had been time, I would have had anything/everything available.

bronya Fri 02-Aug-13 13:14:17

Hmm, maybe I just don't get the pride thing? I was (and am) incredibly relieved that it all worked out ok and that I have a healthy child. I don't think that was as a result of anything I did - chance along with good hospital staff.

If my body co-operated better next time (especially if labour was significantly shorter and I hadn't gone several days without sleep by the time the important stuff happened!) so I didn't feel I needed pain relief then that would be beyond amazing, but I'd just feel incredibly lucky.

Different perspectives perhaps.

I was in a water-pool with DD, and had some gas and air with DS.

The water was probably more helpful, but wasn't available to me with DC2.

I listened to my favourite Chinese pan-pipe/flute music too - the Guo brothers. Would have had aromatherapy too but wasn't allowed in my NHS water-pool !

Agree with you IfIOnly - I'm getting to think more like that too with the wisdom of the years !

(I know I said I was bored earlier, but actually I never get that tired of talking about the births of my babies ! Am glad and grateful they went as well as they did - although of course they still both bloody hurt like hell !)

rowtunda Fri 02-Aug-13 13:16:06

I didn't really have time as it all progressed rather quickly and as a medic I was aware that the chance of me getting stronger stuff like an epidural had well and truly passed. It was just luck of the draw, as many of these things are. I was glad to have avoided medical intervention but I don't see it as a reason to be proud - its not something that you nessecessarily have control over at the time, the body does what the body does.

What I do detest is earth motherly types who see it as a badge of honour and do the whole FB bragging bit, congratulating other mums for natural birth etc etc as I know it does upset other mums who had to have epidurals and medical intervention etc

Charleymouse Fri 02-Aug-13 13:16:50

Obviously I'm really proud as I had only paracetamol for two of my births. It obviously means I am proud of having a fanjo like a bucket!
Tongue in cheek.

I am proud because I worked bloody hard and had 2/3 of my birth experiences exactly how I wanted them.

You will also find many people have different interpretations of pain relief. Eg
I had no pain relief except yoga and deep breathing
I had no pain relief except TENS machine
I had no pain relief except Paracetamol
I had no pain relief except gas and air
I had no pain relief except pethidine
I had no pain relief except an epidural

You tend to get people shouting about both extremes,
I am well 'ard only had a stick to bite on
I had everything I could

Me I am just so proud that my rather flabby mishapen body can produce such wonderful awesome children and by golly I am proud of it for that.

thebody Fri 02-Aug-13 13:17:16

personally I think it's an achievement to give birth with or without pain relief.

Thurlow Fri 02-Aug-13 13:20:24

In an ideal world, women should hopefully have the birth they want and if that involves no pain relief, water birth, hypnobirthing etc., great for them.

But I do know what you mean, OP - some women, and I stress some, act as if there's a bloody medal to be had for having a pain or intervention free birth, as if that somehow means that they are 'better' at giving birth than women who needed pain relief or intervention, as if it is a greater achievement.

And for the majority of women who use pain relief or end up having intervention, its not because of something they have done, it's just because of the way the birth has gone. So if they do feel proud of not having pain relief or intervention, it's a very misplaced pride. It just so happened that their baby wasn't in slightly the wrong position, they didn't pick up a bacterial infection, their baby didn't get tired or distressed or have the cord around their neck - all things massively out of the mum's control.

Thurlow Fri 02-Aug-13 13:21:04

Oh, yes, and to echo thebody, every woman who has given birth in whatever way should feel proud. Childbirth in itself is something to be proud of.

DuelingFanjo Fri 02-Aug-13 13:21:04

RE Screaming in agony. I was in agony - I never screamed.
I did have pain relief after a while though but even during the pain I didn't scream

WestieMamma Fri 02-Aug-13 13:21:12

I had no pain relief except the paramedic squeezing my hand and shouting at me to look at her, in an attempt to curb my hysteria as I cried like a baby and screamed to god to make it stop blush

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