I was going to have an early night, but I read an article today that infuriated me and I feel the need for a rant.
Before I start I would like to state that I am not a medical person, I'm a mum. This is my point of view and my repsonse to what I read.
You can read the article (and the many comments) from The Observer here.
I'm not sure whether the male midwifery professor, Dr Denis Walsh, was being deliberately provocative. He advocates natural childbirth. That's not controversial, but his reasons are. He states that the pain of childbirth is a rite of passage that women should experience if they are to nurture their babies afterwards. What a load of nonsense!
I'm not ready to share my birth stories yet, but what I will say - and this is purely based on my own experience of labour - is that it hurts.
I'm sorry pregnant mums to be, but for me labour was excruciating agony.
How does a man know what labour pain feels like? I don't care how many births he's witnessed, he can't possibly have any idea of how relentless and tiring labour is. Once you've given birth you then have no time to recover from what is the equivalent of running a marathon before you face the sleepless nights with a newborn.
I didn't have an epidural, but I reserve the right to ask for one.
It shouldn't be a competition to see who can go the longest without pain relief. There are no medals for bravery. Of course we all hear about women 'breathing the baby out'. I'm sure some lucky ones do have wonderful natural birth experiences, but if we hold this up as the standard then I believe we are setting ourselves up for failure. Many women are traumatised by their delivery room experiences. This may be due to an unrealistic expectation that they can manage the pain by breathing and yoga alone, and then they find that this is not enough.
Walsh says that '20% of epidurals are unnecessary'. What on earth does this mean? If someone's in pain you give them pain relief. How can it be unnecessary? I'd like to see him go through a thirty-six hour back labour and not scream for some pain relief.
Sorry, rant over.
Pregnant mums to be, yes labour hurts, but it's only temporary, there is always an end and you get your baby at the end of it. Would I go through it again? Of course, again and again.
Now onto another labour related article, in the Telegraph this time. Apparently swearing can reduce the feeling of pain! You can read it here. I didn't swear much during labour, mainly because I had the Entonox mouthpiece in most of the time!
I had a good swear today though, at the expense of Dr Walsh!