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Pain In Childbirth ‘a good thing’?

Reading an article on the BBC website yesterday I found myself wondering just what Dr Denis Walsh, associate professor in midwifery at Nottingham University is taking.

The pain of childbirth may have benefits on which women who opt for painkilling epidurals miss out, a senior male midwife has said.

Dr Denis Walsh, associate professor in midwifery at Nottingham University, said pain was a “rite of passage” which often helped regulate childbirth.

He said it helped strengthen a mother’s bond with her baby, and prepared her for the responsibility of motherhood.

Dr Walsh is male.  So has no real concept of the pain of childbirth.  The biology is a bit different, I can’t see anywhere where the child would gestate or emerge.  Not without irretrievably splitting something.

I asked a few women who have had children for their thoughts on Dr Walsh’s opinions.  None of the responses I received were particularly complimentary.  Can’t say I blame them.  When I had my shoulder smashed the only things that kept me sane even though they didn’t kill all of the pain and it was excruciatingly painful were painkillers.

One friend spake forth in no uncertain terms.  What she said left my eyes watering…

Let him come round and I can kick him in the nuts* for every contraction I had:

Monday (start around lunch time) – once every 12-15 minutes

Monday night (throughout the night) – every 20 minutes

Tuesday morning – every 12-15 minutes, rising in severity until…

Tuesday afternoon – every 6-8 minutes

Tuesday night – severe kicks every 6 minutes, rising in severity

Wednesday 5am – when i had my epidural. But he doesn’t want one of those, so I’ll stop kicking his nuts and squeeze them in a vice, lasting approx 30 seconds per squeeze. Every 5 minutes until…

Wednesday 9am – he is ready to “start pushing”. I think an equivalent stretch might be pulling his foreskin over his fist. Up to the elbow.

9am-1010am should be spent trying to PASS A BOWLING BALL. With a pelvic condition that means every push sends shooting pain down to his ankle. And someone putting weight on that knee joint.

After this he can have his second-degree tear stitched. 16 stitches in the most delicate part of his anatomy. Oh, but he doesn’t want anaesthetic, which should save the NHS a couple of quid.

Now I’ve had surgery “down there” as well as being smacked in the box several times while playing cricket.  So I have something of an understanding of pain “down there”.  And my eyes were watering as I heard this opinion.

Simple suggestion: if it’s something you can never ever experience, seriously consider whether or not you should open your mouth.  Blokes saying “pain in childbirth is good” suggests a slight lack of Clue as they will never experience anything like it themselves.

*nuts is colloquial slang for testicles

Published inHealthlack of ClueNHS