Today we’ll be rethinking birth pain! It’s not called labor for nothing, but is there a purpose to the pain? What happens when you stop thinking of birth as an emergency, and start seeing it as a physiological emergence? If you assume that your confidence will falter, then, can preparing differently help you have a better experience? Rhea Dempsey tells us more. Check it out.
What we talked about:
- What we learned from school P.E.: functional physiological pain for peak performance
- What we learned from doctor’s visits: pathological pain means danger or disease
- Physiological pain is not the same as pathological pain
- Birth as physiology or pathology?
- Can you shift your thinking to embrace the pain?
- Is there a purpose to the pain?
- Bringing on big and escalating contractions to tip over the endorphin system
- What does this have to do with labor-land?
- Like in a marathon: you will hit a wall (or two, or three)
- Is there a timing to these “walls”, and how do you get past them?
- Getting your support system in place to truly help you
- We CAN do hard things (even if we don’t like it)
- The three cultural C’s that hijack births (and are enabled through technology)
- Why not avoid the pain altogether?
- Approaching your birth from this new paradigm for a more satisfying birth
- The “crisis of confidence” dynamics, and what you can do about it
Resources, links, and other great info:
- The pain of childbirth is ‘valuable’. So suck it up, commentary on a male midwife’s comment, and interview with Rhea Dempsey
- ‘Pain Is My Friend’, by Rhea Dempsey (PDF download)
- ‘Celebrating Birth as a Peak Bodily Performance’, by Rhea Dempsey (PDF download)
- Birth by the Numbers
- Birth with Confidence: Savvy choices for normal birth, — Rhea’s book
- Supporting Women for Labour and Birth: A Thoughtful Guide, by Nicky Leap and Billie Hunter
- The Thinking Woman’s Guide to a Better Birth and Optimal Care in Childbirth: The Case for a Physiologic Approach, by Henci Goer
- Weighing the Pros and Cons of the Epidural, by Penny Simkin
Related Birthful episodes:
- Your Birth Hormones, with Dr. Sarah Buckley
- Working with Childbirth Pain, with Julie Bonapace
- Showing up at Your Birth, with Shalome Stone
- Birthing like a Rock Star, with Gena Kirby & Lesley Everest
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About Rhea Dempsey
Rhea is a passionate woman of birth; she is an educator, trainer, doula, birth activist, counselor, speaker and author of “Birth with Confidence: Savvy choices for normal birth“.
Her understanding and experience of birth has been gained over almost forty years of birth work; supporting birthing women, their partners and families at over one thousand births in home and hospital settings.
She is the mother of three adult daughters and grandmother to four delicious grandchildren—so far!
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