• Question: Do having children hurt badly?

    Asked by chloe47 to Thiloka, Shonna, Shobhana, Rebecca on 26 Jun 2019.
    • Photo: Rebecca Moon

      Rebecca Moon answered on 26 Jun 2019:

      I’ve had two children and I can honestly say labour was one of the most painful experiences of my life, but even after the first one I went on to do it again, so I must be totally stupid or our bodies are just amazing! As soon as the baby is born, you almost forget the pain!!! But it would be much nicer if giving birth was less painful.

      Pain is also a massively subjective thing, so two people can experience the same pain and for one it is really terrible and another it is entirely manageable. We don’t really understand why this is and its often difficult to predict how each person will react.

      There are lots of pain relief options for labour ranging from laughing gas (Entonox) that you inhale and can make people a bit giggly (I had lots of this in labour, it was good stuff 🙂 ), to medicines that can be given as an injection into the muscle, vein or an epidural which is when an anaesthetic is given into the back to blunt all of the nerve supply below the waist. There are pros and cons to each of these options, which is why a lot of women don’t choose to jump straight for the highest level of pain relief.

    • Photo: Thiloka Ratnaike

      Thiloka Ratnaike answered on 27 Jun 2019:

      Hi Chloe! Yes, it definitely hurts! I don’t think anything can really prepare you, even though I had worked in the neonatal unit during my pregnancy and seen many mums give birth, I could never expect it to feel as it did! The mantra that took me through labour was “nothing is permanent, even this pain is impermanent and shall pass.” I was very lucky that I had a quick labour and Rebecca is right, you do tend to forget very quickly because suddenly you have a vulnerable little baby in your arms that you are slightly freaking out about/feeling an enormous amount of love for…so it is amazing how quickly your brain moves on and body adjusts and repairs!
      Saying all of that, depending on the type of pregnancy it is, you can have a certain number of choices over the type of pain relief you choose like Rebecca says. There are lots of resources that the midwife can point out and antenatal classes are also useful for basic information on these.