Epidurals: For or against?
Epidurals and stess reduction
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Epidurals and stess reduction

Midwife Florence Charre explains:
Childbirth is a unique physical ordeal, experienced differently by every woman. But the pain is real, with the occasional exception. We no longer live in a society where we're used to enduring pain; we're very protected from it.

Of course, some women manage to cope with the pain and don't panic. Their labour and delivery go well in general, and an epidural isn't necessary. On the other hand, there are many women who are overwhelmed by fear and panic sets in.

Research published in 1991 reveals how pain generates anxiety which, in turn, leads to a whole list of factors that can cause fetal suffering. It's therefore important to minimise pain.

Other research shows that if the woman is relaxed, she secretes endorphins which encourage her to let go and encourage the neck of the cervix to open, helping baby to be delivered.

It goes without saying that if a woman secretes lots of stress hormones, her labour will be drawn-out, her child might suffer, she might suffer and their bond may be weakened as a result.

Parenting Editor
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