Painless childbirth: the experience of our ancestors

Painless childbirth: the experience of our ancestors

Since ancient times, mankind has tried to find ways to mute the pain during childbirth. This painful process lasted for centuries. And there are interesting views of different people.

For example, in Russia pains were considered evil, and were perceived as spoilage by sending other people, or as a punishment coming from supernatural forces. This is where it was scope for violent fantasies of various wizards and sorcerers. In Ethiopia, and to this day the special woman in labor entwine colorful cloth to ward off evil spirits from her.


Ether anesthesia was first used for labor pain relief in 1847 Edinburg Professor Simpson. Six months later, he perfected his method of anesthesia, using the inhalation of ether instead of chloroform. Interestingly, this is a significant event happened in Edinburgh, Scotland — the city in which 250 years before it was condemned by the church and burned at the stake lady Evfaniya Mc Elaynt for an attempt to eliminate the pain of childbirth.

In 1853, Queen Victoria herself gave birth under chloroform anesthesia. Since birth under anesthesia became very popular.

However, during the following decade, it became clear that the chloroform anesthesia often causes choking in children. Prolonged anesthesia for pain control was used in childbirth and the future president of the United States Franklin D. Roosevelt and, according to his memoirs, Sara Delano Roosevelt, with almost a tragedy occurred: a newborn with great difficulty managed to bring back to life. After many of these adverse events lasting anesthesia for pain relief in labor ceased to apply.

Medication for pain

Already in the Middle Ages used in childbirth decoction of poppy heads or alcohol. However, the use of these drinks brought little relief, accompanied with serious adverse events, especially drowsiness and loss of self-control. Therefore, eventually rejected by these methods.

In the first half of the twentieth century, the pharmaceutical industry produced medicines that have contributed to the suppression of physical pain. Most of them have been tested and to reduce the pain of childbirth. Most often they are used in the form of suppositories or injections. Some did reduce labor pains, often, however, putting on the woman giving birth to a child, or adverse effects. In pregnant women the drugs often cause drowsiness, causing them to lose the ability to actively cooperate with the doctor and a nurse (this effect is undesirable, especially in the second phase of labor — in vain attempts, when a woman in labor should be actively involved in the birth of the child). Often in connection with the birth unnecessarily delayed.

Another undesirable feature of these drugs was that they were working on a newborn, sometimes causing his breathing disorders. Some drugs have since been refined and is now used to control the pain associated with childbirth.

Psychological methods

The most modern methods of reducing the birth pains are psychological methods. Because these methods have certain advantages over others, and some are used in clinics and maternity, analyze them more closely.

The phenomenon of painless childbirth

Most women believe that birth should be accompanied by pain. This notion of "in the throes of childbirth" comes primarily from two sources. First, it's own description of some women who have given birth and are really experienced in childbirth pains. Suffice it to recall our grandmothers and great-grandmothers, who talked about the birth as a "grave hour", wanting it to make it clear that a woman in childbirth expect heavy meal. The second source for the belief in the inevitability of feeling pain during childbirth were the words of the Bible. In the book "Genesis" (the first book of Moses) says: "In bolezneh gonna Roditi child." These words, which in the past have been for some women is indisputable.

But in the second half of the last century, some doctors have noticed that there are those births that take place easily, without pain, and sometimes without pain.

Interesting observations belong to travelers visiting areas of North America, in the second half of the nineteenth century, inhabited by Native American tribes. They established the fact of easy pregnancy and painless childbirth at tuzemok. They do not just have to see how woman in labor, stopping a galloping horse, and went to the side, the snow spread a cloak and quietly gave birth to a child. Then, wrapped in rags and baby without feeling the slightest symptoms of postpartum depression, a woman sat on the horse again and catch up with their fellow tribesmen, who often do not even notice that she had a birth.

Later scholars have explained this phenomenon is the fact that under the harsh living conditions and the need to survive in the harsh environment women do not allow themselves to show ancestral fears and complexes, which provides easy nature of pregnancy and mostly painless childbirth. From a psychological point of view, this is due to the presence of a strong mind-body training aimed at skills at the right time to mobilize their will.

This is supported by observations Dr. Varningov who worked during the Second World War in a German forced-labor camps. In 1953. at a major medical conference, he reported frequent painless childbirth observed in Ukrainian women in the camp, where they were held together with men. According to Dr. Varningov, mothers often come straight from work in a doctor's office, which is surprisingly easy to give birth in a few hours again returning to the workplace.

Psychoprophylactic method of preparation for childbirth described by doctors who observed birth peruanok. It is about creating new mothers powerful positive emotsialnogo background, supported by social support, that distract woman from disturbing thoughts and fear of childbirth, turning them into a painless process. In the Native American tribes that lived in Peru and is constantly at war with each other, the birth of a child — the future warrior (or his future wife) was expected with extraordinary joy. Happy first woman in labor itself, as when a child is transformed into a woman, surrounded by honor and respect her husband happy and all race. A birth is widely celebrated throughout the village for a few days.

By the first half of this century in medical circles established two basic approaches to this problem. The first one consisted in the belief that there are particularly easy childbirth in women who are used to physical activity, and the second claimed painless flow of labor in those with great joy is waiting for a child.

How did the modern psychological methods of suppression of pain?

In 1933, the London physician Dick Reed discovered a method of reducing the sensation of pain with uterine contractions. By this he pushed the case from my own practice, when one of the women giving birth to the proposal to use a gas mask said: "I do not feel any pain during childbirth unless she is? '. That Dr. Reed first came to the conclusion that the main cause of pain sensation is the anxiety and fear of childbirth as a fear of the unknown. He believed that fear causes convulsive muscle tension, including uterine. Reed believed that this compressed vessels passing through the muscles of the uterus, and therefore is a violation of their admission to the blood and oxygen. It is a violation of maternity causes pain. Dr. Reid was convinced that as soon as he can be removed by the maternal negative psychological arousal, and thus eliminate unnecessary muscle tension, it can effectively prevent the occurrence of pain. Dick Reed recommended exercises, causing muscle relaxation, already at the twentieth week of pregnancy, accompanying them with information on the progress of labor.

n 1949, associate professor of the Kharkov clinic Velvovsky found that the occurrence of pain leading role of the cerebral cortex. Velvovskogo essence of the method is to create an impact through verbal from the mother the right relationship between the cerebral cortex and subcortical structures of the brain, reduce agitation in the subcortical centers. Velvovskogo method with some additions is widely used in the West.

In 1953, the Parisian obstetrician Dr. Lamaze united in their practice and method Velvovskogomethod Reed. Received recognition in Paris, the combined method Lamaze spread to Italy and Switzerland, and later in other European countries. The biggest question concerning the application of this method was tested bogoboyazlivye Italians who considered anesthesia during childbirth sin. But since many of them were still very happy with the course of labor, "Lamaze method", the issue of labor analgesia had to do and at the Vatican. In 1956, Pope Pius XII announced a special missive in which he pointed out that the Catholic Church has no objection to the use of a new method of reducing the birth pains. Moreover, His Eminence stressed good results, safety and simplicity of the method and recommended it to the propaganda that soon led to the further use of the method in Spain and most of South America.

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