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Midwife Says Childbirth SHOULD Be Painful

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When he pushes a baby out of HIS body, maybe we'll give a damn what he has to say!

Woman giving birth

Wow, this really made us mad this morning.

In England, a prominent male midwife has come out to say that women "should go through pain in childbirth."

Say what?

"Pain in labor is a purposeful, useful thing, which has quite a number of benefits, such as preparing a mother for the responsibility of nurturing a newborn baby," Dr. Dennis Walsh says.

"Over recent decades there has been a loss of 'rites of passage' meaning to childbirth, so that pain and stress are viewed negatively," he added, arguing that patients should be told labor pain is a timeless component of the "rites of passage" transition to motherhood.

"Emerging evidence [shows] that normal labor and birth primes the bonding areas of a mother's brain better than caesarean or pain-free birth."

Of course, this would be A GUY who says this ... a guy who has never had to go through the pain of childbirth himself!

Do you agree with Dr. Dennis Walsh? Or do you think it's all just a bunch of hogwash?


next: Why the #$%! Do We Swear? For Pain Relief
79 comments so far | Post a comment now
Beth in SF July 13, 2009, 5:29 PM

Not so long ago I would have screamed that we string him up, but my ex-stepmother pointed out to me one day that she never had to go through labor. Her first child was breech, so they did a planned c-section. And elected for a c-section for the second. She’s a pretty crappy mom, and I think that has a lot to do with it. Going through labor and delivery bonds you and your baby forever. Not that I’m against some pain meds being used properly. But, he has a point, too many women are taking the easy way out these days.

Stephanie  July 13, 2009, 5:35 PM

Like mentioned above that “man” has never gone through the pain of childbirth. I have had four children and had three “painless” births, and the one that I didn’t was not by choice. I can tell you that there is no way that not having a painful birthing experience takes anything away from the moment and the bonding of mother and child. For me I feel that not having the pain makes the experience more enjoyable. When there is all of the pain happening all you want is to get that thing out of you. When there is no pain than it’s the feeling of I can’t wait to see my baby. See the difference, thing vs my baby… you decide?

Allison July 13, 2009, 5:43 PM

First off, that picture is disturbing. Second, he is a man and I’m sick of men saying stuff like this. Third, pain medications should be used, there is no reason to go through pain!

LLW July 13, 2009, 5:47 PM

I have two children: one by c-section (not exactly NOT painful) and one the old-fashioned way (epidural turned OFF for the fours hours of pushing every 2 mins). So I have pretty much experienced it all. I would say I am beautifully bonded to both of my sons. The c-section was definitely harder to recover from, but I would definitely recommend an epidural during labor. Gotta save your energy for the main event. Ask Dr. Walsh if he would have a vasectomy without a pain killer. I doubt it!

Mamimi July 13, 2009, 5:58 PM

Uhh, really, Allison? The picture is disturbing? What exactly is disturbing about a woman having labor pains?

Doctor Liz Lyster July 13, 2009, 6:02 PM

How about this idea, suggested by a (male) doctor I used to work with: the woman in labor has her hand over her husband’s testicles. Every time she has a contraction (without pain medication) she squeezes his testicles and slowly lets go as the contraction goes away. This is only for the men who discount the pain involved in giving birth. After delivering hundreds (thousands?) of babies, and having 2 of my own (vaginal births with epidurals), I can pretty much say that the experience of pain during labor does not correlate in any way with parenting quality or ability.

Liza July 13, 2009, 6:17 PM

I know there are people out there who will bash me for my comment but I could care less. There are scientific studies in humans and in apes that prove what is saying. The study in apes showed that when the female gave birth vaginally she bonded immediatly where as when she birthed by ceserean she neglected the child completely.

Mary Larson July 13, 2009, 6:24 PM

I think it’s hogwash. My mother had 7 of us the natural way and we were closere to my Dad then her. I had pain meds when I gave birth to my daughter and we have a very close bond. She’s even becoming a teenager with attitude and I still love her. You women out there that can’t handle pain, I think would be less likely to bond after going through natural childbirth as you’d probably want to hurt the little poop back.

Alecia July 13, 2009, 6:24 PM

I am not an ape. I had a c-section and I am a WONDERFUL mother. I get complimented often for being a great mom. This is a pile of horse crap.

Liza July 13, 2009, 6:24 PM

And to make sure no one comments on my experience with childbirth…. I have a 6 month old which I gave birth to. I got up to 9 1/2 cm but due to a cervical lip that lasted over an hour I got an epideral (hey, i never said i wouldn’t take one). and YES the do give epi’s at that point at Hoag Hospital in Newport beach, ca.

Heidi July 13, 2009, 6:34 PM

I absolutely agree with Dr. Walsh. I have had three home births with a midwife in attendance. It’s the “real” natural way. No epidural, no drugs, no nothing! Was it painful??? Of course, as it should be. The way God had intended it to be.

Christy July 13, 2009, 6:38 PM

First of all, I don’t think there’s any such thing as a painless birth. Two kids and two epidurals later and it hurt like hell both times. There isn’t an “easy way out.” A c-section has a whole other kind of pain involved. Second, we aren’t apes. We have a higher level of processing, particularly when it comes to emotional connections. We bond with our babies either way and we don’t eat our own sh*t. And, lastly, I think you’ll find plenty of adoptive moms who haven’t gone through the pain of childbirth, but are still excellent mothers and closely bonded with their children.

I’m sick of people telling me what kind of childbirth experience I should have. Butt out, already.

Patricia July 13, 2009, 6:56 PM

Sounds like another person seeking their 15 minutes of fame.
Make a polarizing statement and look at the attention and debates.

Ignore the silly bugger and let’s get back to the real world!

LLW July 13, 2009, 7:04 PM

To HEIDI at 6:34 pm: I am thrilled your home birth experiences were wonderful. I have several friends who also had great home birth experiences. That said, could you be a little less judgemental about Mom’s who make other choices? If I had attempted to home birth either of my kids, I would have likely wound up dead due to unforeseeable complications. Would it have been God’s will that my kids grew up with out a Mom? Don’t think so.

Gina July 13, 2009, 7:18 PM

I’m all for choices, so go your own way. But my choice was to experience the pain of labor. I think he’s right. It’s the healthiest option for everyone.

Valerie July 13, 2009, 7:19 PM

Hogwash. So if we are to believe this, what is it that bonds a father to a child if it’s not pain? There is no reason for women to suffer the misery of childbirth without any pain relief unless they want to or can’t reach a medical facility in time. Most women bond with the baby through pregnancy, not birthing. I loved my babies long before they were born. I’ve had two cesarians and my first was a normal, vaginal all night long nightmare of pure agony and I can assure you that I did not love or bond with my first son more than my other two.

Shay July 13, 2009, 7:24 PM

I disagree that it affects the bonding only because there is no basis. There are plenty of arguments on both sides.

That being said, I had my son with epi and my daughter without. Given a choice between the two births again, I would go through my daughter’s. It was much more spiritual and rewarding and I was walking within minutes of her birth. After the pain meds with my son, I was stuck in bed for hours. Its so hard not to be afraid though…

Jane July 13, 2009, 8:13 PM

Like the term “we’re pregnant” which makes me gag this man also makes me sick. He needs to try and pass a watermelon thru his rectum without anesthesia and then see if he’d like to “bond” with it.

CHP July 13, 2009, 8:58 PM

I agree 100% with Jane above………..I’ve had TWO 10lb. babies - she took the words right out of my mouth. And - for the record - if I had attempted child birth before modern technology, my babies AND I would have died……..I actually should have had c-sections, but didn’t………..so do NOT tell me that “we” are taking the “easy” way out. I’m PISSED!

Daryl July 13, 2009, 8:58 PM

I don’t believe that having a pain-free birth will make you a bad mom (I don’t believe he feels like that either), but I did have a natural, drug free birth for my daughter and the pain really is an experience I’m glad I went through. Yes it hurts, but it’s also very empowering and I do think it helps the mom and baby bond sooner. I also don’t think that the dangers/side effects of the medication/procedures are adequately described to women and it’s a leading factor in our astronomical C-Section rate. But it’s (a drug free birth) one of those things that you have to be prepared for and you have to really want it in order to make it through to the end.


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