The scene is a familiar one. A woman in labor is lying in a hospital bed surrounded by masked men and women. Her forehead is sweating, machines are beeping, and she’s screaming at the top of her lungs, “I can’t do it! I can’t do it! It hurts! It hurts!” This is the way women give birth. Or do they?
The fact is, many women don’t find birth to be painful or difficult. Call them lucky if you wish, but I tend to believe it has more to do with the attitude of the woman giving birth, and the people she has chosen to surround her. If you interview a woman who has had an easy birth you may find she has a very relaxed attitude about her body and her sexuality. Perhaps she has always been this way, or maybe she has consciously worked at overcoming her fears and learning to trust her body. Either way, her babies are born with grace and ease.
True, at this point in time, these women may be the exception rather than the rule, but I still find their stories fascinating. If we can at least entertain the idea that perhaps birth can be painless and easy, maybe more of us will be able to experience it this way. In any case, it makes for some interesting reading. Here are some stories I’ve collected over the years about laborless labors and painless births.