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You are pregnant and have landed here because you are rightfully concerned about the pain associated with childbirth.
Firstly, you need to understand what pain is and how it works. In summary, receptors called nociceptors light-up, send a signal through the nervous system to the brain. According to an article on Very Well Health, “When the pain signal reaches the brain it goes to the thalamus, which directs it to a few different areas for interpretations. A few areas in the cortex figure out where the pain came from and compare it to other kinds of pain with which it is familiar.”
Moreover, signals are also sent from the thalamus to the limbic system, which is the emotional center of the brain. Therefore, an emotional response is inevitable and why mentally prepping for your “big day”, is vitally important.
But apart from the apparent well of emotions, what level of pain can you expect during childbirth?
There is literature comparing childbirth to dental procedures, kidney stones or broken bones. But in reality, these are ailments or trauma injuries, and not a process the magnificent female body has perfected over tens of thousands of years.
During labour within your body, the physical changes note a symphony of processes, working in harmony to allow for a “tried and tested” result. Yes, pain is present, but it is manageable due to your body being built for childbirth. Unlike, let’s say, breaking your arm, being an unexpected trauma injury which the body is not meant to sustain, leading to excruciating, continued pain and blinding emotions.
The pain linked to childbirth is so manageable many women choose to have more children, after having their first child. This shows that the brain does not process this pain as trauma, associating negative emotions to childbirth. However, after healing from a broken arm, you will associate mass pain and emotion with the category of injury. You will, without question not want another broken arm in the future, let alone many more.
You will be great, trust in your body’s process. The beauty of the moment will far outweigh the pain, and when you look again, it will all be over, and you will be holding your bundle or bundles of love.
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