05. Labor Pain – It’s all in your Head

Tracy Donegan

Speaker: Tracy Donegan

Facilitator: Jane Houston

There is a current trend toward natural pain management in labor such as yoga, mind-body therapies, water immersion etc however there is limited but growing evidence for many of the complimentary (CAM) therapies. In this presentation I will discuss the need for childbirth education to evolve with the science of pain education. The neuromatrix theory of pain proposes that pain is a multidimensional experience influenced by physical, cognitive and emotional events. Data suggests that when learners (parents) have basic ‘pain literacy’ through an educational intervention midwives can empower parents to intentionally ‘hack’ pain processing networks of the brain in labour to reduce the need for analgesics in labour. For mothers with a strong desire for normal physiological birth it is essential that midwives have an understanding of the neuroscience of pain that can easily be conveyed by midwives and understood by parents in birth preparation classes.

Recording: HERE