Posts Tagged ‘ labor and delivery ’

What Do You Remember About Labor? Depends on How Painful It Was

Wednesday, October 15th, 2014

A new study has confirmed what scientists have suspected: your memory of labor is influenced more by how painful it was than by how long it lasted. This makes perfect sense to me. I know the hard numbers of my labor: 23 hours in the delivery room, two(!) epidurals, one baby. But my recollection of the actual experience is a bit spotty, the most vivid moments being the epidurals, the stretches of excruciating back labor pain and the second my son entered the world.

Apparently, I’m not alone. The study’s team of scientists somehow got 320 pregnant women to allow a researcher into the delivery room with them, reports Science Daily. Every 20 minutes, the researcher asked the woman to rate her pain on a scale of 1 (no pain) to 100 (worst pain possible). (Side note: Can you imagine having a perfect stranger regularly quiz you on how much pain you’re in while you’re in labor?) The same tenacious researcher followed up with the new mom two days and two months after baby was born, asking her to use the same 1-100 scale to evaluate her labor pain from beginning to end.

For the most part, the pain ratings women gave postpartum were fairly similar to the ones they offered during the throes of labor.  Yet, how long they labored had no bearing on how much pain they remember feeling. This falls right in line with a phenomenon known as “duration neglect,” where we remember the pain of an event and ignore everything else, including how long it lasted.  (The study’s full results were published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.)

The scientists also found that an epidural can influence your memory of labor, since it effectively blocks the pain. Women who received one reported feeling relatively moderate pain when interviewed after the fact, this despite the fact that they were in labor for longer. Researchers point to two possible reasons for this: duration neglect and the fact that the epidural is already in effect by the end of labor, when pain is most intense. Or, as they wrote in the findings, “In practical terms, these results suggest that epidural analgesia is not only beneficial during childbirth itself but also effective in modulating memory of it.”

Tell us: What do you remember about your labor?

Have questions about your baby? We have answers — just check out our comprehensive Baby Q&A. And be sure to like All About Babies on Facebook to keep up with the latest baby news!

Birth Stories: Natural Pain Relief
Birth Stories: Natural Pain Relief
Birth Stories: Natural Pain Relief

Image of woman in hospital courtesy of Shutterstock 

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Here’s Why JWoww Isn’t Having Another Baby Any Time Soon

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

jwoww-meilaniJersey Shore alum JWoww has never been one to shy away from sharing personal details with us, especially when it comes to her pregnancy. She was brutally honest about her epic case of morning sickness. Then there was the time she gave herself frostbite while treating her sciatica – and posted the graphic photos to prove it. And when daughter Meilani Alexandra was born five weeks ago, the reality star sent the world a birth announcement by way of a family photo spread in In Touch.

So it should surprise no one that JWoww (real name, Jenni Farley) was just as candid about her experience in the delivery room. At the time she kept it short and sweet, saying her labor was “way more painful” than she expected. But on Monday, she went into more detail about it with HuffPost Live, the Daily Mail reports. “Dude, my birth was like god awful! Okay, I had an epidural, I went to bed, then the epidural wore off and when it wore off I was freaking out,” she said.

“I became 10 centimeters dilated and she was out in six to seven minutes, so I had what’s called rapid delivery,” she added. “So from four to 10 centimeters in less than an hour she was out. She, like, walked out, ran out, took everything with her.”

If a so-called “rapid delivery” doesn’t sound that bad, consider this: Farley felt every single moment of those six or seven minutes, which, when you’re delivering a baby, might as well be a lifetime. “It was the worst pain in the world,” she said. So small wonder the first-time mom is scared to get pregnant again. “I’m not going to have sex for another year or two,” she told HuffPost Live. (No word on whether fiance Roger Mathew is into this plan.)

Still, talk of baby number two has been going strong since Farley was pregnant with Meilani, and the couple has made no secret of their desire to expand their brood. If they decide against adoption — something they told Life & Style they’re open to — it sounds like Farley will do whatever it takes to avoid another nightmare birth story. She said if she get’s pregnant, “I’m going to literally have my anesthesiologist next to me from beginning to end, like, pumping me full. I cannot take that pain.”

Tell us: Are labor and delivery pains keeping you from having another child?

Birth Stories: Unmedicated Childbirth
Birth Stories: Unmedicated Childbirth
Birth Stories: Unmedicated Childbirth

Have questions about your baby? We have answers — just check out our comprehensive Baby Q&A. And be sure to like All About Babies on Facebook to keep up with the latest baby news!

Image of JWoww and Meilani courtesy of Jenni Farley via Instagram 

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Would You Do THIS to Your Umbilical Cord?

Thursday, August 7th, 2014

paige-driscoll-cord-burningHang on to your scissors! The new trend in births is to…burn the umbilical cord?

As reports, some parents are embracing this age-old practice because it allows the whole family to help sever the physical connection between mom and baby. Typically, each person takes turns holding a lit candle under the foot-long umbilical cord for minutes at a time; the whole process can take up to 20 minutes to complete. Meanwhile, the baby is kept away at a safe distance and oftentimes nurses or snoozes through the whole thing.

But still. An open flame?! Near my brand-spanking-new baby? (shudder)

Still, seeing a cord burning in action was enough to convince Paige Driscoll, owner of Santa Cruz Birth Photography and a mom of four (soon to be five). After photographing a burning (one is pictured to the right) and seeing how much love was in the room, she decided to try it for the birth of her fifth son, due later this month. “Too many times during birth, everything happens so quickly, so this is a really slow and gentle process that slows everything down and makes it so memorable,” she explained to

To be honest, while I’m not sure I would have burned the cord, I get where Driscoll is coming from. When I was in labor, I asked my doctor to hold off for a few minutes before clamping and cutting the cord. But for whatever reason, she did the deed right away. And it bugged me. A lot. As far out there as it sounds, at least with burning, you have control over when the final break happens.

Plus, there are the health benefits of a delayed cut. Because burning takes longer than the traditional clamp-and-cut, your newborn has a little more time to soak in the rich nutrients from your placenta. And those extra few minutes could have a lasting impact: Studies have found that waiting even an extra minute or two to clamp the cord can increase a newborn’s hemoglobin levels and make them less likely to have an iron deficiency within six months after birth, according to several news reports.

Something else to consider: If you decide to go the cord burning route, plan to deliver somewhere besides a hospital — there’s a strict policy against open flames in a hospital or medical setting.

Tell us: Would you try cord burning?

Birth Stories:
Birth Stories:
Birth Stories: "My Water Broke..."

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Images courtesy of Paige Driscoll of Santa Cruz Birth Photography 

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