Using Your Mind as A “Tool” To Decrease Labor Pain
Sounds crazy right?A calm mind and body for childbirth? REALLY? Not at all what you would even consider. Use your mind as a “tool” to decrease labor pain from contractions? HA!
Hold on now. Have an open mind. Science and its research has demonstrated this to be true! Read the following abstract from a study done and published in the “Journal of Pain”
This study investigated the effects of brief mindfulness meditation training on ratings of painful electrical stimulation. In Experiment 1, we used a 3-day (20 min/d) mindfulness meditation intervention and measured pain ratings before and after the intervention. Participants’ numerical ratings of pain to “low” and “high” electrical stimulation significantly decreased after meditation training. Pain sensitivity, measured by change in stimulus intensity thresholds, also decreased after training. We investigated, in Experiment 2, how well relaxation and a math distraction task attenuated experimental pain. Math distraction but not relaxation reduced high pain ratings. There was no reduction in pain sensitivity in these participants. In Experiment 3, we directly compared the effects of meditation with math distraction and relaxation conditions. Our findings indicated significant effects of both meditation and math distraction. Consistent with what was observed in Experiment 1, these participants also demonstrated a decrease in pain sensitivity after meditation training. Changes in the mindfulness and anxiety assessments suggest that meditation’s analgesic effects are related to reduced anxiety and the enhanced ability to focus on the present moment.
Our findings indicate that a brief 3-day mindfulness meditation intervention was effective at reducing pain ratings and anxiety scores when compared with baseline testing and other cognitive manipulations. The brief meditation training was also effective at increasing mindfulness skills.
What’s interesting about this study is this: The participants were subjected to pain induced by electrical stimuli! They also experimented with “pain sensitivity” indicated by “stimulus intensity thresholds”. Their conclusion was that meditation reduced anxiety as well as pain levels.
Think about it. Labor contractions are intermittent and short in duration. They come in waves and you ALWAYS have a break in between.
If meditation could decrease pain from electrical stimulus, just imagine what it could do during a labor contraction!
Labor pain is manageable. Learning skills such as meditation or even hypnosis can make a HUGE difference in reducing fear, and labor pain!
Tell me what you think, I would love to hear it!