Why childbirth pain could be made worse by presence of partner - Evewoman


Childbirth pain could be made worse by presence of partner, says study

Giving birth is arguably the biggest moment in a woman's life

Giving birth is arguably the biggest moment in a woman's life - and the most painful.

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Naturally you would want someone there to support you and many choose to take their romantic partner and father of their child into the delivery room.

But a new study has suggested that this may be counterproductive and that women might feel more pain with their partner present.

The research, conducted by psychologists from King's College London, Hertfordshire University and University College London, saw 39 heterosexual couples take part in an experiment.

Each woman was given a moderate blast of pain to a finger by a laser pulse - while her romantic partner was both present and absent - and was asked to rank the level of pain on a scale.

Participants were also required to fill out a questionnaire which measured the level of intimacy they are comfortable with in relationships.

The study found that for those women with a low level of intimacy or emotional closeness, the pain actually worsened when their partner was present.

Dr Katerina of UCL's Psychology & Language Sciences, says: "Overall, this study suggests that partner support during pain may need to be tailored to individual personality traits and coping preferences.

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"Individuals who avoid closeness may find that the presence of others disrupts their preferred method of coping with threats on their own.

"This may actually maintain the threat value of pain and ultimately heighten individual's pain experience."

So it might not always be a good idea to have your partner in the delivery room...

The research was published in the journal Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience.

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