Do labor pains hurt? Well, according to a new study out of the Open University of Israel, childbirth isn’t as painful for as long as mothers remember.
Some 320 moms were asked to rank their pain from one (no pain) to 100 (worst pain imaginable) during labor, and then report to researchers both two days after childbirth and two months after having their babies whether they’d apply the same pain scale.
Results showed that the overall length of the delivery had no significant influence on a mother’s recollection of the pain. Rather it was the peak and end levels of pain that remained in the new mother’s memories. Researchers concluded that this is due to “duration neglect,” a human phenomenon in which, in most instances of human pain, we tend to recall our overall experiences based only on the peak sensation and how we felt at the very end.
The researchers, who were trying to determine whether epidurals are helpful for moms, determined that moms who received epidurals remembered the pain less because they were less likely to feel the intensity of pain at the end of the delivery.
Riiiiiight: having every inch of your insides feel like 40 midgets are twisting and wringing your internal organs like a wash rag for hours while 40 more are alternately shanking and sledgehammering your back until you manage to squeeze a basketball-sized human being out of the teeny tiny hole in your vagina doesn’t hurt AT ALL. It’s a damn cakewalk. And totally unremarkable. Forgettable, even. Surely you don’t remember any of that two days later when you’re barely able to walk, you haven’t slept, and you’re still dripping, literally, with blood and milk and afraid to even look at the bathroom, much less use it. Not at all.
And that’s all I have to say about that stupid a$$ “research.”
Mom. NY Times bestselling author. Pop culture ninja. Unapologetic lover of shoes, bacon and babies. Nice with the verbs. Founder of the top black parenting website, MyBrownBaby.