You may have seen a meme that claims:
A human body can bear only up to 45 del (unit) of pain. Yet at time of giving birth, a mother feels up to 57 del (unit) of pain. This is similar to 20 bones getting fractured at a time. Can u imagine it now, the mother’s pain & love?
The quick answer? This statement is a hoax, not least because there is no such measurement of pain as a ‘del’. The closest measurement was a ‘dol’ which only ranged from 1-10 and was abandoned due to unclear outcomes.
Even more importantly, there is no simple way to quantify the pain of childbirth. The pain varies widely based on a huge variety of factors, some of which include:
- The woman’s pelvic shape. There are four pelvic shapes, some easier to birth with than others.
- The woman’s position. Laying on the back closes up the pelvis by up to 30% compared to positions such as squatting, sometimes making labor longer and more painful.
- The baby’s position. Whether baby is posterior, anterior, head flexed or in a range of other variations of a normal birthing position can have a big impact on the pain levels experienced.
- If the waters have broken. Only 10-15% of labors begin with the amniotic sac breaking and some babies are even born inside it. When the waters break, there is no cushioning pillow of liquid to ease baby slowly down the birth canal. Instead, contractions can be more painful and intense and birth can be faster.
- Stress levels. Stress can induce the pain experienced. Women who are under stress, whether it be loud noises, an uncomfortable atmosphere, bright lights or repeated medical interruption often find pain even harder to deal with.
- Dehydration. Labor is often more painful when the mother is dehydrated.
- How birth is experienced. Up to 6% of women experience an orgasmic birth.
No matter how people try and compare the pain of childbirth to something else they have experienced, there is no simple way to explain the pain. It’s a unique experience for every woman.