04/05/2008 05:12 am ET Updated Nov 17, 2011

Epidurals: No Pain, No Gain?

Anyone who has had a baby knows that childbirth as a competitive sport puts the Olympics in the shade. I'll never forget the "post-match analysis" at my antenatal class, where intelligent, educated women offered grovelling apologies to our childbirth instructor for their "second rate" (i.e, anaesthetised) births. I couldn't help feeling that two thirds of the class had forked out £150 to be made to feel like bad mothers before their babies had taken their first breath.

So it was a relief to come across the book, Enjoy your labor: A new approach to pain relief for childbirth, by Dr Gilbert Grant, director of obstetric anaesthesia at New York University Medical Center. He says that the biblical edict to women to "bring forth children in sorrow" is simply no longer applicable.

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