Taken from Dr Miriam Stoppard’s Conception, Pregnancy and Birth (1993)
Childbirth Classes: Techniques to get you through labour
‘Systematic desensitization: You gradually become more tolerant of pain. (Oh, what miracle drug/pain relief system is this, I hear you cry). An example used in many classes is your coach pinching your leg very hard (eh?) to illustrate how painful a contraction will be. (Really? You’re equating childbirth with leg-pinching? This should be a blast. Oh wait, we’re not done). This pinching is repeated every time you attend an ante-natal class (riiight…), and by the end of the course you will be able to tolerate harder squeezing for longer periods.’
I long to find out how many classes you were supposed to attend and how long were you pinched for?; didn’t this take up valuable time on other factors of childbirth or was there a special ‘pincher’ midwife?; were you supposed to form an orderly queue to be pinched or did she just get you at random to demonstrate the random nature of contractions?; how many people simply – in a Pavlovian fashion – elected not to attend an ante-natal class where pinching was de rigeur and opted for drugs instead?
So systematic assault from your potential midwife should generate a greater pain threshold than say, having an epidural. But it all saves money, right? Has anyone got Andrew Lansley’s email?