The simplest explanation of how we feel pain is that our bodies sense pain when nerves send messages to our spinal cord and our brain. Our brain then interprets those signals into the feeling of pain. Since each of our brains is different, pain is subjective, and people interpret pain differently. When you think about birth, pain is either the first thing that comes to mind or the last thing you want to think about. There is the occasional anecdote about a pain-free birth, but most expecting mothers experience some level of labor pain and discomfort. It seems counterintuitive that something necessary for our survival would be difficult and come at a high cost. In this article, we reframe how you may think about labor pain so you are not terrified going into the experience, have a better idea of what to expect, and understand why birth can involve pain.

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