Which is better – a longer labour with less pain or a shorter labour with more pain?
In a survey of 40 pregnant women, the majority opted for a longer labour, rather than endure terrible pain.
A sample question asked: “Would you rather have pain intensity at two out of 10 for nine hours, or six out of 10 for three hours?”
Both pre and post labour the women on average chose less intense pain over a longer period.
The findings were published in the British Journal of Anaesthesia.
Lead author of the study, Dr Brendan Carvalho from the Stanford University School of Medicine in California said:
“Interestingly, intensity is the driver.” There is some evidence that using an epidural “may prolong labour but it reduces pain intensity, and it seems that could be preferable to most.”