Saturday 16 November 2019

Pregnant women are better off banishing their partners from the delivery room

Research carried out in University College London studied 39 women in labour
Research carried out in University College London studied 39 women in labour

Patricia Murphy

Popping out a sprog without having a partner’s hand to hold might seem like a daunting prospect but new research has revealed women may be better off without their other halves in the delivery room.

British scientists have found that pregnant women feel less pain during labour when their partner is absent during delivery compared to women who had their significant other with them throughout the experience.

Research carried out in University College London studied 39 women in labour who were each given a pinprick laser pulse on their finger when their boyfriend or husband was in the room. The women were asked to rate their pain as researchers analysed the electrical activity in their brain.

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The women’s pain was never reduced by the presence of the dad-to-be and in many cases intensified when they entered the room.

The study’s lead author Charlotte Krahe of Kings College London said the nature of a couple’s relationship also influenced the intensity of the woman’s pain.

Read more: I let my baby cry so we could all get a good night's sleep - was I wrong?

Women in less intimate relationships were most likely to feel pain when their partner was close by.

Dr Katerina Fotopoulou of University College London said: ‘Individuals who avoid closeness may find that the presence of others disrupts their preferred method of coping with threats on their own.

“This may actually maintain the threat value of pain and ultimately heighten individuals’ pain experience.”

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