June 30, 2014 2:50 pm
Updated: June 30, 2014 2:51 pm

Poll: What would you choose – lengthy but painless or quick, excruciating labour?

Rayen, 27, 33-week pregnant, is seen by a midwife in a routine checkup.


Her water breaks, her contractions start and she’s whisked off to the hospital. But if she had a say, would this expectant mom prefer a long, drawn out but less painful delivery over a quick labour that comes with excruciating pain?

Turns out, pregnant women would opt for the marathon session of labour that comes with less pain than a quick delivery, according to a new U.S. study.

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“Interestingly, intensity is the driver,” lead author Dr. Brendan Carvalho told Reuters in the U.K. Carvalho is a Stanford University School of Medicine doctor.

An epidural “may prolong labour but reduces pain intensity, and it seems that would be preferable to most,” he told the wire service.

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The study’s based on a questionnaire doled out to pregnant women who came to hospital to have their labour induced. They took the survey again post-delivery.

They were asked a series of questions, including: Would you rather have a pain intensity at two out of 10 for nine hours or six out of 10 for three hours?

Before inducing labour and even post-delivery, the women preferred less intense pain even if it meant nine hours of it.

The study was published in the British Journal of Anaesthesia. Read the full findings here.


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