Having a birthing partner is very important!
Women feel less pain during labour if they have their partner with them, suggests new research.
Researchers from the Tyrolean Private University UMIT in Austria analysed 48 couples and asked them to see how much pressure they could stand.
During the experiment, participants had their index finger squeezed hard in two scenarios, with and without their partner present.
Experts found that when they were alone, a person could manage the pressure of 2.5kg but could withstand a pressure of 2.8kg when their partner was with them.
“Talking and touching have been shown to reduce pain, but our research shows that even the passive presence of a romantic partner can reduce it and that partner empathy may buffer affective distress during pain exposure,” says Professor Stefan Duschek.
What’s more, the study found that those who have an empathetic partner could withstand more pain.
“This underlines the beneficial role of social support in pain relief and encourages the use of interpersonal strategies in approaches to pain management,” wrote the authors in the Scandinavian Journal of Pain.
“The study provided evidence that the presence of a romantic partner is effective in reducing acute pain, even without his or her active feedback, and that this effect increases with partner empathy.”
Another similar study was conducted by scientists at the University of Colorado.
Researchers monitored their brain waves of couples by using electroencephalography (EEG) and putting them through a series of scenarios.
They were asked to sit together not touching or sit together and holding hands and during each scenario, while mild heat pain was applied to the arm of the woman in the couple.
Experts noticed that women had a higher tolerance level when they were with their partner, and more importantly while holding their hand.
Lead researcher Pavel Goldstein told CU Boulder Today: “We have developed a lot of ways to communicate in the modern world and we have fewer physical interactions.
“This paper illustrates the power and importance of human touch.
“It appears that pain totally interrupts this interpersonal synchronisation between couples and touch brings it back.”
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