Book Reviews

The Psychological Context of Labour Pain

"Two Czech psychologists joined their forces to create an international team and their joint effort resulted in a publication small in size (94 numbered pages), yet offering a unique content. On the book’s back cover, Professor Giustino Varrassi mentions (inter alia) two significant aspects of the book. One is the scientific approach and the other is the constant reference to the exceptionally human side of the topic. The reader must agree. It is not just about pain, however intimate the experience of pain may, undoubtedly, be; the book focuses on pain connected with the delivery of new life, i.e. pain related to birth (as the book’s title suggests).

The structure of the work is well selected and helps to improve clarity and understandability. The preface already contains a brief summary of everything the reader may expect to find in the book. The reader may then choose specific chapters based on their personal or immediate interest. Each chapter is introduced by an abstract, which again helps the readers to find their way through the text. In several chapters, the female authors (yes, all team members are women) cover the social and cultural context of perception of labour pain, and continue with the psychological aspects of labour pain and related coping strategies and fear connected with these aspects and with childbirth in general. A separate chapter is devoted to cesarean delivery on maternal request. Certain parts of the book tend to be more general, providing an opportunity to think in a wider context. This is the case of e.g. pain components. Briefly, yet clearly, the emotional, behavioral and cognitive components are covered, including possible tools and methods of their recording and measurement. Pain has always been a complex phenomenon that is determined by our experience, expectations and personal and social environment.

The authors present the conclusions of a number of international studies on the differences in experiencing pain, comparing cultural and ethnic differences, as well as education, age, expectations, etc., of women in labour. All the empirical research which is based on very specific data shows something of fundamental importance: rather than suppressing pain connected with new life, or down playing pain as something uncomfortable, unwanted, yet unfortunately inevitable, we need to allocate certain purpose or meaning to the experience of pain and the related manifestations and cognitive processes (ideas, fantasies, etc.). A meaning that is part of human life helps to endure pain or discomfort and prevents the experience of suffering. As a man who does not undergo the test of labour pain, I can afford a rather detached, philosophical view and a wish that the arrival of a human being to this world be connected with pain that is meaningful and intertwined with hope and dignity.

The publication in question is successful both for its content and for being published in English which makes it widely available. I recommend this publication for reading and further reflection to professionals of various specializations and to all those who do not consider childbirth and everything related to childbirth a mere routine medical procedure." - Prof. Ph Dr. Jiří Šípek, CSc., Ph.D., Department of Psychology, Faculty of Arts, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic

"A slim book on the psychological context of labour pain (The Psychological Context of Labour Pain), edited by Jaroslava Raudenská and Alena Javůrková, and published by Nova Science Publishers, Inc. in New York in 2016, is a concise, yet information-rich overview of significant topics covering both science and medical practice or clinical psychology practice in the given area.

The book covers a wide range of topics, from pain prophylaxis to a deeply human, spiritual experience of childbirth; from self-help options to exclusively expert medical interventions; from a single expert to a multidisciplinary team; from the mother and child to the family context or wider social context; from anxiety and fear, psychologically conditioned, to the phenomenon of pure physiological pain and methods of coping with such pain.

A separate chapter is devoted to cesarean delivery (sectio caesarea): the related statistical data, the circumstances of personal or professional choice of cesarean delivery and the broader philosophical context and human and professionalaspects of the surgery.

The book attempts to open the imaginary door to interdisciplinary collaboration. Although a multidisciplinary approach in obstetrics as proved efficient, it is still not widely used. Thus, the book may benefitall those involved in antenatal preparation, childbirth and postnatal care. The book contains useful information for physicians (especially gynaecologists, neonatologists, anaesthesiologists and psychiatrists), physiotherapists, clinical psychologists and psychotherapists, nurses and social workers and may also bring inspiration to students of the above branches.

The editors are well aware that the size of each chapter did not allow for an exhaustive scientific paper on such key phenomena of human life as birth and pain; nevertheless (or, perhaps, therefore) the book may be used as a “springboard” for further study of the topics (the book itself providing an extensive list of sources) and as a practical guide to integration of various disciplines for the benefit of life. Life from its very beginning, life in its deepest human nature – through mother and child and their co-experience." - Pavel Humpolíček, Institute of Psychology, Faculty of Arts, Brno Masaryk University, Czech Republic

For more information about this book, please click here.

Essureal Journey: Concepts, Concerns and Considerations for Hysteroscopic Sterilization

"When the Essure permanent birth control system hit the market in 2002, the medical community viewed it as an innovation in permanent female sterilization. Because of its first-in-class design, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration classified it as a high-risk device. This protects the manufacturer from liability. Now, more than a decade after its release, thousands of women who suffered adverse events after implantation demand a ban on the device and the ability to sue for damages." READ MORE... - Michelle Y. Llamas, senior content writer at Drugwatch

For more information about this book, please click here.