LABOR PAINS


The onslaught of the elements, imposing the heavy tribute of the law of adaptation, made it impossible for the first beings to continue their line. But one day the once initiated chain continued uninterrupted reaching to out very time, exhibiting man as the product of perfection. But what of the untold sufferings that were necessary to maintain this uninterrupted chain of beings!.


Once the seas were cooled, there appeared upon the earth a strange phenomenon; a corpuscle of infinitesimal dimensions claims for itself the most important role in the harmony of all that was created. It has given evidence of strange restlessness; it vibrates with a rhythm which is absolute; it is infinitely small but there can be guessed in it the possibility of greatness: it lives. The Miracle has been initiated, but only for an instant. Life, initiated with timid stammering, lasted, on its first attempts, the length of time lightning lasts in space.

The onslaught of the elements, imposing the heavy tribute of the law of adaptation, made it impossible for the first beings to continue their line. But one day the once initiated chain continued uninterrupted reaching to out very time, exhibiting man as the product of perfection. But what of the untold sufferings that were necessary to maintain this uninterrupted chain of beings!.

Adaptation to the environment or death. Such is the dilemma offered to all living creatures. All adaptation signifies effort and when this is done at a sacrifice, when it becomes exaggerated, it then becomes pain, the newly born weeps, thus manifesting his suffering; it is the effort which implies the adaptation to the new environment. The normal and rhythmic functioning which is carried on without effort we are not aware of, and frequently we find it accompanied with a sensation of well being. Pain, on the contrary, is a frequent attribute of an altered function. Thus it fills pathology.

Among all the beings in creation, man, without doubt, is of a more exquisite sensibility and the one with the greatest aptitude for the perception of suffering. No other being pays so heavy a tax, for besides the physical pain, his spirit is daily affected by the most varied affections and –

-emotions, translated at times by suffering of such great magnitude that when he faces these sufferings the physical ones would be preferable. Sensibility being the essential stimulant of life, it reaches its maximum in man, and the highest tribute that he pays to pain is but the burden that he must correspond with for occupying the highest place in the scale of the living.

This exquisite, sensibility, this almost infinite capacity to react before the most varied stimulants, which reach their maximum in a pathological state, caused Hufeland, Hahnemanns friend, to exclaim: “The most sensitive reactive agent is the sick human being.”.

When the functions are carried on with the natural pause and rhythm, pain does not exist. For instance, normally we are not aware that we have kidneys or parotids, but when these organs pains us we perceive them clearly. When a traumatic agent comes to destroy or separate a member from out body, we suddenly come to realize that it was a part of our body, thanks to the pain its instruction or separation provokes. A tooth pains when its stability in the alveolar cavity is in danger.

Pain is a most useful warning. It transforms an important efforts of the organism into the attaining of an end. It tires, as all effort does, making one feel. It makes us realize that in this or that part of the body a struggle has begun between a pathogenic agent whose purpose is to destroy, and the defending organism. Thanks to it, we become aware of this condition and we try to save ourselves.

Occupying a special place in the field of physiology, we find the pains of labor with exceptional intensity as their characteristic. Ones attention is called to the fact that childbirth, being eminently a physiological act, should be not accompanied with such intense pains, for it is difficult to find in the field of normal physiology examples of physiological acts that are painful.

It would not be prudent to affirm that the pains of labor are as old as humanity itself, at least, with the characteristics with which they are observed today. One is inclined to think that this so-called civilization has contributed to the increase in intensity.

In fact, without having to allude as an argument daily observed that all higher mammals give birth without manifesting pain or suffering, let it be enough with the experience that all physicians have had observing the divers intensity of the pains of labor on a plain country woman, a woman of the middle class and a lady of the upper classes-supposedly refined; in this last mentioned type of woman, above all, it is frequent to observe pains of such intensity that the relatives become confused and not infrequently also the physician. Doubtless Ribot was right when he affirmed, “The sensibility of pain is in proportion to the stage of civilization.”.

Jose G. Garcia