The Joy of Birth: It's Not Just About Pain

The Joy of Birth: It's Not Just About Pain
María Alejandra Castro Arbeláez

Reviewed and approved by the psychologist María Alejandra Castro Arbeláez.

Last update: 27 December, 2022

The joy of birth comes with a long-awaited surprise, the one you’ve been preparing for, perhaps for a lifetime.

It’s not that your newfound maternal bliss will wipe away all the pain of childbirth. Just that the immense satisfaction of welcoming your little one into the world for the first time is more profound than anything else you’ll feel.

Birth: a clash of emotions

There is little or nothing in life that compares to the joy of birth. 

No feeling in the world is greater than this. Not receiving a prize, graduating with the degree you always dreamed of, or marrying the love of your life.

But just as you feel with such intensity that magical moment of bringing another human being into the world, your flesh and blood, you will have to face the suffering of long hours of contractions, when the clock seems to stop and relief seems so far away.

Having a baby is a relentless clash of emotions. The joy of birth and the pain go hand in hand. 

The Joy of Birth: It's Not Just About Pain

Birth: is it worth the pain?

If birth were not so fraught with pain and intense agitation, perhaps our first encounter with our babies would not be so meaningful.

After all, our most vivid memories are of those times when we are pushed to our limits, whether of happiness, sadness or pain.

Nobody remembers the easy times, because, quite simply, the moments our brains treasure, those that are truly significant, leave their mark through sheer intensity. 

If that were the case, perhaps giving birth would not be worth it. Perhaps our young would come into the world unceremoniously, like fruit falling from a tree.

Birth is worth celebrating

Birth, the exact moment at which a woman’s pregnancy comes to an end and a new person’s life begins, is a time of unimaginable joy. 

It is a rush of doctors, nurses, medicine and procedures (if necessary). It is everything that the mom-to-be has been preparing for these last 40 or so weeks.

It is a moment of nerves, desperation and ecstasy, shared between the mother and the family waiting anxiously outside the ward. 

It is almost always mom who is first to get the surprise. But when the baby is on its way, the rest of the family will be outside with their hearts in their mouths. They are all waiting for the doctor or midwife to say the words that everyone wants to hear.

“A beautiful baby boy, 8 pounds! Everything’s ok.”

These short but sweet words unleash a flood of emotion.

The father is slapped on the back; the grandparents celebrate along with uncles and aunts. Everyone is here to welcome the new member of the family.

Birth isn’t just worth the pain, it’s worth the joy

The moment of birth is often frightening for women. 

First-time moms are plagued by uncertainty. Comments from other women often do nothing to soothe their nerves:

“The pain is like nothing else.”

“I had contractions for 10 hours before my child was born.”

“The worst was when, after 24 hours in labor, I hadn’t dilated enough, and I had to have a cesarean.”

The Joy of Birth: It's Not Just About Pain

Those who have already been through it know what to expect. Depending on their experiences first time around, they may feel calmer – or more afraid.

However, first time or not, whether she had a good birth or been through many hours of pain, every new mom can agree on something:

At that exact moment, when you see your child take their first breath of air and let out their first cry, you will have eyes only for them.

All your fear, nerves and stress subside.

The relief that you feel when your baby is born is out of this world. Suddenly, you relax and let that indescribable mix of surprise, disbelief and happiness flood over you.

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This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.