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Recording available until 31 December 2026


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Tea and sympathy or IVs and epidurals?  
Join us for a lively talk and debate on the subject of pain relief during childbirth. Why does it remain so contentious? Hear from Dr Tania Staras, Principal Lecturer in Midwifery, School of Health Sciences, University of Brighton and Prof Rachel Collis, Obstetric Anaesthetist at University Hospital of Wales as they talk about the ideas and beliefs about childbirth, pain and pain relief, historically and today.

Dr Staras’s talk delves into the history of midwifery practice to explore how midwives have thought about and managed labour pain across the centuries. It traces the impact of advances in anaesthesia and the surprising effects that these have had on the role and status of the midwife. Finally, it explores why midwives can have such a contradictory relationship with the use of pain relief for childbirth. 

“I would have died without my epidural” is a frequent comment on routine reviews of women after labour heard by Professor Collis. Of course no woman has ever died of pain during labour, but providing good pain relief during a painful procedure or event is a humanitarian act that is fundamental in modern medicine. So why therefore does providing safe effective pain relief for women who want it, remain so contentious? 

This is a recording of a previous event, which will be sent to you after you complete your booking.