The description of the events of normal labor has been given in a coldly scientific manner, since it is only through an understanding of what normally happens in the process of birth that natural childbirth can be conducted and practiced. Some may wonder why the word labor is used, but it is an appropriate one in view of the real physical work required before the baby can be born. In fact, a mother in the second stage has been heard to comment: “Now I know why it is called labor!” It will be noted, however, that the word pain has not so far been used, and it is now time to consider the question of pain in relation to childbirth.
Childbirth has been associated with pain and sufferings from the earliest times: the well-known words of the Bible, “in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children”, express this view, and similar quotations can be found in the literature of all ages. It has been known for centuries, however, the labor is by no means always painful and that many women have babies easily and with no pain. Observations among primitive communities have led to the conclusion that painful labor is mainly found in women living in conditions of civilization. This has led some to state that natural childbirth is not a painful process any more than is any other natural function rain boots.