Letter: No way to control the baby

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The Independent Online
Sir: Speaking as a relative pro (GP and mother of four) I would like to encourage people who don't "stay in control" and use painkillers during birth (reports, 5 July). We strive to be in charge of our partners, our midwives, our doctors and ourselves, but can we really be in control of the baby?

My first was an epidural because I couldn't stand the pain, the next was natural but uncomfortable, the third was a dream birth, and the last was the worst, despite gas and air. This was nothing to do with my attitude or the hospital's, but because presumably the baby was a different shape and the labour took a different path.

If you have a perfect birth, say thanks to the baby, and when it's hard and you need help remember it is the beginning of allowing freedom to your child.

Dr E T MANN

Harrogate, North Yorkshire

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