I gave birth three times without an epidural.
The first time, I was prepared to be in pain. I knew I would be in more pain than I ever had.
On D-Day, I was surprised by the intensity of the pain, ultimately even more intense than the most intense pain I had imagined.
During my second delivery, I thought I was prepared and knew the intensity of the pain. I was already more scared than the first time. Finally, I realized that I had forgotten how strong this pain was (in painting 2 years) and I was again surprised by its intensity.
In my third childbirth, this time I knew I would be surprised by the intensity of the pain and that I couldn’t remember it. The delivery was very quick. I was in great pain, but less than the previous times. The difference? I was confident in my ability to give birth and didn’t panic.
For me, apart from any purely medical complication (which can occur on a first like a tenth childbirth) and which can lead to extraordinary pain. The feeling of pain is directly proportional to the panic you feel.
Being well informed, few but well surrounded by people you trust, being calm in your bubble are all factors that play a direct role in the sensation of pain during childbirth.
Afterwards, I am talking here without an epidural. If the woman does not want to feel pain, the epidural must of course be taken.