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Working with Childbirth Pain, with Julie Bonapace

The Birthful Podcast: Episode #86

What are the 4 components of pain? Does pain equate suffering? If the signal doesn’t make it to the brain, is it pain? And how can you (and your partner!) change that signal before it arrives? Pain specialist Julie Bonapace has answers. Check it out!


To listen here, click the play button on the player above, or click the button below to listen in iTunes.


What we talked about:

  • Pain is not the same as suffering
  • The 4 components to pain
  • Activating the neurophysiology of pain
  • How medical interventions can increase pain
  • Gate Control Theory
  • Fear-Tension-Pain cycle
  • Making birth pleasant
  • Changing the signal
  • Avoiding medicalizing emotions
  • Working with your partner-polarity to strengthen intimacy
  • Postpartum benefits to involving your partner
  • Acknowledging sexuality in birth


This episode is brought to you by Natural Breastfeeding,
and their FREE Quick Start Video. Go watch it at

 and also by Megan Othling, of


Resources and links:


(Photo of Julie Bonapace)
Courtesy of Julie Bonapace

About Julie Bonapace

Julie Bonapace is a pain specialist and the main author of the Canadian Pain Management Guideline for the Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologist of Canada (SOGC), to be published in 2016. She is a researcher and childbirth educator who helps parents and healthcare professionals gain a better understanding of pain management mechanisms and techniques to work with the sensations of childbirth. Her experience of giving workshops around the world to midwives, physicians, nurses and obstetricians and her work with thousands of expectant mothers and fathers have convinced her of the important resources women have to give birth both by trusting themselves and the process of birth. She is convinced of the value of the midwifery model of care and advocates for midwives throughout in different countries, and has been teaching her pain management and birth preparation method since 1989. She’s also the author of “Trusting Birth with the Bonapace Method: Keys to loving your Birth Experience

Learn more at



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Like the music on the podcast?:

Title music:Vibe Aceby Kevin MacLeod, from the Free Music Archive / CC BY (edited for length).

Sponsorship music:Air Hockey Saloon” by Chris Zabriskie, from the Free Music Archive / CC BY (edited for length).

Adriana Lozada