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Working with Childbirth Pain, with Julie Bonapace

The Birthful Podcast: Episode #132

(Renewed! – Originally #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 also brought to you by the Expectful meditation app.
Learn more and sign up for a free two-week trial at

And also by

 Megan Othling, of



Resources and links*:


Related Birthful Episodes:


(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 Gynecologists of Canada (SOGC). She is a researcher and childbirth educator who helps parents and health care 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 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

She holds both a Masters degree in Education as well as Bachelors degrees in social work and social sciences, and has extensive experience training health care professionals throughout the world on natural methods to help parents experience pleasure, satisfaction and safety in birth.

Learn more at


*may contain affiliate links. This means that -at no extra cost to you- I may get a small percentage of what you buy. That is one of the ways of helping me continue to do this podcast – Thank you!



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


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