Childbirth without pain

“Giving birth without pain,” cover of the magazine Regards 356 (1952).


Psychoprophylactic childbirth, better known as “painless childbirth,” consists of psychological pain relief based on the theory of conditioned reflexes. Invented in the USSR and imported to France by Fernand Lamaze, it later spread throughout Europe despite political resistance prompted by its origins. It challenged the biblical injunction of giving birth in pain, and gave women more control over their bodies.