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Gezellig: a concept for managing pain during labour and childbirth

McNeil, Alexander; Jomeen, Julie


Alexander McNeil

Julie Jomeen


Pain is a defining element of the labouring women's experience. This article explores and discusses the potential of gezellig as an underlying concept for the management of pain during labour. Pain is the psychological, emotional and learnt response to signals induced by noxious stimuli sent from around the body via the spinal cord, to the brain. How we react to them and perceive them is what we feel as pain and is as individual as a person is. Pain felt during labour and childbirth is a unique pain at a deeply emotional time for women. This article looks into the individual nature of a woman's labour pain and how they cope with it. It poses reasoning to practices such as birthing partners, certain complementary and alternative medicines, water births and home birth requests and their relationship to pain relief in labour based around a core concept of environmental changes in the birthing place from the Dutch word gezellig.


McNeil, A., & Jomeen, J. (2010). Gezellig: a concept for managing pain during labour and childbirth. British Journal of Midwifery, 18(8), 515 - 520.

Journal Article Type Article
Online Publication Date Sep 27, 2013
Publication Date Aug 1, 2010
Journal British Journal of Midwifery
Print ISSN 0969-4900
Publisher MA Healthcare
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 18
Issue 8
Pages 515 - 520
Public URL
Publisher URL