Needless to say, Camann has seen many women in labor, including his own wife (he is the father of two sons, ages 19 and 21).
Camann is also the co-author of Easy Labor: Every Woman's Guide to Choosing Less Pain and More Joy During Childbirth.
Camann said he and co-author Kathryn Alexander wrote the book because "we wanted to provide something that was different than other books out there - a comprehensive book about pain relief that wasn't biased or polarized, that wasn't offensive or derogatory to any specific side."
I can attest to the fact that they achieved this goal with flying colors (read my full review here). If you can only buy one book about childbirth, I recommend this one...no matter what your birthing philosophy is.
Following please find a transcript of my recent phone interview with Dr. Camann...
ME: How many women get epidurals in the U.S.?
WC: It depends who you ask, but the number is probably going up...roughly about 2/3 to 3/4 of births today.
ME: Are physicians and nurses prepared to assist women who choose to go without pain medication?
WC: It depends how proficient your caregivers are. Most physicians are not as comfortable as, say, midwives with complementary and alternative methods.
ME: Based on all of the labors that you have seen...If you were a woman, what pain management methods would you try?
WC: I would love to get in the tub - a nice, big birthing tub. I can imagine that it would be very soothing and relaxing. Hypnosis techniques are also very appealing. I would also be totally open to having an epidural. What I would not try is breathing techniques - the panting and hoo-hawing and huffing and puffing. For decades this has been the mainstay of managing pain in childbirth, but it appears to be very ineffective and can lead to hyperventilation.
ME: What is the one "take-home" message that you would like readers to gain from your book?
WC: Go in with an open mind. One of the most predictable things about labor is that it is unpredictable. Having an open mind is one of the best ways to approach labor.
Now, that is great advice. I completely agree with Camann's conclusion about the "unpredictable" nature of labor - and the more knowledge that you have, the better!
WIN IT! One lucky winner will win a copy of Easy Labor. To enter, simply leave a comment and your e-mail address on this post prior to Sunday, November 18th, at midnight. The winner will be announced and contacted via e-mail on Monday, November 19th. * Winner must provide a U.S. mailing address.
*UPDATED* The winner is #11 ash! Congratulations!