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Holding the hand of someone you love can help with pain and make it hurt less.

It is believed touching someone you love provides a ‘reward’ in the brain which makes the pain easier to bear.

Women given their partner’s hand to hold experienced half the amount of pain they did when left alone, after scientists passed hot water through a tube in their hand, shares Daily Mail.

A study of 20 couples also found women holding a man’s hand during a painful experience like childbirth may get more sympathy.

The secret is believed to be that touch synchronises a couple’s brains, so they undergo a painful experience in a similar way.

That empathy from a partner may be why women holding hands may experience less agony.

The study’s lead author, Dr Pavel Goldstein, from the University of Colorado, said: ‘I got the idea for this study in the delivery room when my daughter Emily was born. Hand-holding was very helpful for my wife.

‘We found two people’s brains synchronise when they were holding hands, which can have an analgesic effect when one is suffering pain. It may be that empathy is transferred through touch.’

The study, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, follows evidence that skin-to-skin touch can reduce babies’ pain during medical procedures and adults’ anxiety and blood pressure in reaction to stress.

It states: ‘Our findings indicate that hand-holding during pain administration increases brain-to-brain coupling in a network that mainly involves the central regions of the pain target and the right hemisphere of the brain observer.’

It certainly worked for me during labour. Did you hold your partner’s hand during childbirth?

Share your comments below.

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  • Latest findings are that holding your partner’s hand can alleviate many pains, so try it first before reaching for the Panadol.

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  • It is nice having someone close to you to be there.

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  • Imagine how tough Mums had it when the Dads weren’t even allowed to stay at the hospital to wait for news.

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  • Gee, that would have been nice, my hubby fell asleep through a lot of the earlier stages!

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  • I think most times everything goes out the window during labour. Best laid plans and all… babies don’t yet know how to think that way!

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  • My husband was such a comfort for me. Holding my hand was all he could do.

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  • My hubby was there and I believe his support made all the difference.

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  • Nothing new here ! We all hold, hug, and kiss our kids when they’re hurt, get an injection or when they’re sick.
    Yes, my husband was there during labour.

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  • My husband was with me for the birth of both our children. I think I blocked out a lot of my first labour due to complications of my son being stuck and his stress. My husband was very helpful during active labour the second time as I was very thirsty and held a cup with straw out for me. I drank the most water I’ve ever had during those two hours in between contractions!

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  • Had either my mother or mother in law with me and maybe you do need your partner. Though my mother delivering my twins was a lot better as trusted her doing the handling of the birth.

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  • My husband was there the whole way, holding my hand. But I was still in agony and needed the epidural !
    Not sure it works for everyone !!!

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  • Yes, my husband was with me all the time during labour. Holding my hands, and my face, being calm and relaxed as he always is. I loved having him there!!

    Reply

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