12 MAY 1961, Page 16

Stfi,—May I add something to Mrs. Furlong's corn - ments on

Dr. Vellay's lecture on painless child- birth? The method he practises does work—I have tried it. It is the loss of control which makes child- birth so distressing an experience—and- analgesia

doesn't help with that. The Lamaze method, based

on the idea that pain is largely a matter of con( i" tinning (it derives from the Pavlov method developed in Russia), makes the woman the chief controller of her own labour. In what is, after all, a natural function, not a surgical operation, she becomes active, not passive. In that sense I don't think E r. Vcllay is 'over-idealising' when he speaks 01 woman's emancipation. A culture which maintains- often with militant stubbornness—the belief that women must bear children in pain, and which turns a blind eye to the inhumanity in its maternity services. shouldn't boast of its equal education, equal pay and equal franchise. It is in the specifically feminine activities that women should now demand their `rights'; unfortunately the suffragettes didn't see it that way, and their legacy remains.—Yours faith- fully, 19 Rochester Way, Blackheath, SE3