According to Nunn, the long-term memories of mothers giving birth are there for her entire lifetime. Since it is such a life-changing and influential event, the memories are very vivid for birth.
Nunn recommends the father practice visualization techniques, so he can help his wife when she is in the midst of a hard contraction by describing a pleasant place or scene. She recalls the interesting picture one man painted for his wife. The woman was approaching the late active stage of labor and needed emotional support to work through the intense contractions. "I said to the dad, 'Why don't you do a visualization with her?'" Nunn says. "'Think of someplace that is special to the two of you, maybe when you watched a waterfall or heard birds singing.' When this dad started saying, 'Last fall when we went squirrel hunting...' I about died. He started to describe how they went out in the woods and the leaves were crisp and the sun was shining through the trees."
Nunn says although she would not have wanted a squirrel-hunting trip described to her during labor, the visualization was almost poetic and was a good memory for the woman. "At the end, the wife started laughing," Nunn says. "She said, 'I was the only one who got a squirrel that day.'"