I imagine you can think of many F words. Fear is the first one that comes to my mind because it comes up all the time when I am in group discussions about birth. It is by no means my favorite F word.
Many women are afraid they will tear, afraid they will need a cesarean section, afraid that something will happen to their baby, and more.
Fear is driving the system and the choices that many women make for their birth experience.
I remember before I gave birth the first time. The fear I had was of taking care of a newborn baby. How would I know what to do? Labor and birth would happen no matter what. I am sure there are many women who have this fear of newborns, but today’s blog is about the fear of giving birth. The thing about fear is that it creates a physiologic response in the body.
The hormones of fear wreak havoc on the body, and the mind. You are simulating being chased by a tiger. This is what is known as the fight or flight reaction. This is not going to serve you at birth.
What can you do to switch the fear to faith, fortitude, fabulous, or another F word that is anything but fear?
Mentally prepare for birth. Your fear is something to investigate, to learn about yourself. In childbirth, you want to be able to go into it prepared for the unknown, yet also with having chosen what you want by filtering out what you don’t want.
There is a lot of information and methods of childbirth preparation available.
Yet, none of the books, websites, or classes will teach you how to get rid of your fear.
Labor and birth are not an exact science, and there are no guarantees. You will feel powerful going into it if you have explored your fears. Where do they come from? What is true? Is there something underlying this fear? Have you learned about mindfulness and other practices to reduce stress and ease the mind? Are you willing to do a deep dive exploration within, to uncover your truth?
Many people use fear as an acronym:
False Evidence Appearing Real. Imagined future possibilities that you make up in your mind as real, and then obsess about them. On the other hand, you could say: Forget Everything And Rise. Which one feels better?
I encourage you to learn more about the birth process, and what you are afraid of and why. The fear is what will inhibit, prolong, or stop labor, which often leads to the very things you do not want.
How about focusing on the other F words that will support you?
How about practicing relaxation techniques?
How about gathering your support team?
How about listening to amazing birth stories?
How about preparing your mind, body, and soul by exploring your fears?
You can get my 30-page guide: Bellies, Birth, Babies, and Boobs on my website, to start figuring out what you want. It’s up to you to be in the driver’s seat and to create your ideal birth experience.