Fear Can Damage Your Birthing Experience Here’s Why and What To Do About It
Fear is a normal reaction to something that we feel we have to protect ourselves from. As humans, for the most part we are especially fearful of things that are beyond our understanding. People that seem different, new experiences, new sensations and anything that is foreign to us can cause excitement, but also fear in many. The birthing experience, is one of those experiences that causes fear in about 80% of women that are, or wish to get pregnant especially new moms. Those fears range from small concerns, and worries about the pain and possible complications associated to birthing all the way to full blown panic attacks which can cause an expectant mother to elect a c-section, or prevent a woman from getting pregnant in the first place. The technical term for this extreme fear is Tokophobia. General concerns are expected with childbirth, but the effects of those fears that exceed normal amounts can have a stronger impact on your birthing experience (for the negative) than what you may realize.
The Body and Mind Work Together
It goes without saying that when your mind thinks, your body reacts. This may not have been as apparent 50-100 years ago but I believe most people either understand, or have at least heard of body-mind connection and understand its importance. Here’s a short free video that will prove the body-mind connection click here for video for you. It’s part of my 30 Days and Just a Few Minutes to Having an Amazing Birth series.
Who Cares If My Body Responds to My Mind
You should for many reasons. For starters fearful, or pessimistic thoughts cause unnecessary stress on the heart, circulatory system, and body. Most people experience ups and downs in blood pressure when fear and stress come in and out of their lives. When you’re pregnant however fear doesn’t just raise your blood pressure, or cause you to tense up, it compounds negative ideas you may already have about the birthing process itself making them stronger and more likely to become your reality at the birth which can unfortunately taint your experience without you even realizing it.
Belief of Birthing
Not all, but most women already believe that the birth experience is going to be harsh. Why do they believe this? Summed up on one word….experience. By the time an expectant mom gets pregnant she has already experienced hundreds of movies, shows, articles, and stories on how having a baby is “supposed” to be. Most, if not all of that exposure is based upon how difficult, and painful the birthing experience is because those women that had harsh experiences recount their stories. What then would you predict an expectant mother to believe within herself about her own birthing experience? That the birthing experience will be great? quite the contrary Out of all the pregnant women that I’ve presented my course to in the birthing center that I worked with, most of them believe that their birthing experience is going to be long, hard, and painful. Having this consciousness while pregnant brings fear throughout the pregnancy, and the birth. Sadly, the more you believe in the difficulty of birthing, the more you tend to seek out similar stories that will only reinforce what you already know which just compounds the information deeper into your mind. If this fear is present at the birth it will affect your body by causing tension and “clamp the uterine muscles” which slows down the birth process sometimes even bringing it to a halt, and unfortunately causing pain.
Here’s What to do
- Don’t despair. Know that there are billions of women that have given birth before you and they were fine. That doesn’t help you but the next part will. Although not spoken about much, many women that had babies in the past used specialized techniques that helped them utilize the mind in order to minimize pain tremendously, or eliminate it completely. Mental and physical relaxation while birthing causes the birth to actually speed up because the baby doesn’t have to go through tense muscle. If you seek out those stories on social media (instead of negative ones) they will help you form a different consciousness about birthing, and the fact that you too have choices.
- Let go of fear of birthing. Become informed on how natural birthing works. Understand how the body is born with an innate intelligence to have a baby and how that process should not be tampered with by intervention, drugs, or methods that speed up the process unless there is a sound and solid medical reason that truly puts the baby or delivering mother at risk. Here’s a really good documentary by Ricky Lake to watch in order to further your knowledge: The Business of Being Born. It was made in 2008 and it is very informative in helping you understand what happens behind the medical establishment’s closed doors.
- Learn how to relax. Learning how to relax your body (and more importantly your mind) will empower you and put you in control of your birthing experience because relaxation is the most powerful tool you can possibly have at any birth to make it an amazing one. When you are able to relax at the birth, all the birthing muscles open and allow the baby to come easier, and work more effectively at speeding up the birthing process minimizing pain. Learning how to relax should be a priority somewhere around the 6-7 month of pregnancy in order for the birth process to go smoothly. An excellent way of getting rid of fear and learning to relax is by taking the Painless Childbirth Course. This course will teach you all the techniques you need to have an amazing birth. Click here for the course. If you’re not ready for that yet, watch the following video to understand how you can use your mind to control pain. Click here for pain control videos All in all, I strongly believe that you should learn some type of relaxation technique that you can bring with you to the birth of your baby because it will enhance the birthing process by speeding it up and minimizing pain.
Although fear is a normal reaction to the unknown we can understand that having fear when it comes to the birthing experience doesn’t come without a big price. Fear has many negative reactions in the body including tension and shutting down of muscle groups. On the contrary though, a powerful ally is releasing fear and relaxation at the birth. When a birthing mother is relaxed she can actually speed up the birthing process, and minimize, or eliminate discomfort.