If you’re pregnant and you are absolutely shitting it and wonder if this is normal to feel so worried – then congratulations – you are in the MAJORITY of woman and yes, it is normal.
If you’re pregnant, and you are totally embracing your birth, have no fears whatsoever – well done – but maybe you should read this. Because….
Fear IS normal
It is normal to have fear, worries, anxieties or apprehension – if you’re a first time mother, the fear of the unknown, the fear of the horrific stories you have heard. I’ve outlined some of the VERY NORMAL fears that women have before.
If you’re a second/third/fourth time mum, you might fear what’s happened in your other births.
Fear is a totally acceptable emotion to have when preparing for birth.
When is fear good?
During birth – it is normal that we get very fearful at the time of transition (active labour phase into the pushing phase).
The adrenaline is pumping through your body – this is the same hormone that comes to block pain or tells us we are excited. This is a time to go with the adrenaline and let go. Instead of fighting it, embrace it, call it excitement and relax into it and follow the scripts outlined below.
And some fear is good – it might hold us back, gently letting our baby descends, protecting our bodies.
When is fear bad?
Fear is bad when it takes over – especially in early or active labour where we can’t rationalise our fears, when we can’t move on, when we can’t embrace our labour or start to get panicked.
Fear – Tension – Pain
Sometimes we get into a Fear – Tension – Pain (have your read Childbirth Without Fear – here’s a great synopsis) cycle when we, for whatever reason, get really fearful over specific things that are happening to us.
So what are the 5 Ways Fear Can Affect Our Birth?
- Adrenaline pumps through our bodies which can reduce the oxytocin which is the hormone that helps with the contractions
- We get tense – more painful labour and longer labour
- The inability to relax into the birth
- Increase our chances of a medical intervention – epidural/forceps/c-section
- Being unable to make the choices or decisions from a place of calm, rationale thinking
- Decreased likelihood of being able to reflect on our birth positively (OK here’s an extra one!)
What can we do to decrease the chances of fear affecting our birth?
There are a number of tools and techniques that you can use.
- Taking the time to acknowledge your fears and working through them with therapy or education (see here why EFT can really work for birth)
- Not listening to any horror stories – be careful who you spend time with, what you watch (One Born Every Minute for example)
- Surround yourself with positivity including positive affirmations, journaling, visualisations, birth art – we work on this during our Birth Coaching Programme
- Speak to your birth partner and come up with some phrases that will help
- Take control of the birth environment
- Writing a great birth plan which includes actions for any special circumstances
Finally – SCRIPTS – yeah!!!
Here’s some EFT scripts that might help you with your birth (the 9 steps of EFT are here) – please note that scripts are best when they use your OWN words but this will give you an idea of what you can develop:
Set-up statement – “Even though I am fearful of birth and I can feel it in my belly/chest/throat, I’m OK and I’m preparing for my joyful birth”
Reminder phrase – fearful, belly/chest/throat (or other body part)
Set-up statement – “Even though I am feeling a bit scared as these contractions are getting stronger and I don’t know how much more I can take, I’m OK, my body is relaxing and I’m closer to meeting my baby”
Reminder phrase – bit scared, contractions stronger, [you can add in the body part]
Set-up statement – “Even though I can’t do it any more, I’m so exhausted, I am transitioning and these feelings are those of excitement as my baby is almost here”
Reminder phrase – can’t do it any more, exhausted, baby almost here
Want to know more?
If this is resonating with you and you’d like support – take a look at my Birth Coaching Programme where we use EFT to really identify your fears which help us to develop your own affirmations and visualisations and create the birth plan for you (100% money back guarantee if it doesn’t work for you), or sign up for some individual EFT sessions. If you just want help to create the PERFECT birth plan for you – you can book in for a consultancy.
With love, Tricia xxx