Imagine admitting we are “shit scared” of birth? How would that feel to you? That you thought birth might be painful, sore, messy??
The uncomfortable side of EFT
One of the hardest aspects of EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) for many is the focusing on the negative or saying the negatives out loud.
We live in a world where we believe we can manifest a positive solution by thinking positively, by re-programming our language, by visualising outcomes. And I do totally agree with this (you should see my own journaling…..). And what kind of doula would I be if I didn’t like a positive affirmation or 10???
However, I truly believe by never working through our what our thoughts/fears and aspirations, especially if they are deep, we might struggle to get the birth we want. It’s a bit like putting a band-aid plaster on a deep gash – we know a band aid is totally ineffectual. We know that we will still bleed.
What I like about EFT is it tackles why you believe something to be true – where does the belief that birth could be sore come from??? Is it stories, what you’ve heard about your own birth, what you’ve seen, what you’ve previously experienced etc.
Fear can bite us on the butt
So why are we so focused on eliminating fear in childbirth? It’s because it can cause a number of issues with our birth (did you catch my last blog?).
At a time when we feel panicked, stressed, overwhelmed – we maybe aren’t sure about what’s happening around us, maybe our thinking brain is too turned on/too tuned in…. that niggling worry that something is going to happen or that it’s going to hurt like hell or whatever our fear may be…. fear can really affect us….. (here’s a list of what I believe to be the biggest fears).
Why can EFT work?
One of the reasons I love EFT for birth, is during pregnancy it helps us to work through our real deep fears and that’s where the negative comes in. EFT allows you to draw out the fears quickly as you can pick up where the body is triggered by a negative statement and then we work through it – releasing and reducing the fears.
Let’s work through an example…..
- Here’s a typical fear:
“I am shit scared of birth as I’m worried that I won’t be able to manage the pain, I can feel it in my tummy….”
- So here we are really acknowledging the fear and naming where we feel the reaction (you don’t always feel it). We aren’t walking away and soothing it by saying it’s all going to be ok
- We score it between 0 and 10 of how true or intense this feeling is
- We balance the statement with a positive. Sometimes it’s just a plain I’m OK but sometimes was can add in positive affirmations here such as
“I trust my body to birth this baby and I have a number of plans to help me manage the pain”
- So the full statement would be
“Even though I am shit scared of birth as I’m worried that I won’t be able to manage the pain, I can feel it in my tummy…., I trust my body to birth my baby and I have a number of plans to help me manage the pain”
- As we tap round the points, we say the reminder statement
“shit scared” “pain” “tummy”
- We then re-score it between 0-10
- Usually the score comes down, but sometimes it goes up and that’s a good thing as we are really bringing into focus the feelings around the fear
- Once it’s down towards 0, other aspects might start to come in… I believe birth is painful BECAUSE… and then we work through each one of those
(See my 9 steps of EFT)
If you fears arise during your birth and they weren’t what you thought they were, you can still use EFT as follows:
- name it
- acknowledge it
- identify if/where in your body you are feeling the emotion
- set up a statement (“Even though I’m terrified I won’t get past 7cm again, I’m OK and I’m closer to meeting my baby”)
- tap on it (even if you can’t tap all the points, you normally have one or two points that work for you)
- carry on with your birth
Here’s how EFT can help you to process what’s happening in a logical framework through transition:
“Even though I’m feeling panicky, hot and cold and nauseous and wondering how I can take any more, I’m ok – I’m currently going through transition and I trust my body to birth this baby”.
Want to know more?
During my Birth Coaching Programme, you will become familiar with EFT and developing statements such as this meaning you can take control of your thoughts and thereby your body’s reaction to the trigger.
I believe EFT is extremely powerful in this scenario. It can help you to control the mind, to keep it in a much calmer state and thereby can help you to have a much calmer birth experience.
EFT can be very much used on it’s own. It’s also such a great tool to use in conjunction with all the lovely positive techniques that I’ve used with many other families – affirmations, visualisations, journaling and for some birth art (these are part of my Joyful Birth programme). It’s an ideal tool to use with hypnobirthing or NLP. For more reasons why I love EFT for birth – check out my 7 reasons why EFT can help you achieve a fantastic birth.