Where does fear come from in birth?
Fear is an emotional response to feeling out of control or anticipating being out of control during childbirth. It stems from being overwhelmed with images, feelings and emotions of things going wrong now or in the past, or anticipating things going wrong in the future and not being able to stop it.
Dealing with fear can be overwhelming and may consume the major part of a pattern of thought processes especially in women getting closer to birth and beginning to experience the oncoming reality that childbirth is real and will happen to her. While fear may feel overwhelming and out of control, it is just a state of mind, the same as peace or joy or anticipation or love. Fear, though, compared to these enjoyable feelings can bring with it very uncomfortable sensations in the body and make the process of childbirth seem overwhelming and very traumatic.
Many times the mind will act like an over concerned parent in trying to protect us on every level of our body and mind. This parental aspect of the mind will sometimes be an asset but many times can be to a detriment when it comes to doing it’s self proclaimed job. While the mind’s dream of protection can seem wonderful, many times this self proclaimed protection can add to the creation of the very scenarios that it pushes away if allowed to focus on the aspect of fear during birth..
Sometimes it can be simply the way we view fear that makes us uncomfortable.
Fear definitely is a strong response, but is it really telling us that something bad is going to happen, or more likely to happen, or actually will happen? If not, how can we deal with fear to make it an asset instead of a self fulfilling prophecy?
Fear is a response of the mind that is saying, you are not ready, prepared, or emotionally aligned with this action that you are about to take, and it can be talking about the mind itself. This feeling is not predicting anything at all. This feeling does not know the future and cannot determine anything at all. This feeling is not saying, you should be afraid because bad things will or can happen. This feeling is saying, I can see by the way that you are mentally and emotionally made up, that you have not sufficiently prepared your mind, emotions and body for what you want to experience.
Keep in mind that this fear is not telling you how to be prepared. That’s not its job. It is simply saying “Ding, Ding, Ding” you are not prepared like you want to be for this experience. Fear, has a powerful affect on the body when it is not dealt with or looked at in its proper perspective. Powerful fear can shut down the processes of the body making the body not work properly to allow the birth of a baby. Birth is about release and fear can have the opposite effect.
One of the first ways to deal with fear is to try to eliminate the amount of fear thought streams that are coming to you on a daily basis. This means eliminating fear on all levels: proclaimed helpful fearful stories coming from others, fear from media, fearful comments in the guise of self proclaimed wisdom and fear coming from caregivers. The body is programmed to give you a good experience during birth. To the body, birth is a natural process that can be dealt with by the systems of the body. It is programmed into your subconscious as being part of your life, like breathing or blinking. It is only the mind dwelling on fearful things that can create fearful responses in the body and hold back its natural processes.
Remember fear can never tell you what is going to happen, It is simply saying you are not prepared to have the peaceful joyous experience that you want. Fear can be a friend saying OK, you’re not quite ready look a little deeper, prepare a little more. Fear should never be ignored but allowed to dissipate as you look at all your options and learn about your wonderful body.
Next, start identifying your fears. I did not say dwell on them, but identify them. These fears may come from many different things and can be very subtle, like a belief that your body does not work with you, or a story your mom told you about her own birth, or family belief systems about birth. Keep a log, not to dwell on but to work with as you find the tools to work with them. One powerful tool can be hypnosis release therapy. Hypnosis release therapy pre-programs the minds scenarios for future experiences and develops tools to deal with things that may come up during birth. Hypnosis relief therapy and journaling with the goal of positive outcomes can also be extremely helpful. Supportive caregivers like doulas may also have many tools to help women deal with fear before, during and after the birth process.
The third step is to focus on the kind of story you want for your birth. This is a very powerful way to deal with fear. As you tell the wonderful story of your birth to yourself or to others, notice when you feel hesitation or lack energy in the story you are telling, and ask yourself why you do not believe it. Find those fears and work with them also.
Fourth, find a way to relax and program your mind and body to relax during birth. This can have a powerful effect on your body’s health and the stress you may be feeling. Working with hypnosis or meditation can be a powerful way to create a non-stressful way of working with your body. It is important that birth is respected, not feared. Like a powerful river, birth can be a very powerful stream of purposeful energy that can be turned in a variety of ways to experience many different things. A river can ruin a town or create energy for it. We can affect the outcome of our birth by dealing with this immense power during birth by learning to direct this power in support of an amazing birth and not against it.
Fifth, as you work with your fears, find ways to program your mind to work with your body in a more productive way. Hypnosis for birth is very powerful and can create stronger patterns in the mind for positive scenarios in birth and eliminate much of the fear.
Sixth, get positive support; from caregivers, friends, and doulas that are willing to hold your desires in a positive state of mind, help you deal with your fears and help you prepare for your birth.
Seventh, let go of the need to control your birth. Look at your role as a preparation process with the process of birth beginning your journey down the river and your role from that point as using the ores to guide the process but not to control it. Remember your body already knows how to give birth.
Eight, fill your mind with inspiring stories that create hope and positive expectations for your upcoming birth.
Nine , have a plan. Plan for how you are going to prepare, plan for scenarios that may or may not come up, plan for your postpartum and have different aspects of your plan set aside so that you have something to fall back on if your story turns out a little different than you determined it would be. Look at your planning not so much out of fear but just as resources in case the river of your birth turns in a different way. Even having a plan for yourself if you go past your due date is very powerful. Then, relax, you have a plan.
Ten, use and learn to work with your intuition. Intuition is different than fear. Intuition tells you to be aware of a scenario or gives you greater wisdom to deal with a decision. Intuition is your friend and can be a lifesaver when it comes to knowing how to guide your birth and how to work with your body.
Eleven, don’t ignore your upcoming birth and postpartum period. Gain positive information, release your fears, have support, develop and trust your intuition, and work with your mind and body to prepare in every way you can.
Twelve, visualize, visualize, visualize your birth. Look forward with happy expectation knowing that you have tools and plans for every scenario, but in a way so that you are always looking for the best and not fearing the worst. Don’t be afraid to ask for support and look forward to your birth being one of the most memorable days of your life, because it will be and you will remember it the rest of your life.
Remember, you don’t have to hang onto fear in birth, look at it just as your friend that is there to help you get what you want.