Five Steps Toward Removing Fear From Birth

When I talk with expecting families about their upcoming birth I’m often met with big worries and fears about what is about to unfold. This can bind up so much energy and focus that they’re unable to settle in and enjoy the last bits of pregnancy.

Let’s talk about practical ways to remove that fear from birth and find a space of confience that will allow you to trust this process.


1-Take the time educate yourself
Whether this is your first or fifth baby, there are new and unique challenges that come with bringing a new person into your life and household dynamic as you currently know it. When we are prepared with the “head knowledge” we can allow our hearts to do more feeling and exploring. Finding a preparation class near you that you, your partner, or other family members can attend can help to ease anxieties. No, a birth class can’t tell you how to have a baby, but it can prepare you for what you can anticipate and give you ideas and tools to navigate your experience without panic and fear.

2-Work Toward Trusting Your Body
We can get so caught up in the what if’s that we can self sabatoge to a certain extent. “What if” my body doesn’t go into labor on it’s own? “What if” I can’t handle the discomforts. “What if”?!… There’s a lot to anticipate and a lot to think through but if we focus only on the negatives we can really pull ourselves away from focusing on real possibilites for success.
“What if” I trust my body and this process? “What if” I focus on what I know I CAN do and really engage those thoughts.
While I’m not a big “power of positive thinking” type person, I do firmly belive that what we focus on can absolutely pave our journey. Be aware of the possibilities so you’re not surprised by them, but also know that you are capable of remarkable things. Sometimes, we just have to get out of our own way.

3- Find Support
Most people will tell you they don’t remember much from when they gave birth. While that might be true for some, what most people DO remember is the people that were in the room, the actions of those people, and the words of those people. The support system surrounding you when you are giving birth plays an integral role in how you percieve the situation. If you are supported and encouraged by your “team” you will forever remeber that. On the flip side, if you have someone in your birth space that is less than supportive and ecouraging you will feel that deeply. Hormones, endorphines, and chatecholamines (aka: Oxytocin, Dopamine, and Adrenaline) play a significant role in labor and when those are thrown off it can have a tremendous effect on your ability to labor effectively AND your ability manage discomforts, both physically and mentally. When building your birth team it’s important that everyone be on the same page and be ready to meet you where you are in any given moment without agendas or biases to their own feelings and opinions.

4- Compile Your Tools
What do YOU think will be helpful for you in labor? Tangible, practical tools to help ease this process and provide you with as much support and comfort as possible. Tools your partner and birth team can use to provide you with support and encouragement all along the way. A good guage to start is to find things that help you relax on any given day. Are you a warm bath person? You just might find that jacuzzi tub to be veeeerrrryyy helpful for you. Are you a “give me my space in a quiet, dark room” kind of person? Chances are, that won’t change a whole lot once labor starts. It’s important to know that your regular response to discomfort will be similar to your response to labor and people who are more outward and verbal are not likely to magically become the quiet and demuir birther. Be true to who you are as a person when laying out your expectaions for your birth and ways that you might help manage what is to come.

5- Be “Okay” with not “Being Okay” and be willing to talk about it
I realize that sounds very confusing and ambiguous…
The reality is that there will be days that the prospect of giving birth feels like it’s just too much. Conversely, there will be days that you’ll feel ready to conquer ANYTHING birth throws at you. It’s an ebb and flow of life that is so very normal. Having doubts doesn’t make you a bad parent and it certainly doesn’t mean you “can’t do it”. There will be moments, during labor even, that feel all wrong and you’ll need to pause, re-collect, and keep going. Leaning in on those around you to discuss your worries, doubts, and fears will really help you to unpack all those feelings and find tangible ways to diffusethem or address them. Bottling up big feelings and thoughts only allows them to spiral out of control and take a deep hold. Don’t give the negativity that power.

You can do this, you ARE doing this, and I’m so excited for your journey!

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