Updated: Aug 22
Birth is a powerful, monumentous event. The uterus, expanded 500 times the size of it's nonpregnant state, rhythmically contracts, encouraging the cervix to open and lovingly pushing your baby into the Earthside world, is incredible. This task is no easy feat, and yet about 385,000 women give birth every day.
The narratives we hold around this experience of birth influence the ways we perceive our own birth experiences. A common story is fear of the pain that comes with the waves of contractions and with the "ring of fire" during the baby's crowning emergence. This is understandable, as birth is a unique experience with many unfamiliar sensations, but it does no service to let these fears consume you.
I invite you to assess your own internal narratives about birth and the ways these stories influence the decisions you make as you prepare for your own birth. This might mean looking back at a past pregnancy and birth, using what you've learned through that experience to guide you today. Are you making these decisions out of fear, or out of love?
5 Tools for Addressing Fears Around Birth:
Shift Your Mindset
What might happen if we shift our mindset to focus on the power of this experience, of these sensations, and of the miraculous mysteries of birth?
This is exactly how birth affirmations can help you prepare and stay in a positive mindset during birth.
We're in love with the variety of downloadable affirmation cards from our friend Dr. Sarah at Birth Uprising. Check them out here!
Talk it Out
Communication is a powerful tool.
Voicing your fears, talking through your options, and leaning into the people in your life who consistently and intimately support you can help you move through your fears while preserving your agency.
This can be a partner, friend, doula, or medical staff, but it can also be prayer.
Journal or Meditate on It
Sometimes, allowing your inner narratives and feelings to flow out works best in your own company. Grabbing a journal to write it out, draw or even just scribble as your mind does what it does best is the most powerful medicine. Being able to discern what you want to share, with who, and how is an incredible thing.
Choose a Provider & Environment You Trust
If you know you want a birth that is medically managed, going to a provider and location where this is common makes sense. If your fear is that you'll receive unnecessary interventions or be coerced into care you do not want, you need to evaluate where and with whom you will receive the freedom and respect that you're craving. Having this trust fosters peace of mind as you prepare for your birth.
Regardless of how much you know about birth, your options, and your provider's practice, birth requires surrender. Babies know how they need to be born - a force that exceeds our earthly power. Strengthening our ability to flow with birth, trusting it's unique unfolding and expanding ourselves along the way, helps to maintain a sense of smoothness and cohesion even if birth gets intense. Having a trusted support person by your side, a disciplined mindset, and pre-birth communication make this last step even more accessible because you'll know that you've done everything in your power to set yourself up for a positive experience, and all that's left is to ride it out.
Are You Looking for Support?
1:1 Birthtime Preparation Session
A space to unpack your deepest desires for your birth, release constriction, and cultivate actions that lead you toward your dream birth.