Common Fears Around Childbirth
Hello and welcome, Tricia Murray here from The Birth and Baby Academy.
So, today we are talking about some of the most common fears around childbirth. It’s really important that we address these fears because these can be the fears that quite often come up during our birth, meaning a longer, more painful and difficult labour and birth experience.
At the end of this, I invite you to download the Resources Bundle (where the Fear Release Exercise is included) which is an exercise that many people have found useful to process and reduce the fears that they have around birth.
Fear #1 – Pain
So, let’s get into the topic in a bit more detail. Without a doubt, the biggest fear that many women have around birth is pain and how painful birth is going to be. It’s not really a surprise when we think of all the different stories that we have heard around birth and how painful birth has been for many women. Also, around how birth is portrayed in the media.
However, we really need to understand why we have that pain. One of the reasons that we have that pain is that it’s our body’s way of alerting us that something is happening and we need to go off and get ready to give birth.
The second reason that we have that pain is that our body is doing so much stretching and manoeuvring to help that baby come out of our bodies.
Once we understand why we have that pain, we have different tools and resources that can help us to manage that pain to have a much more positive experience. I know that it can be positive because I’ve witnessed it many times.
Fear #2 – Childbirth is Dangerous
Fear number two is that childbirth is dangerous or that something terrible is going to happen. This is one of the biggest myths that we have. However, childbirth has never been so safe. Even for women who are being described as high-risk, childbirth has never been safer. In fact, there are lots of things in the world that are much more dangerous than birth – driving, cycling and even climbing stairs.
Fear #3 – Your Vagina
Fear number three – your vagina. Many women are really anxious about what’s going to happen to their vagina after they give birth. This is something that many women don’t talk about during their pregnancy, or even think about as I think that It’s almost too scary for them to acknowledge.
But we know that through education that many women can reduce the chance of this happening to them. We know that if women don’t lie on their back if they aren’t induced and a whole host of other things, they are much less likely to be affected by birth.
Fear #4 – My Baby is Too Big
Fear number four (and this is a really big one) is that my baby is too big for my vagina. I hear this all the time. “Oh my God, I’m having a baby who’s on the 95th percentile“. That is when you get a scan and get told where your baby is within the general population.
But what do we know about that? Well, firstly, scanning is not always accurate. We can’t be totally reliant on that information. Secondly, here’s a story for you. There was a woman in the paper just last week who gave birth to a 14lb baby, just on gas and air. How did she do that? Well, here’s what I think. I think that she had no idea that she was giving birth to such a big baby and so didn’t have that fear that so often disturbs childbirth.
Fear #5 – Pooing
Fear number five – will I poo in labour? So, what do we know about that? Well, firstly, some women do poo around labour and birth. But let me tell you something, most women poo just before they go into labour. Their body expels everything to help them prepare and sometimes if a woman does poo during labour, we’re actually really excited, because what does that mean? It means that baby is just about to come. So, it’s not something to be worried about. It’s actually a great sign to have during labour.
Fear #6 – Hospitals
Fear number six – hospitals. This is a really common fear and it’s not a surprise because when we think about hospitals, we usually think about sickness and death. We really need to re-frame that or think about different options for your birth, for example considering a home birth. There are, of course, many other fears that many women have. This list isn’t exhaustive.
So, it’s time now for you to think about how are you going to work through these fears? What are you going to go today? I’d like you now to go to download the Resources Bundle (where the Fear Release Exercise is included) which is an exercise that you can do around all the various fears that you have.
This is a tool that many people have found helpful, to help them reduce their fears around birth. It is vital that you work on this with your partner so that they can work on any fears that they might have so that they are not brought into the birth room.
So, what are you going to commit to today? Having a positive birth doesn’t come through inaction, it comes through preparation and a commitment every day to have a much better birth. So, it’s time now for you to relax deeply, learn wisely and experience a much better birth!