30 Mar Getting Gutsy: Removing The Fear From Childbirth
You’ve spent a while now, growing an entire human. Your hospitality is second to none, as you have literally housed your child within your own body.
You love your child, probably can’t wait to see her, smell her, hold her on the outside and the types of anticipation that come with this can be unreal! But there is a hill to climb before seeing her on the outside, and this hill is sometimes the scariest hill to face.
Let’s be honest. The idea of allowing your tiny human to pass through your body in order to exit is mind blowing. We all know it happens, and happens often! But when it is your turn, that idea can be understandably overwhelming.
The fears associated with childbirth can come from a whole host of sources, so let’s talk through a few ways to reduce the fears, or at least tame the overwhelm a bit.
The most common concern I hear voiced by expecting families, is the fear of losing control during labor. Losing control over the contractions, their response to labor, or the worry of moving into the decision to give birth by cesarean section.
Maintaining control can be a simple as developing strategies with your support team for how you plan to handle labor or creating a specific birth plan for your scheduled cesarean, allowing you to create the birth environment you want for yourself and your baby.
Choices you usually have:
- Your provider
- Your birth location
- Your support team (partner, family, professional doula, etc)
- Saying yes or no to medicated pain management
- So many more things, all dependent on your preferences!
Keeping our most supportive and comforting people nearby is a very effective way to reduce fear and increase a sense of calm into your birth experience.
Make arrangements ahead of time for your nearest and dearest to be involved with your labor, in whatever ways feel best to you. I’m sure they are anticipating your child’s arrival with every fiber of their being already, so don’t be afraid to place them into your birth story exactly where you need them most!
When seeking a professional doula to walk alongside you and your partner during your pregnancy, labor and birth: make sure this is a person you feel completes your circle of support so that they become another one of your people. Here is a great set of things to consider when hiring your doula!
Information & Knowing What To Expect
For many of us, the more we know about the details and what to expect during the labor, vaginal birth, or cesarean birth processes, the less we fear and more peace of mind we gain.
If this is you, then arming yourself with trusted experts along the way is key.
- Vet your OB or Midwife before settling into your maternity care with them, as much as is possible. Don’t be shy about asking anything you want to know, to trust their credibility.
- Attend a comprehensive Childbirth Education (CBE) class with a reputable educator in your area. Complimenting your own research with a well laid out class, prepared by a childbirth expert will help you understand the physiological steps to expect.
- Hire a professional labor/birth doula who is familiar with your birth location, the providers & resources in your area, and who has had extensive training in this field. “The doula’s purpose is is to help smooth a family’s transition into life with baby through expertise and unbiased support.” ~Kristyn Blocher; Owner, Doulas Northwest; Director of Training & Development, ProDoula.
Choosing to take steps to reduce fear as you approach labor and birth is a gutsy move. One that I know you have the strength for!
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