Many of us are in complete control of every aspect of our lives. It is amazing how we know exactly what we want in our careers, as parents, and how we express ourselves to the world.
In birth, the magic happens when you let go of control, because there is no formula or science that can explain how each experience will be completely unique. I was talking about how important it is to trust yourself in birth, and my friend said that intellectualizing birth is having fear, instead of having faith. Faith can mean many things to many people, it can be as simple as trusting your gut, or for others it is turning to God.
This article has so many wonderful thoughts about how to go through the fear, https://midwifethinking.com/2013/03/27/feel-the-fear-and-birth-anyway/.
“It is unusual and unhelpful to be extremely fearful throughout labour, and prolonged high levels of adrenaline can reduce oxytocin release (contractions) and placental blood flow.
We have created a culture (and birth culture) that seeks to avoid and minimize extreme emotion and pain, and encourages being in control. We use medications and/or skills, methods and techniques to remain in control and dampen the emotions – or at least the expression of those emotions. In some cases women are told that they should not experience fear, or pain, during birth… that these are conditioned feelings that can be controlled. I think it is a shame that this powerful aspect of the birth experience remains hidden and suppressed.
- Explore fear – What are you afraid of? Is there anything you can do to help alleviate specific fears (eg. researching, talking, planning)?
- Reinforce that it is OK if fear surfaces during birth… even if you think you have ‘worked through’ a specific fear during pregnancy it may resurface.
- If you want to, learn relaxation/coping techniques – these may help, particularly in early labour – but don’t rely on them to work throughout (they might if you are lucky). Also, don’t be persuaded that you need to master particular skills to birth well… you already have everything you need within you to birth.
- Create/plan a safe birth environment where losing control and feeling fear will be OK. Anyone who you plan to have in your birth space should be able to ‘be with’ your fear, and support you through it. You should feel comfortable about losing it in front of them without being judged.
Get on with birthing – as fear arises let it come, feel it, accept it, and deal with it however you need to (be loud, be angry, be quiet, reach out for reassurance, shut yourself in the toilet, breathe, whatever). It will pass, and you will birth.”
BIRTH YOUR WAY,