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How Fear Affects Birth

Did you know going into birth, without fear, and just excitement and determination, is possible?

This powerful, potent and positive experience is YOURS for the taking!

Much of the time spent with my beautiful clients is guiding them through releasing their fears and anxiety around birth.

How does minimizing fear set the tone for a positive birth?

Put simply, minimizing fears makes for a much calmer birthing person.

When we feel fear, our body tenses up, and this makes it hurt MORE. When it hurts more, we experience more fear and panic. And more tension. And more pain.
You can see how the cycle repeats itself?

Let me elaborate.

When we’re afraid, our body pumps adrenaline through it, so we can be on high alert to notice any threats and then fend off any dangers.
This also means blood is pumped into our arms and legs, in case we need to run or fight.
Has anybody ever felt like a quick sprint through the halls is going to help you during labour? Yeh. Didn’t think so.

But in our cave lady days, our body would do this so we could make sure there wasn’t a bear or lion near by.

While that blood is filling your extremities to give you super human strength and speed you don’t even need, it means your uterus (another muscle – and the one doing all the work) is left with barely anything.

To put what this means for your body, and the pain you are feeling, into perspective, try this…
Hold your hand in the air for one minute and squeeze it over and over. The blood is leaving your hand because it’s up high and soon, it will begin to hurt. So how do you think your uterus is gonna feel, squeezing away, with barely any blood? It’s gonna hurt WAY more than it needs to!

Put your hand down low, and squeeze. It’s still hard work, and it’s still uncomfortable, but the pain is totally manageable.
So, how do we keep all that helpful blood in the uterus? We eliminate the fears. BOOM. Full circle.

This is just one of the many simple things birthing people are rarely told about – yet it can make such a huge difference! But, that’s what I am here for! To guide you to the crucial, simple information you need, that will serve you and illuminate the possiblities!

So how do we release fears?

The purpose of removing fears is to invite feelings of safety.
When we feel safe, our body is in the most optimal state for birth, because there is NO adrenaline flowing around. When there is adrenaline, it means Oxytocin (the hormone that fuels the contractions) can’t exist in the body at the same time. And without oxytocin, the contractions become less efficient.

The first thing you need to do is meet your fears

Be honest with yourself.
Get all those fears out. Whether it is writing them down, telling your partner, or speaking to a doula.
The key at this step is NOT to judge the fears, nor to have an answer for them.
Just allow them to come up, so you can be aware of them.
If you skip this step and try to push your fears back down, they WILL come up, but it will be in the birth space. That is the last place they need to rear their head for the first time.
TIP: If you feel overwhelm/fear/panic coming up in birth, get it all out! Voice those fears and get them out of your body.

Now, you need to work on those fears

It’s important to recognise when they are just your ego or conditioning talking to you, rather than the actual truth. This is how you remove the fear.
Eg. If you experienced a tear in your first birth, and are fearing that happening again, you can remember that out of all the women who have had a tear in their first labour, won’t all experienced a tear in their second. Basically, a tear in the first birth is not a guarantee it will happen again. It is NOT the truth that you will tear again. Is is your conditioning putting that fear in you. You can manage your conditioning! Can you see how that would make someone feel safer?
You can also totally disprove your fear, and focus on why it’s not true. Think of examples, or other reasons why it’s not true.
Sticking to the example above, you can say ‘There are techniques, positions, care providers, that can help prepare my perineum for birth, so it won’t tear. There are ways around it. I know women who have birthed without tearing.’
Lastly, you can reframe your fear. This where you create a new truth!
Using the tearing example above, you can simply state ‘I will not tear! I will labour in amazing positions that assist my baby coming out in the most gentle way.’

Feeling Safe

What else would contribute to feeling safe?
Think about how you want your birth space set up?
Who do you want in the room?
How do you plan to advocate for yourself if you don’t feel supported?
Surround yourself with positive birth stories. Listen to podcasts like Australian Birth Stories and watch positive birth videos on YouTube, so you can visually see how calm, capable and focused birth can be.
Get some affirmations and save them as your phone screensaver, or stick them up around the house. I have 17 affirmations you can purchase here for $7. Or, create your own! It doesn’t need to be fancy. Scribble it out on a piece of paper. But read them daily, and build that positive mindset.
Minimising the fears takes work and preparation, but you can do it! It’s all part of the work we do to ready ourselves for birth and beyond.
If you want some extra guidance, please reach out to me, and I would be happy to help. You can find me on Instagram under @Jessie.Juggles.Three, or you could book a ‘Plan Your Birth‘ call with me, which works on a number of things to remove those fears and employ a heap of things that ultimately make you feel safe.
Are you ready to be united with the powerful, positive experience that awaits you?

Featured image by Amber May which includes some of my affirmations I have for purchase.



How Fear Affects Birth - The Bright Birth Co

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One thought on “How Fear Affects Birth

  1. I love this! This is so vital to birth I think, even if you aren’t planning an unmediated birth (but especially if you are.) I love what you said about the cave mamas. They had to be ready to run if they needed to! Imagine that….

    Birth without fear is something I’ve been writing about a lot on my blog lately. It is so important. I really enjoyed your post.

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