During pregnancy, many women experience a broad range of emotions about the prospect of giving birth. Joy, excitement, and anticipation can mingle freely with twinges of fear or even dread. For women who view birth as a natural, healthy process, sometimes these fears catch them off guard. Some women even berate themselves for having fears or dismiss them as trivial or silly. Still others attempt to tamp down the fear without ever really addressing it, as though admitting to their fears will make them come true.
There are a lot of reasons for this, and it is always a good idea to figure out where your fear is originating. A large part of it is the prevailing culture around pregnancy and birth. For some bizarre reason, there are a good number of people who love sharing horror stories with pregnant women. If all you’ve ever heard from other women about birth is how much it hurts or that they or their baby almost died, this can do a number on your subconscious mind. If you’re a first time mama, it could be fear of the unknown. No matter how much you have researched something, it is never the same as the same as experiencing it. If you have given birth before and it was a traumatic experience, you might be afraid that the experience will repeat itself. The last reason is that while birth is usually a safe and healthy process that can even be very enjoyable, sometimes things do go wrong. Rooting out the cause of your fear will allow you to process and work with it.
Remember that unaddressed fears typically don’t disappear. They have a tendency to fester and grow. By bringing them to the surface, you can make peace with them. Set a timer for five minutes and write down every single birth related fear that comes to mind. After you’ve listed them, play each one out fully. You can do this alone or with your partner or another supportive person. If your fear were to actually become a reality, what would happen? What are all of the possible scenarios and ways they could be handled. Then ask yourself how likely it is that they will actually happen. Don’t guess. Look up statistics. If it is very unlikely to occur, just walking through the process in your mind may ease your fears. If your fear is something that is actually a probability, it is good to know that, too. Once you know, you can begin looking for ways to make it less scary.
Once you have done this, turn your fears on their head. Write positive affirmations that are the exact opposite of the fear statements. Write our affirmations down and post them around your house, or set aside time to read them aloud each day. This is a positive form of brainwashing. It is normal to experience fear, but that doesn’t mean you have to let it run the show. When you put fear in its place, you take back the power that is rightfully yours.