How can I stop being scared of birth?
If you are feeling scared about labor and delivery, you are not alone. For many women, it has become the norm to feel scared of giving birth. There are so many horror stories around childbirth that women have been brought up to believe that it will be a very painful and scary experience.
But there are also many women who are not frightened of birth, who do not find birth painful or scary, or who even enjoy giving birth.
As with so many things that you may be frightened of, there are ways to overcome those fears and to turn things, around so you can feel calmer and more confident.
As you may know, being scared during childbirth is not very helpful to the natural course of labour. But being scared of being scared is also not helpful.
So if fears do bubble up, the key is knowing how to get rid of these unhelpful feelings so you can turn things around and help you deal with any eventuality during labor. That way you tick the fear of being scared off your list!
Knowing how to face that fear and deal with it can make all the difference between having a calm spontaneous birth and an assisted birth.
So here are 5 key things to do if you begin to feel scared in labour.
1. Accept that the feeling you have is just a feeling – it is not a real thing – emotions come and go, they are energy that is transient – you can release or let go of those feelings. Fear is just a thought about something which may or may not happen.
2. Be in the moment – the only time that is real and that you can focus on is right NOW – focus on one thing especially, during a contraction, maybe your breathing, a spot on the wall, a picture.
3. Breathe deeply and calmy – this in itself will reduce the hormone adrenaline which is created when you are scared. It will slow down your heart rate, reduce your blood pressure and help to bring you back to feeling calm.
4. Move around – jiggle, dance, shake your arms, “shake the apples” – check out our other blog post for more info. Moving helps to disperse the adrenaline and give you a change of focus
5. Let go of the feeling of fear or anxiety and replace it with a happy thought – gratitude, excitement to meet your baby, trust that everything is going to be ok.