The Power of Eliminating Fear from Your Birth Experience
Let’s start this conversation by first clarifying that there is no “right” way to birth your baby. This experience will be uniquely yours and can be different with each delivery if you have more than one. Having said that, feeling anxious or fearful about giving birth is common. Even though every parent will have a different story, eliminating fear from your birth experience is possible.
At Jewell Chiropractic, we support you and your family in all stages of life. With prenatal, postpartum, and newborn care options, our providers are ready to help. You can schedule your appointment today.
Eliminating Fear from Your Birth Experience Is Empowering
Most pregnant people have at least some fear or anxiety about labor and delivery, which is entirely normal. It’s an intense and transformative experience with at least some elements out of your control. After all, your baby will decide when they are ready to make their entrance!
Extreme fear of pregnancy and childbirth even has its own name: tokophobia. Most people do not experience that type of worry, but lower-level fear is a part of many birth experiences. When we feel afraid, our bodies hold onto significant tension. For a fight-or-flight situation, that tension is necessary. But for giving birth, it can create problems. Greater stress makes it more difficult for your body to help the baby descend through the birth canal and emerge.
Here are some ways to eliminate fear and tension from your birth experience. Personally, I have used many of these techniques for my own labor and delivery.
Create a Birth Plan and Communicate with Providers
There will always be some parts of your delivery that are beyond anyone’s control. But developing a birth plan can empower you to advocate for yourself and your baby during this journey. While your team may not be able to follow everything on the checklist, outlining your hopes and wishes likely will help you feel empowered and reduce your risk for feelings of sadness and depression if your birth does not go the way you wanted.
Birth plans typically answer questions such as:
- Who can be in the room during labor, during delivery, and after delivery?
- Which pain interventions do you want? Which are you trying to avoid?
- Do you want your provider to break your waters?
- Does your partner want to catch the baby or cut the cord?
- Do you plan to breastfeed?
Of course, a birth plan can have many more considerations, so be as specific as you want. Even though delivery will be an in-the-moment experience that may or may not follow the entire plan, making your wishes known is very empowering and releases some fear.
It’s also important to talk with your birth team about any interventions they may deem necessary as labor progresses. For example, if you are planning a vaginal birth, be sure to talk with your providers about the protocols if they decide a c-section is needed. Again, information is power and should reduce your fears as you prepare to meet your new little one.
Mindfulness is the practice of being present in the moment without judgment. Building a mindfulness practice during your pregnancy will help you remove the fear, anxiety, and perception of stress surrounding labor and delivery.
Some of the key components of mindfulness during birth include:
- Focus on your breath. Breathwork is a significant piece of labor and delivery as it can help your body calm and relax enough to do its work of birthing.
- Acknowledge the pain. You can give space to the pain by focusing on its positive outcome. Unlike something such as a broken bone, this pain is doing productive work to bring your baby to you.
- Use positive language. Reframing how you talk about labor is empowering. For example, instead of “I can’t go any longer,” you can tell yourself, “Every contraction is bringing my baby closer.”
Many pregnant people, including myself, have found that hypnobirthing techniques help eliminate fear from the birth experience. Using similar methods as mindfulness and meditation, hypnobirthing can give you the confidence and empowerment to have a fearless birth.
Get Support Before and After Delivery
Having a baby is one of the most intense experiences possible. But it doesn’t have to center around fear. By supporting your mind and body before, during, and after birth, you can enjoy an experience that leaves you feeling strong and confident.
At Jewell Chiropractic, we help your body prepare for labor and delivery through prenatal chiropractic and massage. This level of care during pregnancy can allow your body to handle birth with more ease and less stress. And once your baby has arrived, we care for you and your child.