I was doing a little thinking about fear and it’s relationship to birth. I have been present at a multitude of births, and have witnessed fear at its peak. I have witnessed women who allow fear and anxiety to take over and get the best of them. All too often this fear can negatively impact the labor and birth process. There are so many reasons that women feel fear, and it can be different for each and every woman. Fear of pain, fear of failure, fear of becoming a mother, fear of embarrassment, fear of the unknown, fear of tearing, fear of being too loud, fear of c-section, and the list goes on and on. It is very disappointing to me that our society is a huge contributor to the fear that so many women feel. There is a tremendous lack of faith in the woman’s body to safely and effectively birth her young. Women have been giving birth for centuries. It is time for women to start trusting their bodies, and trusting birth. This vast fear can also be attributed to our lovely media, and reality television. So many of these shows just show the over-medicalization of birth in our country. Women strapped to a fetal monitor, lying on their backs, IV poles, bright lights, multiple medical personnel. It is a SCARY picture, and it’s understandable why that picture would cause fear. Pregnant women also seem to always be the recipients of completely unsolicited advice. I will never understand why it seems that anytime people see a pregnant woman, they feel the need to tell them their birth horror stories, or tell them myths about pregnancy. I think my favorite myth that women tell me that their mom or sister or aunt has told them is that they can’t raise their arms above their heads, because it will cause the baby to become entangled in the cord. Really?!?! Have you ever looked at the woman’s anatomy, and the anatomy of the uterus and fetus. In no way, shape, or form, are the woman’s arms attached to the umbilical cord…….crazy!!
Anyway, all this ranting to say that it is time for women to become more educated about their bodies, about birth!! It’s time to address the fears so that fear doesn’t get in the way. Ladies, don’t be afraid to address your fears, and if they surface, embrace it…….then let it go. Have faith in your body, and your ability to birth. I assure you if you do, you won’t be disappointed.
I found a few links related to this topic that I thought were great, that I wanted to share as well!! Check them out.
~Ashley Saint, CNM