The Influence of Fear
How many questions have you asked yourself since the day you found out you were pregnant? Are they similar to these?
- Is my baby healthy?
- How much pain can I handle?
- When will I know when to go to the hospital?
- I would like to have a home birth, but what if something goes wrong?
- How can I possibly remain calm and relaxed when the time comes?
If you have asked these – or similar – questions, it’s OK, you are definitely not alone. But wouldn’t it be great if you didn’t have to worry about all this? If you just KNEW everything would be OK?
My Own Personal Story
When I got pregnant for the first time, I was, probably like most of you, beyond excited! I then realized I had to eventually give birth to that baby. I feared I could not handle the pain of childbirth, yet I feared a C-Section even more. Something so normal and natural scared me beyond belief!
The thought of physically experiencing the unknown scared me a lot, especially for a complete wimp and control freak like me! I wanted to be in charge of this experience and not be lead by others because that is how I feel most comfortable. But, in childbirth, I will NOT be in charge – or so I thought – and ultimately found myself in this vicious cycle…
At that moment, I knew I had to conquer my biggest fear.
The plan of action I chose was actually quite simple. I had to first figure out what made me so scared and then find a way to overcome my fear. So I did.
My Fear Defined
The biggest issues for me were 1) not knowing what giving birth would feel like and
2) whether it really hurts as bad as everybody was saying. I feared pain.
The first articles I found were about painless childbirth and the fear of pain. I was so happy when I found them, that I printed and glued them in my pregnancy journal.
Reassuring was to hear how both my mother and mother-in-law naturally birthed 3 children without pain relief. I thought, ‘well if they could do it, it can’t be THAT difficult’! I didn’t talk too much about childbirth with my mother, but when I did, she said, ‘it hurts a bit, but you can do it’. It did not sound dramatic at all.
What I didn’t know at that time was, that this would turn out to be the greatest birth experience I could have ever imagined and the beginning of the most amazing journey of my life!
So, if you have any fears, doubts or concerns about your pregnancy and childbirth, I strongly encourage you to do the same as I and confront them. What do you have to lose?
Fear Conquering Exercise
In the MyGentleBorn Childbirth Preparation Classes, one of the first things I work on with the participants is fear and how to overcome it. As an introduction, I would like to share an exercise with you to help you confront your fear(s).
Write down ALL your fears about pregnancy and childbirth.
Think about situations when you have had those fears and write them down next to the corresponding fear.
Assign a number to each fear with #1 being the most important and organize accordingly.
Read each fear out loud. If you are in public, wait to do this step for when you are alone.
Talk to someone about your list, someone you trust and who understands you. I understand you. Feel free to contact me to discuss your fears.
This is only a warm-up exercise for learning how to conquer your fears. In my classes, I delve deeper into these types of techniques and exercises to teach you how to completely overcome them which, by the way, is not only good to use during pregnancy, but also for any other life situations in which you feel overwhelmed, worried or afraid.
MyGentleBorn Childbirth Preparation Classes
I invite you to sign up to one of my Birth Preparation Classes either in Zurich, Baden or Helsinki. In these classes, you will learn breathing, relaxation and visualization techniques which give you the power to transform fears or negative thoughts into positive and self-confident thoughts.
Do you want to learn how you can experience an easy and gentle birth?