How to Overcome the Fear of Birth

One of the greatest obstacles a woman can overcome is the fear of giving birth.

For many women, the excitement of being pregnant is mixed with feelings of fear and anxiety about different aspects of the birthing process. Although birth can be a perfectly natural and, dare we say, enjoyable experience, the highly medicalized approach to birth has created feelings of vulnerability and anxiousness about the birthing process. Studies even show how women who are scared about birth have labor lasting 1.5 hours longer for expecting mothers who are scared of childbirth than for those who are not.

A wonderful article by the ICPA discusses the root of most of our fears surrounding birth and delivery. The sources of fear can root from days of old when women died during childbirth, but as the article points out, this was more due to factors like poor nutrition and improper hygiene vs. a fault in a mother’s body. Popular reality TV shows like One Born Every Minute can also create a shock value to birth. Doctors in these shows are often seen as the hero’s who come to the rescue instead of acknowledging the more common scenario where the mother and child work as a team to make birth happen. Family opinions and even hospitals have mothers doubting their ability to deliver naturally with little to no interventions. However, there are ways to overcome fear. Here are a few.

Finding a good support team

In the article referenced above, “Research shows us that women who have continuity of care from known midwives are more likely to have positive and satisfying birth experiences, with fewer interventions. Having the same midwife, or group of midwives, during pregnancy and birth gives a woman the chance to develop trust in the person caring for her. She can discuss her fears and work through how to manage them. Her role as the key decision maker is respected, and she can feel more in control during labor.” In our part of the country, Bellingham Washington, places like The Bellingham Birth Center and Birthroot Midwives and Birth Center provide a wonderful group of midwives that can support women’s birthing process from start to finish.

Preparing for Birth

At Color Chiropractic we find that our pregnant moms are most successful in labor when they treat birth as a process rather than an event. For example, a mother who engages in preparing her body at 20 weeks or even earlier will

  • have less discomfort.
  • be more emotionally prepared to deliver.
  • have faster delivery times.
  • experience little to no complications during labor.
  • and can even enjoy the process as it naturally unfolds.

Compare this to a mother that comes into us at 38 weeks needing help to avoid a breech birth and you’ll begin to understand how important preparation can be. We’ve seen and had success with both circumstances, but find that prepared mothers are more aware of the process of birth and have had a chance to dispel a lot of myths for themselves.

When it comes to birth, knowledge is power. Different aspects of the birthing process can be clouded with fear for expecting mothers. The media, hospitals and other people’s opinions can increase anxiety and leave a woman feeling helpless about her birth choices. However, when an expecting mother: takes the time to look over her choices, choose a care provider who supports birth and prepares herself in body and mind, fear dissipates and empowerment takes its place.

Why is the Fear of Birth Rising:

Are you an expecting mother with questions about your birth choices? Schedule a free consultation to see how Chiropractic can help.

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