Fear

Releasing Fear If You Are Afraid Of Going Into Labor And Having A Baby

Content Warning: This post mentions infant loss, grief, death, sexual abuse/trauma. 

Fear About Labor Is Normal

If you have some fear surrounding labor and the birth of your baby, you are normal. This is all so normal. You are programmed biologically to have some fear. Your hormones are going to kick up a natural fight or flight response when you enter transition. You are going to be minutes away from meeting your new baby, and your brain just wants to know that everything is safe and going well. The after birth hormonal shakes that the majority of women experience immediately postpartum are from this flight or fight hormonal response. Your body just went through a marathon that took all of your physical, emotional, and mental strength and fortitude!

Society Doesn’t Help Lessen Birth Fear

Besides a documentary or YouTube video, have you ever seen a peaceful looking birth in a movie? The movies depict labor has a screaming fit of misery. And when you try to talk about your birth fear, it seems like most people just feed it and tell you their birth horror stories. It’s very rare to hear someone say, “I was scared, too. It was okay. Want to hold my squishy baby?”

Fear of Birth Has Many Causes

Your fears relating to the birth of your baby are very natural. As mentioned above, it could be a hormonal response. It could be because you’ve never birthed a baby before. You’re not sure what is going to happen. You doubt you can do it. (You can totally do it!)

Welcoming a new baby into your life is a major change.

It’s so different compared to what life was like before. You are going to be a parent. This realization can trigger you in many ways. You may start to really think about your childhood. Having shitty parents can make you afraid of yourself as a parent. You may be experiencing grief from a traumatic moment in the past. You may have experienced sexual abuse/trauma. Or grief over the passing of a loved one. Maybe this baby is your rainbow baby, and you’re so scared.  It could be a fear that your body isn’t strong, wide, or supple enough. You could be afraid of medical emergencies. All of these thoughts and feelings are valid.

What Is A Fear Release?

A fear release is a track that many of my Hypnobabies clients listen to in order to help release some of the fears that they have. One of the most important aspects of letting go of fear during your birth is to not be in environments that exacerbate your fear. And I’m sorry that I mentioned real triggers above. I want you to know that I understand those triggers and how valid they are. Here is an example of a fear release MP3 for purchase.

What Can I Do To Release My Fears?

Being real with your fears is the absolute best thing you can do to process them. Be authentic to you. Please don’t hide behind your fears or try to act braver or more courageous than you feel in the moment.

Talking about your fears with people you trust can help you. If your fears center around your body, make sure to tell your midwife or OB/GYN that specific medical tasks trigger you. Let people know if you are sensitive to touch. Or if you have trigger words. Be honest with your partner about how you feel and communicate ways that they can help you in the moment.

It may help to do a rehearsal of sorts where you say, “When I do X, I need you to help me by doing Y.” Communicating with our partners and birth team help us to know that if things get a little too real for us, someone is there who understands and will have our backs.

Additionally, women want to know and feel that they have power and control over their birth experience. They want to know that they did the work necessary to bring their baby into their arms. They don’t want to feel like the birth of their children is just something that happened to them without their control or consent.

When we, as women, feel prolonged fear in labor, it’s easy for our minds and bodies to run away. Which, in hindsight, makes it harder in the future to really connect with our experiences of birth.

It’s important to walk away from the birth of our children feeling empowered.

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