The arrival of your baby is an exciting time in your life. You’ve had your first ultrasound and you’ve prepared the nursery. Now you are taking child birth classes. A mother of two previous children chimes into the conversation, she says how her previous births went. Your excitement quickly dissipates and becomes fear. What ifs rush into your head. What if I don’t make it to the hospital? Am I going to have my baby in the car?! My husband works an hour and a half away… what am I going to do if my water breaks and he isn’t home? I don’t feel comfortable showing everyone my lady parts. Labor and pushing is going to hurt so much. Can I handle labor? My mother-in-law says I should get an epidural, but I do not want pain medicine. I don’t want the doctor to tell me what is going to happen, as if I don’t have a choice. I don’t want to tear like that woman in class did. Cesarean section sounds so scary. If my baby and I have life threatening complications, what will happen to us? What if the baby isn’t healthy? My baby is going to need so much, how am I going to take care of her? What If I can’t handle being a mom?! Stop, take a breath, its all going to be ok.
Your mind is powerful! When a negative thought comes into your mind before labor it places a negative impact on your birth. When your mind and body are fearful of labor and birth, it will cause tension, which in turn causes pain and then more fear. This is a vicious cycle. Am I saying you wont feel any pain at all? No, I am saying there are ways to help ease the pain so fear doesn’t over come your brain. Tension and fear can stall or stop labor. This may introduce an intervention you do not want. Fighting the pain causes more fear. Negative thoughts make fear more powerful. Which makes your pain feel worse. All you’ll want to do is run away from the pain. Running away won’t help. Let positive images flood your mind and the pain will lessen. ““We need to always remember that mothers who are afraid tend to secrete the hormones that delay or inhibit birth””
Oxytocin is a hormone our body produces, it is often called the love hormone. The love hormone is released during sex. This love hormone is what gives women contractions. When your body is in labor, having contractions brought on by oxytocin, contractions can be stalled and or more painful because of fear. Adrenaline rises from fear and stress. This stops the release of oxytocin. A reduction in oxytocin slows and/or disrupts labor progress in early and active labor. In transition, adrenaline rises to help the laboring mother push through to the end.
Do not let fear take over your mind before labor. Try preparing yourself and your body for birth. Know all your options. Gather the person or people you would like on your birth team. Talk to them about what you would like to happen and what you would do if and when unforeseen circumstances come to light. This is YOUR birth. Take charge of your contractions. This pain is not forever. You can get through this, you will get through this!
Remember all pregnancies and all labors are different. Birth can be wonderful, just remember to take the contractions one at a time and just breath. Its going to be ok, you’re going to be ok! I hope you have a wonderful birth. If you would like more information on creating a great birth team please contact The Nurturing Doula, LLC.
~Best Birthing Wishes
The Nurturing Doula, LLC