Childbirth without fear: why FEAR equals PAIN in childbirth
When I first found out I was pregnant for the first time, along with the delight at my news, I was also utterly terrified. It wasn’t the idea of having and raising a child; it was the idea of GIVING BIRTH! I’d tell anyone who would listen that I’d want to be given ALL THE DRUGS in the WORLD just to COPE with the PAIN!
And then one day I was having a conversation with someone while I was on a course (the advanced course of the method behind the head trash clearance technique), who told me that she had a pain-free birth with no drugs. PAIN FREE?! With NO DRUGS?!
I didn’t realise that such a thing was possible, but sure enough it was. Not only that, it gets better. Apparently, children who are born naturally (i.e. no medical intervention) are more likely to sleep better and sooner, cry less, breastfeed more easily and generally be a lot calmer.
WOW! This deserved further attention.
And so began my journey of discovery of natural, pain-free births. This culminated in me developing a range of products to help women clear their fears to increase their chances of a natural pain-free birth, using myself as the guinea pig. Let me tell you – this shizzle works! I went from being a terrified, panic-stricken emotional mess when it came to thoughts of childbirth, to “Amazonian woman of nature” (the midwife at my birth said this, not me! I’m sure it was a compliment!) who was so excited when my waters broke that I was finally going to meet my poppet that I gave birth naturally at home in 6 hours.
But I digress. Let’s get back to the PAIN! And I know what you’re thinking…
How is it possible to give birth and NOT experience PAIN?
In a word: FEAR!
Or, better still... a childbirth without fear is a childbirth without pain.
Everyone has seen enough births in their time on TV and in the movies and they always look like complete and utter nightmares. Midwives are screaming PUSH! PUSH! PUSH! Mothers are screaming in pain. Add to that all the birthing horror stories that women are more than happy sharing and you’ve got yourself a perfect recipe for complete and utter terror of childbirth.
But this is actually a self-fulfilling prophecy.
A lot of women experience difficult and painful births because they have been conditioned to believe that it WILL be painful. You never see a birth in a movie that is calm and peaceful. And yet, not only is that possible, but it happens ALL the time.
Tragically, for most women, by the time they get round to getting pregnant have seen enough “painful” births and heard so many horrific stories, that they just expect the same will happen to them. Understandably this makes them scared. Who wouldn’t be? I know I was. But I didn’t know any better. I thought that that’s just the way it is. The whole idea of a childbirth without fear just seems silly and downright impossible.
Let me ask you this: do cats, dogs, horses, cows scream in labour? Or do they just get on with it and give birth with no fuss?
But, guess what? In the context of childbirth and labour, FEAR CREATES PAIN. So, the more fearful you are, the more pain you will experience. This is all down to what is widely known as the fear-tension-pain cycle.
The fear – tension – pain cycle
When a person is in fear, their state of mind triggers the body to go into the fight-or-flight response. When the body is in this state, it is flooded with adrenaline to help the person either to escape (run away) or fight. As such, the body tenses up and blood is sent to the extremities (legs and arms) to help with the fight or flight action. This state is meant to be used sparingly by the body as the body suffers when it’s subject to this level of stress for prolonged periods.
So, let’s imagine for a minute… You’re about to drop and you’ve decide