I learned a very important lesson early on in my career as a doula. I attended a birth that certainly did not flow as desired. It felt like all the mother’s hope for how her birth would happen went the complete opposite direction. A year later, she asked me to come over and talk. I was terrified.
She told me that she’d been processing what happened at the birth and was working with a therapist. Through her work with the therapist, she discovered that she entered labor with a deep fear of crossing the threshold into motherhood. Whenever labor started to progress and we inched closer to the birth of her baby, she held tight and resisted allowing her body to release her baby.
I deeply appreciated her sharing this discovery with me. From that point on, I started to acknowledge the innate fears that pregnancy, birth, and parenthood hold. I ask my clients to sit with what fears they may have surrounding new parenthood and birth. If we are honest with ourselves, who isn’t afraid of change on some level?
While your fears may not completely resolve, shedding light on them may lesson their grip. It’s also important to share your concerns with your birth team. This will help prepare them to assist you should these fears emerge during labor. You can have tools ready to address the fear, breathing, imagery, mantras, that you practice with your team prior to birth. Many times, simply acknowledging your fear will move it from driving your experience, to being a passenger.
How have you acknowledge fears around your birth and transition into parenthood? How have you prepared for it?
Please share with the community in the comments below how you’re acknowledging your fears or how you’re dealing/have dealt with them.
*Picture from Alexander Krivitskiy