Why I Don’t Fear Birth—And Why You Shouldn’t Either!
Childbirth can be frightening for many women. There are a lot of unknown aspects when it comes to pregnancy, labor, and delivery. It’s reasonable to fear the unknown. Some women even suffer from a disorder called tokophobia — the intense fear of childbirth. But birth is not something that needs to be feared.
Back in 2015, when I was 39 weeks pregnant, I had no idea what to expect. I knew I had prepared myself well… I read all the books, I had a birth plan, I took all the prep classes, I practiced Transcendental Meditation and HynoBirthing. I did Yoga, Pilates and cycling several times a week and I had the best midwives. As ready as I thought I was, nothing could truly prepare me for what was about to happen a few weeks later. That’s because giving birth is so beautifully unpredictable.
Don’t get me wrong, all the preparations were helpful, and I recommend all of the above to every mama, especially first-time mamas. In fact, I read new pregnancy books this second time around, I refreshed my birth plan, and I’ve kept things moving this entire pregnancy, so I still firmly believe in “preparation.” However, the only way of knowing what childbirth is really like is by experiencing it.
I speak with girlfriends all the time and get messages every day from expecting mothers who are worried and nervous, and I get it! When you’re pregnant, everyone seems to feel the need to share the most horrific stories with you. You can’t google anything without the first four hits detailing the most traumatic birthing scenarios and when it comes to childbirth and media coverage, it’s almost always is tragic.
Having gone through this once before, I wanted to share two positive ways I’ve learned to look at childbirth.
Birth Is Normal
One of the most important beliefs that I first learned to wrap my mind around, my last pregnancy, was that “birth is normal, and it is natural.” Birth is instinctual! Birth, in general, is not a medical emergency. As women, our bodies know what to do. Whenever I found myself fearful of failing at birth, I reminded myself that I didn’t need to spend energy worrying because when the time came, my body would react accordingly. And I believe that to be the truth for all types of births. Your body is relaying messages to you even when unexpected scenarios present themselves during childbirth. Whether your birthing experience is meant to involve vaginal delivery or delivery via C-section, your body will give you cues and signs. Naturally, it knows what the journey is supposed to look like for you and your baby specifically.
Birth Is Powerful
We often read about the physical transformations that pregnancy and birth bring on, but far more important than that is the spiritual and emotional awakening that happens when a woman births a child. Giving birth was the most empowering thing I ever experienced in my life. Subconsciously you call on an inner strength that is purely animalistic and wild. You dig deep and uncover a greater sense of trust for your body. Childbirth takes you to a place within and outside of yourself you never knew existed… but once discovered you never ever let go of.
To the expecting mothers who are a little nervous, ridden with anxiety or scared senseless, please know that birth is tough but so are you!! At 39 weeks pregnant with my second child, I can tell you that I am so excited to go through the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual process of bringing life into this world, again. Childbirth is the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life but the most rewarding. You have nothing to fear mamas. You got this!! I promise!
P.S. If you want to hear my full birth story from my first pregnancy, make sure to sign up and become a MAED Insider. I’ll also be sharing some other BIG news soon! You can sign up here.
Here are 10 of my favorite birthing affirmations. I used these during my last home birth, and I know these words will continue to carry and support me in my upcoming birth.
“Birth is safe for my baby and me.”
“My body knows exactly what to do.”
“I surrender to the power of my body.”
“Each surge brings my baby closer to me.”
“I breathe in confidence, I breathe out fear.”
“The purpose exceeds the pain.”—Beth Moore
“I trust my body.”
“On the other side of the pain, is my baby.”
“I can, I will.”
“This pain is only temporary.”