Resources to Reduce Birth Fear
Women everywhere choose to become mothers through a process we have termed birth. Of course it starts with sex, then conception, followed with pregnancy, but the actualization of all of the preceding is birth. Not only mother, but father, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and anyone else privileged enough to witness the raw, unadulterated power of a woman through realizing her own personal potential, will be forever changed when that woman is allowed to be fully who she is — an amazing creator.
Of course, fear can and does inhibit this experience. Thankfully, there are many resources to assist women in liberating themselves from fear surrounding birth so we can choose to have a satisfying birth, regardless of circumstances. Even if you are done having children, becoming aware of the vast resources to reduce birth fear and embrace the birth experience can help you tune into your own innate power and possibly support others.
Face Fear with Information
Fear can be paralyzing. Or it can be informing. Or both. In the situation of birth, and wanting to have a healthy, safe birth it is of benefit to become well-informed. Gather information from your health care provider and if answers sought there do not suffice, take your asking a step further. Or a few steps.
The resources are endless. Search them out. We all know stuff can happen and emergencies arise, the point here is to become your own source of strength in this amazing experience, rather than seeking it elsewhere. Regardless of where you plan to birth, with a MD or midwife or unassisted, here are a few potentially helpful resources worth checking out to empower yourself for a birth experience you appreciate.
- Bountiful, Beautiful, Blissful: Experience the Natural Power of Pregnancy and Birth with Kundalini Yoga and Meditation opens the door for experiencing ourselves as bountiful, beautiful, and blissful. Author Gurmukh Kaur Kalsa combines relaxation, focus, insights, and information to prepare for birth. It is divided into very short chapters with an exercise at the end of each chapter for practice.
- Prenatal Kundalini Yoga and Meditation for Mothers to Be helps prepare one for the journey of birth and motherhood in mind, body, and spirit. One reason many women have difficulty in birth is because we are not prepared to handle contractions. We can learn how to relax when we are uncomfortable for the benefit of ourselves and our babies. It makes a world of difference in the birth process. Start the journey to find your own inner resource with this powerful yoga video. You can do it in the privacy of your own home and it includes a quick, amazing endurance exercise to prepare for contractions.
- The Thinking Woman’s Guide to a Better Birth provides practical information for a safe, satisfying birth through reviewing valuable medical research. It discusses any interventions and their pros and cons so you know what is happening with you and your baby — and you can make choices from a truly informed place.
- Birthing from Within: An Extra-Ordinary Guide to Childbirth Preparation is a comprehensive collection of writings, information, and exercises of all sorts to allow you to work through any fears, issues, concerns, and to clarify what you desire for your birth.
- Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way: Revised Edition offers information to embrace natural childbirth with the partner involved in the process. Parents are educated on a whole perspective of nutrition, relaxation, and support with exercises to practice.
- Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth compiles many years of experience by Ina May Gaskins, a certified midwife who has helped thousands of women deliver with confidence, less pain, and less medical intervention.
- Spiritual Midwifery was originally written in the 70′s and contains many personal birth stories as well as helpful information for midwives. It is helpful for preparing from the perspective of parent and care provider.
Take Care of You
If it hasn’t already occurred to the pregnant woman, it will definitely, at one point or another, hit home for the mother that it’s time to take care of herself. We are multifaceted beings. We’re talking about more than just eating right, getting rest, exercising, and drinking plenty of water. Those are all part of the picture, yet it is a lot broader. When we incorporate all aspects of ourselves, we feel more whole and balanced. Birth is certainly one experience that would ideally be entered into with a sense of balance.
One way to look at yourself is with Virginia Satir’s Self Mandala. Virginia Satir was an author and psychotherapist who worked with people as a whole, on eight different levels. She categorized them this way: I am,Spiritual, Nutritional, Emotional, Sensual, Physical, Interactional, Contextual, and Intellectual. We are more than just a mind and body.
Allow yourself to really focus on you and what you need to bring your whole self into balance. This in itself will assist you in embracing, rather than fearing, birth.
Know You Can Do It
Women gave birth for a very long time in the existence of the human species, with no intervention. Is this to say that interventions are not necessary? In some cases, they do preserve life. In some cases they may provide comfort. In some cases they may lead to further interventions and a sense that we cannot birth without assistance. Either way, cultivate trust in your abilities to birth.
Bottom line, a woman’s body is designed to birth. That’s what we do.
A study of the human sexual response cycle gives insight towards the magnificence of the whole reproductive beauty, from beginning to end. We ovulate, the cervix opens, the vagina lubricates, the sperm has a swimmingly good time in the slippery mucous produced, one determined male identifier is welcomed by the ovum, and voila . . . the creation of a little human.
Birth is the same. We nurture our babies inside, when birth begins, our cervix begins to stretch, dilate, and release the plug that has so kindly kept bacteria from endangering our little one all of the months of gestation. What happens next is an increase in the intensity of the opening until the mother finally surrenders and her body expels the being from within.
The whole process can absolutely be a most liberating, joyful experience in the life of a woman. To feel that way, regardless of how the birth actually unfolds, she must reclaim her personal power. The power innate within her at her own birth as a little baby. The power she has now, only waiting to be discovered.
This article has been edited from a previously published version on HubPages.
Statements on this website have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Products and/or information are not intended to diagnose, cure, treat, or prevent any disease. Readers are advised to do their own research and make decisions in partnership with their healthcare provider. If you are pregnant, are nursing, have a medical condition, or are taking any medication, please consult your physician. Nothing you read here should be relied upon to determine dietary changes, a medical diagnosis, or courses of treatment.
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