I wasn’t able to do this last week as we were preparing for my book signing in DC- which was wonderful by the way.
So here’s part 2 to Perceptions of Birth.
Here are the results of the poll:
75% replied, ” I can do this! (even though I’m a little scared)”.
12.5% replied, “Scared Stiff!”.
And the last 12.5% replied, “(Smile) Beautiful! “.
While birth is hands down an amazingly beautiful thing, it can be scary as well. I remember feeling afraid as I neared the end of each pregnancy. I’d be excited and happy, ready to meet this new individual and then the reality that the baby had to come out of my body would hit me like a ton of bricks.
This fear is very common. So what do you do with it?
I suggest speaking with a person who knows a thing or two about birth- not someone well versed in crises but normal birth. Someone who has done it before and had success. A doula is another great option.
There’s no reason to allow that fear to grip you and cause you to doubt your body works. Our bodies are amazing. We have yet to understand all the intricacies involved in our everyday functions. We do so much without even thinking of what can go wrong- birth doesn’t have to be any different.
Think about it. Do you have doctors and loved ones standing by ready to take action just in case you have a heart attack? It could happen depending on your lifestyle but you’re probably not sitting around expecting that it will happen. Why isn’t it the same with birth? Why do we automatically focus on what could go wrong?
Going to the bathroom, do you have a team on call just in case something goes wrong? Nope. It’s a completely natural physiological process and while something could go wrong, again, you’re not consumed with that possibility. The reason is, you know that your body works and you trust that it’ll be fine. So, with a body that does everything else correctly, why is it that when birth is in the picture our bodies suddenly seem so deficient? I believe it comes from many different places. The media is horrible in how it portrays birth. Then there’s family and friends with their horror stories. And, all too often, our care providers can scare us with all the testing for problems. Obstetricians are trained to deal with the problems that arise, a lot of them know very little about the normal (mostly boring and uneventful) side of birth. They are looking for the problems that can arise and you can get caught up in the mix of it all.
My suggestion to you is to find out what your perceptions of birth are and where they come from. Are they rational? Are they even yours or have they been passed on to you by others? What kind of tales do you pass on to others regarding birth, without even thinking about it? It’s something worth considering.
Have a great week!