Fear Tension Pain
When you are in a state of Fear, you become Tense and that in turn increases Pain.
This then becomes a cycle that you follow, as you then fear pain, which creates fear and so on and so forth.
Even before labour you can delve into any potential fears that you have. And talk about them if you wish, with family or even a care provider.
Many people state the reason for attending Antenatal classes was because of the thought of a painful labour, so they were looking for ways to help with this.
Your mind plays a big part in pain, if you fear the pain it creates pain as you become tense.
Fear – Tension – Pain
The amazing thing is that the tools that can be used to deal with labour are tools you already have.
The Brain is one of these. We fear pain in childbirth, as it is what we have been programmed to think through years of culture, films, tv programmes and all of our family and friends sharing their ‘horror’ stories with us.
It is true that you remember more accurately the negatives than the positives.
How many relatives share ‘straightforward’ Birth Stories, as they are seen as ‘Boring’. How can bringing a new life into the world be seen as Boring? It baffles me.
When I attended Daisy Birthing Classes, nearly 5 years ago, the main thing that stuck with me, apart from how much I gained from the classes, was the shift of focus.
To focus on positive thoughts doesn’t mean ignore the fear, it means explore it. If your friends and relatives only want to share negative thoughts, say no thanks. Educate yourself and arm yourself with tools to aid you in your journey to overcome fear, and this will help you to achieve a positive birth.
Culture and society make us think that a positive birth is a certain type of birth. That it can only be a positive birth if it is an unmedicated vaginal birth.
In my opinion this is incorrect. A positive birth is about how the birthing person felt about the birth. The manner of birth is relative compared to this, as the birthing person in a birth scenario is the most important person. I can honestly say my 2nd birth was anything but straightforward, though, in my mind, it was a very positive birth, and this had nothing to do with the method of birth. It was because I educated myself, I sought out what I needed, and I played a big part in the decision making in my birth. Some of this was through letting my partner know, prior to the birth, what my decisions were so he could advocate on my behalf when I couldn’t. This led to my positive birth, as there was not as much fear about the unknown or the options I would face. I say options, as that is what they are, not concrete actions that have to happen. As I had control of my fear, my body didn’t go into ‘fight or flight’, as I was not producing high levels of adrenaline during my labour (not including my Transition phase, as high adrenaline levels in this stage are completely normal and natural).
In labour, Adrenaline can play a big part. Adrenaline works as a counterbalance to our ‘Birth hormone’ Oxytocin and causes our muscles to tense if we are in ‘fight or flight’. So, if we have high levels of adrenaline, our oxytocin levels will be lower, and we will have tension in our muscles. This is important, as Oxytocin is the ‘fuel for labour’. So, we feed into the Fear that causes Tension and this cycle ends in Pain that is amplified due to tension.
We want to break that cycle. And, if we know how to, it can be easy.
In these times of uncertainty, it is even more important that we pinpoint fear and learn how to overcome it. Attending classes that give you tools and techniques to aide your labour journey, and classes that educate you about labour and the process, as well as starting to build a good support system will all help.
Trust in your support system, this includes your Birth Partner, as they play a key role. Talk, share and plan together. This may also be the point where you want to add a Doula to your support system, the benefits of which I wrote about in an earlier blog.
Imagine yourself starting to doubt that you can do this.
Imagine your Doula not even having to say anything.
Because of the link you created, prior to birth coming to fruition, their body language alone can soothe your fear.
Imagine that you trust in yourself and your ability to birth your baby.
This eases any tension build up and breaks the cycle.
This is your journey, imagine it, prepare for it, and don’t Fear it!!!!