There is a strong relationship between fear and birth. Fear is normal, but can very easily become consuming and interfere with the body’s labor process.
With any unknown, and each birth is, no matter how many times you have done it, there comes some degree of fear or anxiety. It’s hard to relinquish control and to go into something so huge with so much at stake. Common fears for birth range anywhere from perineal tearing, interventions like inductions or episiotomy, or sometimes surgery or a c-section. Every fear, no matter how small or how big is valid and deserves to be processed
Catecholamines are stress hormones, including adrenaline and they work in direct opposition of the release of oxytocin. The more fear, tension and anxiety a woman experiences in labor, the more adrenaline she can release and it can directly affect labor on a hormonal and physiological level
the release of fear have a direct impact on the ability to relax tension and ease pain. Method that can be worked on during pregnancy as well as all stages of labour and postpartum.
The more fear that is brought into the labor, the more tense a woman is and the more tense she is, the more painful labor can be. For those with severe traumas and fears, this may require a lot more work and support i.e. seeing a counsellor.
It can be so helpful to talk fears through with your partner, healthcare provider, doula or a counselor. Making a plan and being flexible in it can also ease fears and help to keep you in control as much as possible. For some families that looks like not just plan A and B, but also plans C, and D. Talking through the all of your options for each choice you face can also help you to feel informed and heard each step of the way. An attuned doula can help you to put your fears into words and find ways to effectively manage and package them for your labor.