During labour and birth, your body will experience many thousands of sensations flooding your central nervous system, sensations you have never experienced before, which your brain does not know how to interpret.
When we experience something new which we did not expect and do not know how to cope with, our brains will often respond the only way they know how – by interpreting the new sensations as pain. In most cases of birth, there is no actual pain, simply stretching sensations, some pressure, and the feeling that a massive force is pouring through you.
They are very powerful sensations – all the creative power of the universe is flowing through you at the time of birth. That is why some women can feel overpowered and unable to cope unless they have prepared themselves and know what to expect. Knowing what to expect so that you do not have fearis an integral part of pain reduction. Limiting beliefs about your ability to have a positive and serene birth experience are also the cause of tension and increase the possibility of birth complications.
For most women, the idea of laboring in blissful calm without pain is something only superwomen do. TV shows and Hollywood movies almost always depict birth as some kind of medical emergency, with the woman being rushed down the hallway, connected to machines and wires in the delivery room surrounded by medical personnel. Since most people have never witnessed an unmedicated birth before having a child themselves, their impression of what labor is like comes almost entirely from television and propaganda.
It’s easy, then, to understand why women are afraid of birth and how most of us have come to accept that birth is agony. In our society, giving pain medication for labour is so normal that most doctors assume a labouring woman will want it, and most mothers-to-be expect it. In fact, depending upon the hospital and region, pain medication rates are as high as 90 percent, with the vast majority of women choosing an epidural. Due to the medical institutionalization of birth, most women forget that birthing is a natural experience that, in most cases, does not need medical intervention.
Women have been delivering babies naturally for millennia. It is what our bodies were designed to do. Already Hippocrates and Aristotle, repeatedly wrote that nature is the best physician and that it should be allowed to function without the intrusion of “meddlesome interference”. Dr. Michel Odent, world-renowed advocate of gentle birthing, points out: “One cannot help a physiological process. The point is not to hinder it.” And still, because of the fear of excruciating pain during labour, the vast majority of women in our modern society choose pain medication.
Yet what would women choose if they were to become more educated about the potential consequences of this choice, and the benefits inherent in natural delivery? The more aware women are about the facts involved with using these medications, the more they will choose what is best for their own bodies and the health of their babies. Fears and limiting beliefs gained over years, have become mind patterns that are now so deeply ingrained that they don´t get questioned. Our beliefs literally shape our reality. They generate the thoughts that become self fulfilling prophecies. Whether we know it or not, we are hugely effected by our beliefs. Examples for common limiting beliefs are: “I won´t be able to endure the pain of labour.” or “Because of my family history of Cesarian sections, I will need a Cesarian too.” If your unconscious mind accepted any story about birth being painful or difficult, then you probably have a limiting belief that may cause you to experience pain and difficulty.
Listening to the “Eliminating Fear & Limiting Beliefs about Birth” guided process in track 9 of the Birthing Without Fear audio programme on a regular basis during your pregnancy is an effective natural way to eliminate your personal limiting beliefs or fears around birth. This will help you to have a resourceful attitude and approach to your entire birthing experience. Once fear & limiting beliefs are eliminated, there is no reason for tension. The end result will be a more comfortable and positive birthing experience for both mum and baby.
Article written by Jana Allmrodt