I am interested in how fear effects birth. I see it during birth but I see more of it as moms are preparing for birth (or avoiding preparing for birth).
We often learn to fear birth from society. Karl Menninger has said, ”Fears are educated into us and can, if we wish, be educated out.”
So many moms avoid even thinking about birth, because of fear. They just think “I will get the epidural” and avoid any other thoughts. If they are doing this, how can they be open to the spiritual nature of birth and the intuitive power they have?
I am not saying if you plan on getting an epidural you can’t use your intuition or experience the spirtuality of birth. I AM saying if a mom separates herself from her birth experience, she won’t be able to do that.
- Refusing to educate herself about birth
- Not making choices
- Planning on turning her body over without thought to the hospital to do whatever they want
these are forms of separating herself from the process.
Compare this to a mom who thinks about what she wants during her birth and makes informed choices along the way (which could very well include an epidural), she has a different, more empowering experience.
If moms can let go of their fear of birth they would be more open to trusting birth and open themselves up to the spiritual side of birth. (For more ideas of trusting your body to birth, download my free E-Book Top Three Tips to Enjoy Your Birth.)
In Matthew we can read about how often our first reaction when facing the unknown, is fear. When Jesus was walking across the water to the disciples their first response was one of fear, because they were not sure what they were seeing.
And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea.
And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear.
But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.
And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.
And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus.
But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me.
And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?
And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased.
When Jesus told them to be not afraid, they let go of their fear.
When Peter tried to walk on water, again he felt fear. Jesus helped him let go of his fear again.
I think the apostles’ experience can be similar to our births. Our first response may be one of fear, then we can overcome our fear and move forward with faith. Then something else might cause fear. Again, it can be overcome.
I love that faith can help us let go of our fear! My favorite scripture is:
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” – 2 Timothy 1:7
Fear should not be our companion as we bring our children into this world. There are things around us that can cause us worry during pregnancy and birth.
- Our own anxiety
- Concerns that arise from shows we watch and stories we hear
- Sometimes our care providers who scare us with their comments (ie: this is going to be a BIG baby)
Luckily, God has given us tools: physical (power), emotional (love) and mental (sound mind) to help us throughout our birth (and life).
What if we use our power as mothers, our love for our babies and our sound mind (education) to make our decisions? This will help us to let go of our fears and lead us on our path to the best birth we can have.
I think our intuition comes from the combining of all three of these tools and letting go of fear. I speak more about this on my other posts from this week.
I love this post at Success blog – Getting over fear. It is written from a business perspective, but every point can be used in a birth setting as well. He covers sound mind (disciplining your thoughts-giving yourself good information) and Power (take control of the things you can control) and love (from God). I love how he ends his post
“These are some basic points that I use to shape my heart and mind so I don’t have to spend my life in fear. Also, I think one of the overriding principles of life we can embrace to overcome fear is that we can relinquish control, and trust that someone greater than us is fully aware of what is happening on this earth and in our lives. I, for one, leave a lot of my fears on this theological hook.”
Having faith in God and the gifts He gives us can help you overcome fears about your birthing journey and in your life!