As a childbirth educator and doula / Dona doula trainer, I see fear in childbirth growing, both in providers and consumers. While we are making improvement in many areas of life – in the U.S and some other countries childbirth outcomes continue to get worse in many areas. Fear of birth contributes to poor outcomes. I believe being Positively Prepared for Birth, addressing and releasing fears, and moving to confidence and pleasure is an important solution as knowledge is power!
In a new systematic review: Definitions, measurements and prevalence of fear of childbirth they validate this idea and suggest we need more research to understand why fear of childbirth is growing differently in different countries “and whether care for women with FOC needs to be made culturally specific. Measurement of FOC needs to include aspects such as fear of abandonment by staff during birth, fear of medical interventions, loss of autonomy and control, as well as fear of mistreatment and obstetrical violence. This more focused research agenda to guide future studies will result in more meaningful results that can be used to improve care provided for all women with fear of childbirth.”
We know that fear releasing hormones that slow or stop labor, a natural protection so no person or mammal will give birth in a dangerous environment. We also know from Dr. Sarah Buckley and Childbirth Connection’s Hormonal Physiology of Childbearing report that to make labor and birth safer and easier we need to give birth with privacy, feeling safe and unobserved. Yet in most hospitals, instead of working to meet the above criteria they are working to know everything at every moment. This technology which can save lives, is instead being overused and putting MotherBabies at risk by altering this delicate hormonal flow of peace, calm and love to fear and vigilance to protect oneself and one baby.
What are your fears of childbirth?
What do you feel will help you release fear and move to confidence?
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