Let’s face it, fear sells. And giving birth is one of the most important, most miraculous things you’ll ever do – so you want to do everything as well as you can (notice I didn’t say “perfect”), which is understandable. Still there are some fear traps to be avoided if at all possible.
When you hear a pregnancy horror story, you may tell yourself that you want to know more about it in the hopes of determining how to steer clear of it. It may seem like learning all you can online - or in books - about bleeding, diabetes, indications of prenatal distress, etc. etc. is a good idea, because knowledge is power, right? Well, maybe. These stories (case studies, examples, warnings, and statistics) can strike up more fear in you than is helpful. The medical field, with all of its amazing technologies to heal, can sometimes foster a distinctly dis-empowering dynamic when dissiminating information to women simply because the fear of doing something “wrong” is such a big part of it.
How can fear-based “medical stories” work against you?
1. They scare you to the point that your mind chatter revs up and you are thrust into full-blown worry mode. When the “what ifs” start running through your head and you’re in worry-mode, you’ll find there’s always a new concern to keep you there. Finding your way back to the place of trust and calm, on the other hand, can take a lot of focus and committment once you’ve lost your footing.
I worked with a mom a while back who was feeling great and was generally in a good head-space about her pregnancy… except right after each of her various doctor’s appointments. There was never any problem, but for her, just hearing her doctor talk about the things he was checking out caused fear in her, from which she had to recover every time.
Your interactions with your practitioner(s) should leave you feeling heard, uplifted, informed and acknowledged… if they don’t, something’s not quite right.
2. Physiologically, worry-mode activates your nervous system’s fight or flight mechanism, causing a host of fear and stress-related hormones to be released into your body – and into your baby’s body. These chemicals have a huge impact on the functioning of your body, particularly the immune system, and most definitely will effect the chemical make-up of your baby as his or her body develops. So when you feel fear coming into your space, attend to it in whatever way makes sense. See a practictioner that can help you dissipate the fears – you don’t want them to sit in your body! And if the fear is coming up to compel you into some other action, follow through. Use the guidance. Then get back into your place of “all is well."