Kaleem Joy, Licensed Midwife
Fear: Why Does It Happen
Fear is a chemical reaction in your body to signal you when something is dangerous. The one challenge is, it does not know if it is real or imagined.
How many times have you imagined something to the point you think there is danger occurring? Like a loved one did not come home on time, call or message and your mind goes to work imagining the "What If's" and what you would do. Your mind and nervous system do not know the difference so they see it as real.
Have you heard someone tell you about a traumatic experience of their birth? One that made you feel almost sick to your stomach and feel so sad and perhaps even start to tear up? Or maybe you have watched a movie and become so taken away by the story and the experience that you feel like you are actually in the movie, falling in love with the romance on the screen. This is the imagination and your nervous system seeing it as real.
Ok let's lighten up here a little. Wheww this nervous system thing is kind of intense.
In your brain you have a small almond sized area called Amygdala. It's job is to take over the emotions and warn you of danger. So what if someone comes up behind you and scares you..... BOOOO!! You jump, your heart rate goes up, and you breath faster until you realize there really isn't any danger here and you are safe. It triggers your adrenaline to be in a fight or flee mode to protect you.
The front of your brain is where you the reason, thinking, movement, decision making and planning happens like when you are given information to consider. When the Amygdala strikes, it takes all the power of the prefrontal cortex ( yep big fancy words to say your frontal brain) away so you don't have those to rely on.
Now, let's face it, when there is a fire or a earthquake, you want this to work quickly. What about during pregnancy, birth and after though?
Pregnancy is a magnificent time in you and your baby's life that was designed to be filled with joy, happiness, peace, confidence, love, health and trust. What happens when a care provider or friend or family tells you about something that could be dangerous? Something like... When I gave birth my baby almost..... or if you don't do this test your baby could..... or why would you want to experience all that pain .... Do you start to feel uncomfortable, perhaps a little worried? Well now you know why.
It is like someone telling you a story about your life, pregnancy, baby, birth and so on and describing it in such a way that it triggers fear. Fear triggers the amygdala to go into action because it wants to keep you safe even if you are not in danger!
Trust is a big word right now for people who are pregnant and birthing. Why can you have trust in your ability to birth? Why can you think positively about giving birth naturally? Why is natural birth desired by people who choose not to birth in a hospital? Why, Why, Why?
Birth is Normal! However, in our society there is soooooo much about what you can not trust about pregnancy, babies and birth that fear is the predominant emotion that surrounds birth for nearly 97% of people. This has to stop!! How you ask?
It starts by taking ownership to educate about what the truth is. In Natural Childbirth 101 Classes you learn the truth so your prefrontal cortex can think and decide what is best instead of feeling fear of all the what if's.
What if's are fears that grow and grow when they are only illusions until there is really something to worry about. Why live in fear, doubt and worry when you can live in trust, confidence and peace. Sharing with your baby an abundance of positive thoughts, feelings and enjoying your pregnancy, prenatal care and YES even birth.
Birth is a normal natural experience that a healthy pregnancy transforms into a powerful rite of passage into parenthood.
Learn how to prevent the "What If's" and promote the healthy, safe and confident journey you would most love to experience. Stop Fear in its tracks by helping it have a calm, confident education to make informed decision that bring peace. Enroll in Natural Childbirth 101 Classes to empower your journey today.