Childbirth is a natural and powerfully spiritual process that can also be accompanied by fear and anxiety. Whether it is the fear of the unknown, the fear of pain, or the fear of the unexpected, these emotions can greatly impact a person's birth experience. As a birth worker, I believe we as commUnity for the babies of this earth must all share our wisdoms around understanding and addressing all fears around childbirth in order to provide the best stories to share during this transformative time. In this article, we will explore the art of fear releasing before childbirth and provide some tips and techniques for managing fear during labor and delivery.
Understanding fear is the first step in releasing it.
Fear around childbirth can inspire us to educate ourselves & make informed decisions knowing all the possibilities available whether giving birth at home, in a clinic, hospital, & anywhere else on this earth.
Fear is a natural and normal response to potential danger. In the case of childbirth, fear can manifest in different ways such as anticipatory fear, which is the fear of the unknown or the fear of things not going as planned, or traumatic fear, which can be from fear of hearing about a previous negative birth experience. Other factors that can contribute to fear during childbirth include a lack of control or a lack of knowledge about the birthing process.
Once we understand the nature of fear, we must then develop a fear release plan.
Open communication with the birthing person and their healthcare team is key in this process. Birthing people can have specific fears and concerns, and it’s up to their community of friends & family to help them out in this vulnerable time by offering them support in any way they may need whether that is just a nonjudgmental listening ear or cooking them a healthy meal in postpartum as a gift.
All birthing peoples can begin empowering themselves through exploring & practicing relaxation practices, deep breathing, prayer, visualization, and positive affirmations. Relaxation techniques such as progressive muscle relaxation and deep breathing can help to reduce tension and anxiety. Visualization and positive affirmations can help to focus on the desired outcome and create a sense of calm and control. These techniques can also be used in conjunction with other pain management techniques such as massage, steaming, hydrotherapy, counterpressure, and heat therapy.
Building a support system is also crucial in fear release. A strong support system can provide emotional and physical support during labor and delivery. Knowing & trusting your birth team is critical to helping the birthing person feel that they are able to be in a safe space & even wish to begin the labor process with her baby. This can include a trusting your doctor, birth worker, guardian of birth, midwife, doula, partner, family members &/or friends. It is also important to identify & utilize resources such as childbirth education classes and support groups available to you online & in-person in your community.
Our healing business Manos de Luz offers birth support services & healing sessions for birthing families & individuals to seek suoport through massage & birth work. Sarena & Chris both offer the Light & Love Empowered Birth Support Class to empower mamas, partners & families to Know their Rights no matter the birth setting & know the full-spectrum of options known & available to them.
Putting the plan into practice is the final step. Real-life scenarios and role-playing exercises can be used to help clients practice fear release techniques. It is also important to remind laboring people to stay focused and calm during and remind them to continue utilizing fear release techniques throughout the parenting journey.
The art of fear-releasing before childbirth is going to be a life-long skill that is developed with each birth experience. It is a crucial aspect of being a birth worker to look into a laboring person’s eyes & remind them they are free to surrender when ready, also stepping into a ceremony of being reborn with their new baby spirit.
Understanding fear, developing a fear release plan, building a support system, hearing positive & a healthy amount of even negative stories, is ask apart of preparing and putting fear releasing into practice. These are are all important steps in helping birthing people manage fear during all the processes of labor and delivery & continue into postpartum & parenting.
By providing emotional and physical support, birth workers can spread new cultures of believing in positive and empowering birth experiences.
It is important to remember that every person and birth is different and that it's important to respect the birthing person's choices. I believe that with the right tools and support, it is possible to release fears to prepare for a more liberating birth experiences than what societies norm shows... trauma, emergency & holding into fear. Birth workers are there to support, educate, and empower the birthing person, and to help them to have the best birth possible with educated plans of actions & informed decisions.
I would love to end with the portion of the Quran & Hadith sharing the story of Maryam (Mary) giving birth alone to her miracle baby Isa (Jesus) according to Islam :
The story of Maryam (Mary) giving birth to Isa (Jesus) is primarily told in the 19th surah of the Quran, known as "Maryam". The verses in this chapter that specifically relate to the story are:
19:16-19: "Relate in the Book (the story of) Mary, when she withdrew from her family to a place in the East. And she took, in seclusion from them, a screen. Then We sent to her Our angel, and he appeared before her as a man in all respects. She said: "I seek refuge from thee to (Allah) Most Gracious: (come not near) if thou dost fear Allah."
19:20-26: He said: "Nay, I am only a messenger from thy Lord, (to announce) to thee the gift of a holy son. She said: "How shall I have a son, seeing that no man has touched me, and I am not unchaste?" He said: "So (it will be) thy Lord saith, 'that is easy for Me: and (We wish) to appoint him as a Sign unto men and a Mercy from Us':It is a matter (so) decreed." So she conceived him, and she retired with him to a remote place. And the pains of childbirth drove her to the trunk of a palm-tree: She cried (in her anguish): "Ah! would that I had died before this! would that I had been a thing forgotten and out of sight!”
Hadith Sahih Muslim (Book of Merits of the Companions) narrates that the Prophet Muhammad said: "When the pains of childbirth drove her to the trunk of the palm-tree, she said: 'I wish I had died before this and had been forgotten and out of sight.' But (then) she cried out: 'But now I will not complain to Allah about anything, for I have brought forth a thing most pure and have been given by Allah a son who will be a prophet and a prophet's son."
It's worth noting that the palm tree is considered a symbol of fertility and nurturing in Islamic tradition and it's also believed that Maryam was given dates by Allah after instructed to shake the date palm to eat to ease her labour & postpartum.
I share this story of Isa's birth to give reminder that even Maryam one of the most revered mothers we know across our different cultures, gave birth alone, cried out to Allah & was extremely close to Creator in these most vulnerable & fearful moments. This is a reminder that are never really alone. Creator is always waiting for us to surrender all our fears to so we don’t have to keep any stress attached to our spirit & birth experience. Release it however you do! You do you!
If you are a birthing person, or plan to be someday, here are some techniques that might inspire you to release any fears you may have related to childbirth:
-massage, meditation, acupressure, hip squeeze or other alternative therapies to manage pain during labor & contractions
-hire a birth worker, midwife, doula, birth keeper who will advocate for you during labor and delivery
-create a vision board or other visual representation of your ideal birth
-wrote out a prayer
-make a list of things that make you feel calm and relaxed and incorporate them into your birth plan
-try a yoga practice and explore other forms of exercise to release pain in body & stress
-seek out a support group or online community of expectant parents
-practice progressive muscle relaxation
-learn about the process childbirth so there isn’t a fear of the unknown, focus on positive birthing experiences like you envision for yourself
-prepare for a comfortable and safe place to give birth
-learn about your rights and spectrum of options available as a birthing person
-aromatherapy and essential oils to create a calming atmosphere
-learn about different comfort measures for labor, such as hydrotherapy, counterpressure, and heat therapy
-explore Pinterest for visual posters showing pain coping positions during labor to try
-practice mindfulness and meditation to stay present in the moment
-daily visualize & focus on the birth you desire
-create a positive birth affirmations list
-get a prenatal massage or other bodywork to relax and release tension
-read books or watch videos on positive birth stories
-get to know your body and its unique patterns and signs of labor
-ask yourself how you manage stress& how you can prepare for how you might respond ahead of time
-take care of your mental health and seek help if you experience depression or anxiety during pregnancy
-prepare a list of questions to ask your healthcare provider during prenatal visits
-practice self-compassion and self-acceptance
-communicate your needs and preferences clearly with your healthcare provider and birth team
-learn about the options for pain management during labor, such as natural methods and medical interventions
-surround yourself with a supportive birth team
-choose a healthcare provider and birth place that aligns with your values and preferences
-develop a birth plan that outlines your preferences and goals for labor and delivery
-daily relaxation and deep breathing techniques regularly
-learn about the benefits and risks of interventions, such as induction and cesarean delivery, so you can make informed decisions
-seek out and attend childbirth education classes &
-connect with other expecting parents and share your fears and concerns
You can contact Sarena & Chris with Manos de Luz at our Instagram@manosdeluz or by email at Manosdeluz@gmail.com if you would like to have a Fear-Releasing Session before childbirth virtual & in-person options available. Visit the rest of our services at: