Many women fear pain in labor. Learn the secret smart women use to reduce pain and have a healthy, safe birth.
Just walking into the hospital can make you nervous. You associate hospitals with being sick, something unpleasant, and even scary. So when you get to the hospital to have your baby, nervousness or fear are automatically triggered in you brain. Add to that a bunch of unfamiliar people, not to mention that you are going to have your baby now and this isn’t a "drill", and who wouldn’t be nervous or even afraid?
So what’s the problem with a little fear or nervousness? From the perspective of a pregnant mom, a problem with the nervousness and fear is that it can contribute to the "fear-pain" cycle. The fear-pain cycle has to do with activation of a bunch of chemicals in your body via FEAR that create more PAIN.
I have a solution and the good news it is easy and free for you.
Pain itself is actually made up of two distinct parts, and this is helpful to understand when you are thinking of the fear-pain cycle. There is the part where nerves send signals up your spinal column to your brain telling it to tell you, "That hurts!" Then there is the MORE important part, the part where you are about to make a difference, and that is the part where your brain sends signals back down to the painful area and actually BLOCKS those signals coming up to it. Your amazing brain will STOP THE PAIN, or at least decrease it.
Scientific evidence shows that the most important way to decrease your fear and anxiety is through relaxation. Yes, you may be laughing right now and saying, "If I could relax, I wouldn’t be feeling fear and anxiety!!" This is a two-part answer. One is that you need to practice particular relaxation techniques and the other is that you need a partner to REMIND you very gently to activate those techniques as there this a good chance that a) you will forget because you are about to have your baby and b) You will not recognize that you are feeling tense because you are about to have your baby and you have other things on your mind.
Your partner is key in having a smart, confident birth. He or she is a familiar anchor for you, a reminder to you to use your relaxation techniques, a signal to your brain that everything is okay. And all of those things will automatically activate your brain to send signals down your spinal cord to tell any pain you might be having that it actually doesn’t hurt, leaving you feeling calm and confident and leaving your body to "do its thing" in labor and help you and your doctor to safely deliver your healthy baby.
Relaxation is taught and, most importantly, practiced in childbirth education classes. This is important, because the more you practice relaxation, the better you will be at it and the quicker you will be able to activate your brain to tell pain to stop or decrease. There are a variety of techniques for relaxation as well, and you may find some of them are a better "fit" for you than others.
To learn these techniques in your own home, invest in the Pink Kit birthing solution. You can read more about that here.
So even though the people and setting of the hospital may be unfamiliar to you, once you and your partner learn the technique of relaxation, YOU will be more confident in your birth experience.