Birth Challenges

Overcoming Sudden Fear during Labor

Begin by assessing the situation. What recently happened that may have affected the mother? What has changed? What information did she just receive? Once you understand what the mother may be struggling with, begin reassuring her and encouraging her in the opposite

Birth Professionals

Wrap up for Fear of Childbirth

Thank you for exploring the concept of fear of childbirth with me.  My personal understanding of childbirth fear has changed in the 15 years I have been working with expectant women.  Fear of childbirth is a more complex experience than natural childbirth

Birth Professionals

Fear of childbirth and Guilt

As I researched for this series, I was struck by Fisher’s (2006) paper on the social context of fear.  The thesis of this study was the social context of childbirth influences how women understand childbirth, and this impacts how they experience it

Birth Professionals

“Ignoring” fear of childbirth

This week we’ve been looking at ways childbirth educators think about managing women’s fear of childbirth.  We talked about education and relaxation, but today I want to talk about ignoring the fear. If you can’t think of any natural childbirth theories that

Birth Professionals

“Teaching” away fear of childbirth

We’ve been talking about fear of childbirth, and last week we spent some time in the research looking at sources of fear.  Today I’d like to change gears and begin looking at ways childbirth professionals think about dealing with women’s fears. First

Birth Professionals, Understanding Pain

Fear, Pain, and Childbirth

Last week I introduced you to the idea of the value of perfect health.  If you remember, a physician places a higher value on perfect health than the general public; the general public puts a higher value on avoiding a condition than the

Birth Professionals

Childbirth Fear: Family or Media?

When I began working in the birth world I was told women were afraid of childbirth because of the media portrayal of birth. Television, movies, and magazines were teaching women to be afraid by their unrealistic labors and horror stories. So, is

Birth Professionals

How common is fear of childbirth?

It turns out that isn’t an easy question to answer.  To prepare for a recent study on the effects of fear on the childbirth experience, the researchers found between 5 and 40 percent of women fear childbirth.  The number varies based on