Birth Professionals

Wrap up for Fear of Childbirth

childbirthFearThank 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 theories I learned so long ago seem to accept.Even so, I have been challenged by the research readings this past month, and I hope you have too.  Here are the top three lessons I learned this month:

1. Fear of childbirth is a universal phenomenon.  The prospect of pain and concern for the health of the baby continue to be sources of fear to women regardless of the number of children they have. I cannot expect a woman to enter birth with no fear.

2. Women who are so afraid of birth that they request cesarean are generally making this decision based on knowledge of birth — however that knowledge comes from traumatic birth experiences from close family or friends which have created an unrealistic understanding of physiologic birth.

3. I don’t have to remove the woman’s fear for her to have a good experience about birth because the most important influence on her perception of the experience is the attitude and behavior of her caregivers.

What about you — did you learn anything new this month?

Up Next

I am not starting a new series in November, and will probably post only sporadically for the next few months.  This semester has picked up the pace for me. In addition to my course work I am part of three different projects and preparing my dissertation proposal.  I can’t keep up with the work necessary for this level of blog posts.  But I will be sure to share interesting things when I find them — aiming for once a week.  I will tentatively plan to start some new series again in the late spring 2015.

Jennifer Vanderlaan (Author)