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 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?
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.