Birth Professionals

Introduction to Fear of Childbirth

childbirthFearWith all the haunting and spooking of Halloween, October seems like the perfect time to explore the topic of childbirth fear. This month-long exploration will look at some of the more common philosophies about fear of childbirth, as well as the ways women are taught to deal with that fear.  We will look at some statistics, some research, and some tools you can use as you work with women. A philosophy about something is the way you think about it — the things you believe to be true and untrue.  You can think about it as the lens through which you see the world. Philosophies are built on assumptions, which may be true but do not have to be. Philosophies are also built on definitions of concepts, which may or may not be shared with people who ascribe to other philosophies.

So this month, while we talk about fear of childbirth, we will be looking at the assumptions that underlie the comments we often hear.  We will explore how differences in the way we think about smaller pieces of childbirth can make big differences in the way we think about fear of childbirth.  Rather than a hard science lesson, this month will be more of an exploration discussion.

As a preview, let me share some general categories of ways women approach fear. Your job is to spend some time thinking about how each of these works — and how they fail.

Educate away the fear

Practice away the fear

Reason away the fear

Relax away the fear

Ignore way the fear


Be sure to share your thoughts about each of these.  And be sure to join the conversation as we move through this topic.


Jennifer Vanderlaan (Author)