Updated: May 12
So, let’s talk labour pain. The thought of pain in childbirth plays a big part in why most women come to hypnobirthing in the first place and that’s totally understandable.
I had a huge phobia of giving birth myself well before I had my own babies. I can pinpoint the start of it, it began when I was little and I was told that having a baby hurts. It shocked 6 or 7 year old me! I grew up to be the ‘hyperventilate into a cushion watching One Born Every Minute’ type of woman. I was scared. Big time. It was so bad it played a part in me actively putting off having babies until I was well in my 30’s.
Nope, I just wasn’t going there. Not for me, no thank you!
But where do feelings as strong as that come from, how do they build? It’s not hard to find some quick answers…
Portrayals of out of control women writhing helplessly in labour are literally all over the TV and media. Then there are the multiple horror stories you will have heard that seem to outweigh any positive ones. Throw in a lack of any real knowledge or confidence. Add a final dollop of uncertainty and you have the perfect recipe for another less than satisfactory birth experience. Sourced and induced from FEAR.
Drama sells, that’s why reality TV across the board, whether you love it or hate it, has been so popular and yes One Born is also most definitely cherry picked drama!
“It’s easy to scare women, it’s even profitable to scare women, but it’s not nice. So let’s stop it.”
Ina May Gaskin- Midwife. Quite.
And there you have it, FEAR is the root of the problem and FEAR actually makes pain worse.
False Experiences Appearing Real.
Start to think of it that way and you’re getting somewhere! Someone else’s experience doesn’t need to be your reality.
Perception of pain isn’t talked about much, but it should be! I always talk to my hypnobirthing mums and dads about this. Our culture generally sees it as a bad thing. After all, pain usually occurs when there is something wrong, an injury, accident or illness.
Imagine you break your arm, it hurts like hell, messages are sent to your brain that something is wrong. It’s an injury pain. You’re likely to panic and your body now needs fixing too.
This is very different from the ‘pain’ of childbirth which is a natural physiological process.
Pain in normal childbirth isn’t injury pain but ENERGY. It’s POWER. Your body is working energetically to birth your baby and works hard doing it. Energy is what gets the baby out.
With the right mindset, practice and knowledge you can work with it, not against it and be far better prepared to feel in control and handle it.
Experiences vary from woman to woman. Some report little or even no pain. Many, like myself, will say they did find it painful. That doesn’t mean you’re doing it wrong and it doesn’t mean you will feel scared or not be able to deal with it. I can hand on heart say that I found giving birth to my babies truly empowering and positive experiences.
Among other things, my hypnobirthing courses will teach you how to perceive and manage the sensations/pains as they come and go in labour and birth.
Remember (Energy + Pain - Fear = Power).