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The Phobia of Birth

Suman Simons | Water Birthing Dula Expert


Today I want to tell you a story.

Shilpa was a happy mother, her pregnancy had been smooth, her husband was extremely supportive. Until about her 32nd week she hasn’t mentioned anything about any anxiety about her labor. Even after I asked her about her expectations of birth and labor, she had continued to tell me that she would take on and rely on all our alternative pain relieving methods and was mentally prepared to manage the pain.

I kept checking back on this point but she always managed to assure me that she was in a good headspace.

The time had come when she was in labor, she really was managing the pain really well. From 3cms to 10cms she was centered and proceeding exceptionally well. We then began the process of bearing down and pushing the baby out inch by inch.

She was about an inch or two away from crowning when her whole demeanor changed and took a 180deg turn. She was pale and almost muttering to herself and said something I had not once heard her say in any session… she started to suck the baby in, holding tension in her shoulders almost as if she didn’t want the baby out anymore.

I asked her what happened and why she was suddenly so tensed up and then she had a big surge which finally made her blurt out and say this “ I can’t take this pain, i will die if i push any more it’s going to hurt even more and i am going to die. This baby is going to kill me, I don’t want to die.”

To hear these words at such a crucial moment made me feel as though all of my counseling had gone to waste, I was frustrated and honestly wanted to leave the room. I gathered myself, looked her in the eyes and told her. Trust me shilpa, you give me two good pushes and we will have the baby in our arms and believe me when i tell you this YOU are SAFE, YOU WILL NOT DIE. just two pushes, Please. Don’t give up now. Please.”

Her husband was barely holding on at this point, he was pleading her to listen to me, and all i could do at that point was hope that she heard me and realized what i was saying because at that point if she did not give those two pushes i would have had to resort to emotional blackmail which i really did not want to do.

The next big surge came , I held her hand and she looked at me with utter fear in her eyes,a dn i looked into her eyes and said you are safe and I am right here with you, just push baby. She gave us one beautiful big push, and with it screamed and cried. She was terrified and we could all feel it. The baby’s head had crowned, I maintained eye.

contact and kissed her forehead and told her she’s a warrior, another big surge and she was silent, the baby was out and I was almost in tears. I looked at her, a slight smile on her face, she was now crying out of happiness.

Not just because she had birthed but because she had managed to face her fear and overcome it in the most brilliant way possible. She held her baby and kissed her husband, who also was bawling his eyes out.

A week later Shilpa came back to see me for her postnatal visit, she was radiant and relaxed. During our conversation I thought it would be a good time to ask her about what exactly happened within her to have such a reaction during the most crucial part of her birth journey.

So I gently coaxed the question, but before I could finish my sentence she had gauged my feelings and told me that at that moment she didn’t think she would be able to take the pain anymore and thought it would genuinely be the cause of her death.

Somewhere during her pregnancy she had heard a birth experience of a mother who had unfortunately died due to post birth complications. She said that even though the story did not stay back with her at that moment , she remembered it during that moment and linked it to the fear she had of the pain.It was a passing thought but it escalated so rapidly in her head that it made her say that out loud during her labor.

The fear of your labor pain is something that needs to be actively dealt with on a daily basis. Most women have been told by some or the other source that labor pain is UNBEARABLE.

In my opinion if a multitude of women have gone through labor and survive it and lead happy lives after, such a thing cannot be called unbearable. Labor pain is something that needs to be normalized and de-sensationalized for all our women.

Most women have labor anxiety from the moment they start thinking about their births, yes I agree it’s a lot of pain but pain is such a thing that can be dealt with. There are so many ways to deal with pain during labor.

Waterbirhting, labor exercises, comfort measures, and also epidurals. All of these measures are solely in place to help a mother during her labor, but because of lack of awareness they have become inaccessible to the ones who need it most.

I have narrated this story to you to only highlight how this fear can drastically and rapidly change your entire labor and birth. I will continue to spread awareness about such measures so that finally these tools will be a part of every mothers birth and labor journey.

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    Suman Simons

    Water Birthing Dula Expert
    Contact: +91 88888 22222
    Email - [email protected]

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