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Books etc dealing with fear of pain?

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
Hi Mummas,

Feel like I am on here asking questions every day!! This is our first bub and first pregnancy.
I am very passionate about home birth and looking forward to our own at the end of this year!
Just wondering if you know of any books or articles etc that deal with fear of pain in childbirth?

I deal with pain quite well, and know and believe in the fear tension pain cycle, but just looking for more books to talk me through it?
I suppose just a little bit of nerves hit last night when I realized there is only one way for this bub to come out hahah!! I think if I can catch this fear early I may be able to nip it in the bud so to speak.

post #2 of 21

have you looked into hypnobabies? 

post #3 of 21
I second Hypnobabies! The home study course.
post #4 of 21

I have been reading about how subconscious beliefs, influence 80% of our self talk. I just read this birth story, by a strong mama that is blogging about loss, labor and fear http://birthwithoutfearblog.com/2011/04/25/my-fourth-baby-second-vbac-and-first-unassisted-birth/ . That's not even to mention, parenting without fear. It's pretty impressive, that you are aware of fear in the first place. It won't just be anxiety about pain, though. From the onset of your labor, it's progression, the medical assessments of you and your baby, all beyond our control. Control, another aspect which is strongly routed in our subconscious. I am listening to hypnobabies for this, my 5th pregnancy. My last two births were unmediated inductions, unfortunately the memory of pain is very fresh in my mind. As are the 100 unfounded, negative thoughts that swum around exacerbating the entire process. That said, I look back on all my birth experiences with pride, I did the best I could. I am grateful for them. This will be my last child, and I am very motivated to make it my only intervention free, natural birth. I find I will need to spend more time focusing on my cultural (western) beliefs, if I want to experience a benefit from my subliminal hypnobabies training.


Best wishes to you and your new family.

post #5 of 21

I read birthing from within. I couldn't recommend a better book.

post #6 of 21
Thread Starter 

Looking into all of those now smile.gif


For those that recommended Hypnobabies, which tracks did you use and when? Trying to figure out if it would be best to download them from the site or buy the whole kit and caboodle

post #7 of 21

Something else that doesn't get said nearly enough. Childbirth doesn't hurt. It is the most intense feeling I have ever gone through in my life, registering a 50 on a 1-10 scale, but it doesn't hurt. Pain is an indicator of something being wrong. Pitocin contractions? Those hurt like crazy. They are flat wrong. No Natural contraction with ever feel like that. And for some reason your body seems to know just how much to dish out. Just about the time you are ready to throw in the towel and get the epidural/ beg for drugs/ pass out/ whatever, you get to hold a baby and none of it matters anymore cause now you got a baby.

post #8 of 21


Originally Posted by eggsandpancakes View Post

 Childbirth doesn't hurt.


I disagree. My home water birth hurt like hell, and yes, I forgot most of the pain, otherwise I wouldn't be doing it to myself again. But it hurts. To me. It's misleading to tell a first time mother that birth doesn't hurt. JMO.

post #9 of 21

Uh. Yeah. Childbirth hurts, at least most of the time.


Maybe you are one lucky person for whom rainbows shoot out of your yoni, but you don't need to tell the rest of us that it doesn't hurt. It hurts. A lot.


The good news is that we get through it. It's doable. And then, later, we can do it again.


For the OP, what kind of pain have you dealt with? And how did you deal with it? For me, in childbirth, I went inside myself. I personally didn't need any coaching, and honestly any kind of "focus" would have brought me out of it. Other women have other experiences, but that's how it worked for me. Real life just kind of took a fade. I was able to come back at will, if I wanted, and then slip away again. I did not want chants, focal points, massage, music or any of that, I just wanted to fade away.

post #10 of 21

No, it's probably one of the most intense sensations I've ever been through. But PAIN/HURT and SENSATION are two completely different things. Pain lets you know something is wrong. Pitocin comtractions HURT. They are wrong. Laying on my back during labor HURTS. But normal contractions, on my side os sitting up or kneeling on the couch and grabbing the back of it? That's just INTENSE.

post #11 of 21

Well, that is your experience, but, like I said, is misleading to a first time mother who has no idea what to expect. I believe there is already a thread floating around about that exact same thing, IIRC. I had a crispy crunchy birth, no interventions, nothing. At home, in the pool, blah blah. And I can tell you every contraction I had hurt like hell. It was intense, yes. Intense pain. My son was posterior. That causes pain. It doesn't mean something is wrong, it means childbirth hurts.


Travelmumma, I am sorry this is taking over your thread, but I don't want you to feel like this is the experience you are going to have. Some women do experience intense pressure and minimal to no pain. But those births are not common, IMO. It's better to be prepared for it, than to have someone tell you it's just intensity as long as you aren't lying down. That's just wrong. 


On a side note, IMO, i believe regular exercising can help with pain management. Obviously a strong body is well equipped for childborth over one that is sedentary. I exercise as much as I can. I have been doing prenatal pilates, yoga, and strength training with resistance bands. This may be something to consider.

post #12 of 21

OK, there is stating an experience: "I found childbirth to be the most intense experience of my life, but not painful." That is helpful.


Then there is making a blanket statement: "Childbirth doesn't hurt." And when it is false, as it most decidedly is in this case, it's very unhelpful.


Do not ever presume to tell a person what they felt or didn't feel.


Too bad this thread had to take a sidetrack, but that kind of ridiculous stuff just can't sit around unaddressed.

post #13 of 21
I think eggsandpancakes had good intentions, but was careless with wording. Of course childbirth hurts for most women. But I did have a similar experience to hers--it was SUPER intense but I can't really use the word "pain" because of all the bad connotations of that word. Somewhere in my birth reading I remember something that stuck out in my mind--that there is a huge difference between pain and suffering. Pain alone is just physical--an intense, possibly even overwhelming, physical sensation that may be hard to deal with, but it passes and you're fine. Suffering is when you add fear to pain, and it's much more horrible because it's your body, mind and spirit, not just your body, and it feels awful rather than just intense.

Childbirth is crazy subjective, and I try to never discount another woman's experience. They are all true and valid. But OP, don't go into it assuming it's going to be awful, scary, or even painful. Don't assume anything. Prepare yourself for the most intense experience of your life, and surrender to it, but don't be afraid. It might suck, but it also might not. I think one of the biggest reasons it sucks for most women in our culture is the element of fear turning pain into suffering. (Not to minimize all the other reasons--lack of respect for women, interventions, complications, and the reality that sometimes the physical pain is unbearable.)

I'm just saying you have nothing to lose by doing the work to set yourself up for the best possible experience. This does NOT mean telling yourself that it'll be a breeze (although it might!) but rather, working to lose the fear completely, build up your confidence in your own strength, fill your mind with positivity and surround yourself with respectful care providers.

Hypnobabies is awesome for dealing with fear. In addition to Birthing From Within, anything by Ina May Gaskin is great.

You might also find that using affirmations helps you: http://www.waysofthewisewoman.com/birth-affirmations.html
post #14 of 21

I tried reading Birthing from Within during my first pregnancy but I came to realise I honestly had no fear of birth so I just couldn't relate to it.  


I was, and still am, a sook with most pain.  I did get a bit anxious during my pregnancy when I had some muscle spasm pain in my arm and I started flipping out and ran for panadol.  But then I found I coped so well with pain in labour.  It was really empowering to see how strong I really am.  I did find labour hurt but it's not like the pain when you stub your toe, or medical pain.  It has a purpose and you know it will end.  It's not just a senseless pain that you don't know how long it may hurt for.  It has ebbs and flows that become the natural rhythm of your body.


I have a friend who did a calmbirth course in Melbourne which she loved, and credits with her ecstatic, pain free birth.  Let me know if you want me to get the details.  I really loved watching Orgasmic Birth and The Business of Being Born for understanding and trust in birth.

post #15 of 21
Thread Starter 

Thank you to everyone for your replies.

I think as a first time Mumma its wise to listen to all experienced views. I will keep an open mind, and prepare myself for every possibility, all the while dealing with my fears and remembering that women have been doing this for ????? no matter of the pain factor.


No matter what my experience will be with birth (painless/ful or intense) I still have fears of the pain I may encounter, so I have decided to pick up a copy of everything Ina May and Birthing From Within to prepare myself.


I also am going to start prenatal Yoga when I hit the 12 week mark, and jump back into Zumba to keep my body fit and prepared.

Those of you with experience in Hypnobabies- would you recommend buying the whole pack or just a few tracks? :)


Thank you to everyone again. I appreciate all replies smile.gif and understand that each pregnancy and birth are different.



post #16 of 21

A natural childbirth classic is Childbirth without Fear. It isn't as much about the name as you might think, but it does explain all of the things our bodies do that are simply brilliant to deliver babies, gives a history of labor fear, etc.

post #17 of 21

Yes Birthing From Within. Great for understanding that the pain or sensations of childbirth have a purpose. I truly feel so lucky to have found that book before my birth. 

post #18 of 21

I would like to second the recommendations for Childbirth Without Fear, and also Birthing From Within. I finished up Childbirth Without Fear yesterday, and it gave me a lot of confidence about natural childbirth and the way in which women approach it. I felt I learned a lot. Birthing From Within was really nice because it helps you to ask questions about where your fear comes from. If you do the art exercises, then it also helps you to express those fears in a way that allows you to see the fear for what it is... and then let it go. DH and I did all the art exercises and it was a really cool bonding thing that let us see how we each were feeling about the pregnancy, labor, and how our life will change after the new baby is born.


Also, just really positive birth stories are helpful as well. It's nice to read about women who have been there and done that. One of Ina May's books has just tons and tons of birth stories in it. Someone else probably knows which one. I have to confess I read ALL of her books one after the other so they all just blend together for me.

post #19 of 21

I like Birthing from Within, but I am also a fan of Sacred Birth Work.  www.stephaniedawn.com  She works with parents both in person and online formats to help them release fears surrounding childbirth and to create a positive atmosphere for birth.  I am currently working with her, and she is truly amazing.  Her workbook is called The Sacred Birth Workbook and it is available for purchase in ebook on her website.  I highly recommend working with her personally too.

post #20 of 21

I recommend buying the whole hypnobabies course.  It goes week by week and there's a ton of great info in the workbook, also stuff for your partner to do with you.  I kept the CDs playing all night long so that I got benefit even subliminally in my sleep.  I never slept better when pregnant.  Its a really great course!  I bought mine on ebay and then resold it after the birth and broke even.  


My 1st 2 births were Bradley births and my 3rd was hypnobabies.  There is NOTHING I recommend more.  That said, I only found this thread because going into pregnancy #4 I still have a lot of birth pain fear.  I love what was said about fear turning pain into suffering, this is SO true.  The amount of trauma I had from each birth was relative to the amount of fear I brought into it.  For this reason, my hypnobabies birth was my favorite.  Pushing still took more than I think I had.  I actually left bite marks on my doula.  But up until that point it was AMAZING.  This is because my mindset was so much more calm and positive.  I wasn't feel like a victim and that something bad was happening to me.  I felt like this was just the process of receiving my baby, whom I already loved unfathomably. Instead of feeling contractions as pain and recoiling from them, trying to escape or wishing them away, I saw them for what they are... tightening, stretching, pressure, helpful.  The thought actually kept coming into my mind that something was wrong because it seemed to be taking forever and it felt like there was about 15 mins between contractions (in reality I was only in 1st stage for about 4.5 hrs and they were 3 mins apart, but after my 1st 2 labors which were a total of 3 hrs for #1 and 2 hrs 20 mins for #2 and VERY intense with no 1st stage this labor was very slow and gentle).  I kept telling myself that my body was doing exactly what this baby and I needed, and that God was giving me the birth I'd prayed for, my gentle, healing birth.  Well, I'm glad that I wrote this.  Remembering my experience has given me back some confidence!  


Really, every birth is so incredibly different.  I think the best we can do is prepare ourselves in the best ways we know how and try and focus on love and not allow fear to enter into this scared space.  Create a space of love for our babies.  Remember that they experience everything we do, and we do not want birth to be a fearful, traumatizing event for them, which they will hold on to and pass into the births of their own children.  Fear cannot exist where pure love resides!  Love not only the baby, but the experience, YOURSELF, the people who are supporting you, the sounds, the smells, your natural instincts...  I'm a big believer that there's nothing gratitude can't greatly improve if not fix completely : )  

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