Birth and Fear - Advice??

I spoke to a lovely woman this morning who will soon be giving birth. She is afraid.

We talked about that fear. We are all afraid, all of the time. Most of us control ourselves, and only let that fear be felt when we are in extreme situations. Some of us pretend we never feel it. Some of us feel it so intensely, all of the time, that it drives us mad.

I wanted her to know, that as her doula, I would be her companion, at her side,  holding her hand or hugging her tight, or pressing warm compresses on her perineum as she was birthing. But I wanted her to know as well that I was not attached to her birth. That it will be HER birth, just as her life is her life. I will give her my advice prenatally, and share my opinions prenatally, and help her tell her birth story postpartum. But I will not
interfere with her birth experience. I will support her, honor her, and respect her. I will provide her with information and give her a shoulder to lean on and a hand to hold. I will try my best to fill her birthing room with love.

I will let her know that we are all in this large and daunting place together. I am with her, as far and as close as I can be. Then she is on her own, although she will hear my voice as I am telling her she is doing fine. She will move through her birth tunnel and, yes, she will come out the other side. How that tunnel is constructed, what the pictures will be on the wall, no one can say. All we can say, with absolute certainty, is that she WILL give birth, and she will get through it. And it may be very scary. And, yes, very, very rarely (thank you,  modern hygiene and good nutrition), women and babies do not make it. But birth is like life - you never know. The world is big, bright, and round. Babies get born.

World from Above
I was so happy that you all responded to my last post, and I got several more private correspondences about that doula experience. I am opening the floor - What do you do, as a doula, to assist a woman when she is being held by that kind of fear? This woman in particular was quite striking, as she did not appear to have any "reason" for the fear, such as a past traumatic birth.


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