Friday, 2 September 2016

Why I’m not scared of giving birth

Nicola Friend pregnancy blog

I’m not scared of giving birth. That’s not a challenge, I’m not inviting you to scare me. I have been told countless times, by countless people that I should be fearful, but I’m not. Honestly. I’m almost,
sort of, looking forward to it. I’m not sure if it’s through reading lots of positive birth stories pre-pregnancy or the simplicity of knowing that the world is full of walking talking breathing humans, most of whom took the same route into this world, but, at 26 weeks pregnant it’s not something that fills me with dread.

Interestingly, being positive about birth seems to draw positivity out in others too. Sadly the opposite is also true. I have been around pregnant women who have been open about their quite reasonable fear of pushing the baby out of small hole. They have been treated to stories of hellish labours, traumatic births, people seem to enjoy telling them about a friend who was in labour for sixteen days and had 1000 stitches. Ok, I exaggerate but it’s almost as if admitting a fear of birth gives people no holds barred permission to let loose, to tell you how awful it was for them. I guess it’s human nature to sympathise, to find a common ground, if you’re putting out negative vibes, you’re more likely to get them back in return. I understand why people are scared. My yoga teacher said something that struck a chord; some women have seen a birth on Eastenders so that’s how they expect it to be. Perception becomes reality, huh?

So, I’m lucky that I learnt pretty early on, probably before conception, that positivity is king. I’m not really sure how, an instagram post here, a podcast there, maybe I have sub-consciously just blocked out the negatives and only taken positive accounts on board. I don’t know, but when asked about the birth I’ve been quite open in saying that I intend on breathing this baby down and lo and behold I’ve been inundated with tales of 45 minute labours, calm, manageable, beautiful births. That’s not to say everything went perfectly, but all in all, positive empowering experiences. Now, that’s what I want to hear.  Don’t get me wrong, there are some people who want to tell you entirely unsolicited horror stories however you approach the conversation. They will tell you that any kind of calm birth preparation will only take you so far. That it's easy to feel that way now, but wait until that bump is huge, that's when you'll worry. That it will definitely hurt. Do you know what? It might not. Going into anything with fear and trepidation is always going to make things more difficult. You only need to watch a five year-old learning to ski, versus his 'Bambi on ice' Dad on the slopes to see that fear is not your friend. Who’s more likely to fall? Equal, probably. Who’s more likely to break a bone? Fearful, tense, Dad, definitely.

This doesn’t mean that I’m cruising towards labour, simply armed with positive vibes, I’m no hippy. I’m aware that I’ll need a few tools under my belt so I’ve booked us onto a hypnobirthing course. Four consecutive Friday nights in September, presumably scheduled under the assumption that us tee-totallers have nothing more exciting planned. They were right. Positive, calm birth, here I come.

 How do you feel about birth? Does anyone have positive birth stories to share?

First published on


  1. Good luck! I find that people are more scared of giving birth in the early stages, when the tendency is to overthink everything. By the time the 9 months are up, most people have had enough and are far less bothered. By then, if somebody handed you a rusty tin opener you'd be up for using it to get that baby out.

    One thing I would say is to keep an open mind and know that your birth will almost certainly not go how you imagine. It'll go how it's meant to go, and you will cope with that. The human body is an amazingly powerful thing. Wishing you and your family all the best.

    1. Haha, hoping I don't get to the rusty tin-opener stage. Totally having trust in the power of the human body! x


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