Whether it’s your first, or fifth time, birth is unpredictable. We don’t know how long it will take, we can’t guarantee when it will happen, and we don’t know exactly how your labor pains will feel.

All of these unknowns can be pretty scary, and you’re not alone if you have a fear of childbirth. In fact, managing these fears is one of the most common things clients ask me to help with, as their labor doula.

I love supporting clients as they face their fears, manage their contractions, and come out of birth having tapped into a strength they didn’t know that they possessed. We have so many tools available to us: laboring positions, epidurals, hydrotherapy in the shower or bath. And the incredible power of our bodies means that we’re stronger than we think that they are. You can absolutely get through this, and I’ll be there for you all the way.

But you can have even more than that. 

What if, instead of a trial by fire that you face alone, we could think of birth as something else? What if your birth is an opportunity to strengthen you and your partner, as a team?

What if labor pains give you a chance to fall more in love?

I’ve seen births like this.

Births where the connection between two people is so strong that they create their own little world, and usher their new baby into it.

It’s absolutely beautiful and an honor to witness. And births like this aren’t just romantic.

They have the benefit of bringing more oxytocin to the party!

You might have heard of oxytocin as the love hormone. It gives us warm fuzzy feelings when we kiss and when we cuddle our babies. And this same hormone that bonds us to those we love also helps your labor move along, and can even make contractions less painful.

So as I’m practicing comfort measures with my clients before labor, I remind them that bonding is a tool for getting past fear and making it through labor.

I’ve encouraged a husband to stroke his wife’s face with every contraction. And as he whispered in her ear something meant only for the two of them while an epidural is placed, the laboring woman kept calm and still. Your girlfriends can dance with you through labor, hold you up as you squat, and breathe with you through the pain.  

Rather than alone and fearful, I want my clients to know that they can feel completely supported throughout labor. Not just by me as their doula, but by their partner in this new journey of parenthood.

I don’t pretend that childbirth is easy, or that there’s any magic wand to make it feel great for most of us (orgasmic labor being the exception and not the rule). Labor is hard.

Hard things can be beautiful though. And hard things can bring us closer than ever to the people we care about. Labor pains can be one of those things. 

If you’d like to change the way you and your partner are thinking about birth, let’s talk.

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