When many Americans think about giving birth, the main thing they think about is the pain involved. The fear and anxiety that the anticipation of pain that childbirth can bring often makes the last weeks of pregnancy, as well as the birth itself, a negative experience for many women. However, Ina May Gaskin believes giving birth without fear can make the entire experience of labor and birth a more positive one. Ina May Gaskin is one of the foremost midwives in the U.S. Her ideas about the fear of giving birth have to lead to a drastic change in the way many women and their caregivers or partners approach to birth, so that fear isn’t the primary feeling that accompanies it.
Tips To Experience Less Fear During Labor and Birth
Women in labor can take on many activities that can reduce their pain and discomfort during labor. Among these are taking short naps, eating when hungry, drinking when thirsty and getting out of bed to move around and to dance. Kissing her partner can help her to relax, and it creates a more supportive atmosphere. When helping a woman through labor, Ina May Gaskin suggests avoiding giving her a rough examination that will only cause her to tense up. Instead, create a calm atmosphere and encourage her with the right words when she’s afraid.
How To Stay Calm and Open During Birth
Women have to open up to give birth, and allowing them to be calm and to feel secure can help this process. To help her to dilate, keep the lights low and the noise and commotion to a minimum. If the mother becomes afraid, using humor can help her to relax. Making her laugh allows her to remain calm. Knowing her well and knowing what makes her laugh is helpful in finding what will make her laugh. When she feels love, she will make more oxytocin and endorphins, and this will help her with her pain and prevent her from feeling fear. A doula also knows all these calming techniques. When you pair a doula with a midwife, you create a wonderful support team to aid in a fear-free labor and birth experience. When fear creeps in, your birth team will have the experience and skills to help change the mood back to a positive and hopeful one.
Ina May Gaskin has been a longtime teacher of midwifery and is the author of ‘Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth,’ ‘Spiritual Midwifery,’ and ‘Birth Matters,’ among other titles. She is recognized as an authority on mother-led birth who caters to what the mother needs to have a positive and healthy birth.