How many times have you seen a baby be born?
I’m talking real life, by her side, entire process, start to finish kind of birth?
If you’re anything like the average first-time parent, then your answer is most likely….never.
Sure, you’ve seen it in the movies….
you’ve seen it on television, or snippets in a documentary, but….
Most first time moms never see a baby be born until they give birth themselves….except in movies.
Now, this might not necessarily be the worst thing in the world. Afterall, giving birth is a natural bodily process. You’re definitely not required to have seen it to be able to do it.
But the thing is….even if you haven’t seen a birth in real life, you probably have an image of it in your mind. And the image is most likely dominated by a slew of Hollywood birth scenes…
…which looks scary as hell!
This cultural phenomenon —where it’s normal to talk about birth as being nothing short of terrifying, excruciatingly painful, frantic, and dangerous—-is putting pregnant women in a mental horror-house about childbirth.
How can fear affect childbirth?
The physiology of birth is miraculous! There are so many factors at play. During childbirth, your body is playing through it’s own personal symphony of hormones. Increased oxytocin, high on beta-endorphins, and progesterone out the wazoo! It’s a beautiful orchestra that allows the body to do it’s thing.
Having n abnormal increase in “fear hormones” can interfere with the birth process. When we feel intense fear or worry, our bodies produce a hormone called Catecholamines (CA).
According to Chris Kressner, “high levels of CA too early in labor (which would be triggered by activation of the woman’s “fight or flight” system in response to fear or perceived danger) have been shown to inhibit uterine contractions.” (Source).
Let’s balance the pendulum back to normal.
I’m not going to lie and tell you that childbirth is going to be completely painless, carefree, and all sunshine and rainbows. For some, yes, that’s a possibility….but for the average woman, childbirth is HARD ASS WORK!
It’s hard work no matter what kind of birth you have.
Natural childbirth is hard work. Cesareans births are hard work. Epidural births are hard work!…and you know what?… You can do it!
And by cultivating a positive and realistic mindset around childbirth, you can set yourself up for success by decreasing your stress hormones, and being mentally prepared for the experience.
Why I love positive birth videos.
I know. I know….you might not be into the whole “birth video” thing. And I get that.
But just think about how much negative cultural exposure you’ve been exposed to regarding birth already. Like watching a stand-up comic harp on about birth, or that stranger in the grocery store who decides to share her birth horror story with you.
Whether you like it or not…you already hold some version of a “birth movie” in your mind…what does yours look like?
If your images surrounding childbirth are full of fear, anxiety, and pain, then why not replace those images with positive ones?
So, for better or worse…here’s my top picks for birth videos that help you conquer fear and conquer birth!
I hope they help you to reframe your thoughts and instill in you the truth that you can do anything and all birth is beautiful.
Empowered Hospital Birth
I love how this woman asks her nurse and midwife for what she needed, when she needed it. She was totally in the driver’s seat of her experience.
Realistic and Positive Epidural Birth
The couple here are super cute. I love how they keep the experience light-hearted.
News Reel: Is Orgasmic Childbirth for Real?
I always get a kick out of this video. As I mentioned above, please don’t expect your birth to be all rainbows, sunshine, and orgasms. But, this video, I think, does a great job of balancing the pendulum away from a fearful view of childbirth. Please watch with a grain of salt 😉
Family Centered-Positive Cesarean Delivery
Although, not common practice, immediate skin-to-skin and “family centered” cesareans are becoming more accepted in modern obstetrics. There are so many options available for a planned cesarean birth. Talk to your care provider about what options are available to you if you’re wanting a more involved role in your cesarean birth.
**Very Graphic**—Total Hippie Chick Laughs Her Baby Out!
I’ve always loved this birth video. It’s very graphic, and sooooo dated, but timeless as well.