Tag Archives: Birthing From Within

Worry is the Work of Pregnancy

11 Feb

Please note, this blog post is a portion taken directly from chapter three of Birthing From Within, an excellent book on childbirth preparation written by Pam England.

Worry is the Work of Pregnancy

Our study group in Albuquerque resisted when Dr. Lewis Mehl, a psychologist who specializes in childbirth-related issues said, “worry is the work of pregnancy.”  We were all holding onto the notion that women who appear relaxed, confident and together, birth normally.

We were intrigued by his story about a childbirth class in Georgia.  There were six couples in that class. One of the couples was particularly concerned about how to avoid a Cesarean birth.  Every week, they stretched the patience of their childbirth teacher with questions.  Later, at the group’s postpartum reunion, every one was amazed that the couple who had worried so much about a Cesarean birthed normally, while the five couples who had sat quietly all had Cesareans!

In the years to follow, my midwifery practice taught me that for some women, worry is the work of pregnancy.  In fact, an over-confident first-time mom who thinks she has it all figured out, worries me.  I worry she will not be truly prepared for what awaits her.

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My Childbirth Question

10 Nov
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Me, 16 weeks pregnant with my son.

I saw a shoulder dystocia.  A really, really scary and incredibly severe one.  It was early in my current pregnancy when I attended this birth and watching it unfold before me, calling 911 for emergent transfer, and breathing the thank-god-sigh-relief everyone is okay but I’ll never be the same again, scared the hell out of me.  For HIPAA reasons I cannot disclose further details, though I will say mom and baby ended up okay thanks to some savvy moves of two very quick thinking and talented CNMs. After the birth I went home and cried and wondered if I had what it takes to work in this field. Continue reading

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