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Are You Afraid to Give Birth? Therapy May Help

Posted June 4th, 2013 by Lullabelly


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When I was pregnant with my first child, I was very anxious about giving birth. When my other preggo friends would pop, I would ask them to give me ALL the details on delivery. I think hearing the variety of birth stories my have upped my nerves more than soothed them.

Then I asked my mom about giving birth, and her reply was, “If it was that terrible, your sister wouldn’t be here.” Good ol’ mom and her ever-practical advice.

It turns out I was not alone in the scaredy-cat department. According to new research out of Finland, up to 10 percent of moms-to-be are afraid of childbirth. However, the research points out that group therapy can help frightened women overcome their fears and have successful vaginal deliveries – instead of opting for scheduled C-sections to avoid going through labor.

The scientists followed women pregnant for the first time that had strong fears about giving birth and wanted C-sections. Nearly half of the women were assigned to receive group-therapy sessions devised to calm their fears.

During the sessions, the women visualized calm, peaceful births. At the conclusion of the study, 88% of the mamas went on to have a vaginal delivery – compared with the 77% of those who didn’t participate in group therapy. The group also reported a positive birth experience!

There’s a lesson in this study. Instead of focusing on the scary details, try thinking about the positive things, like having gone through a mother’s rite of passage and having a great reward after giving birth – your brand new baby!

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