Why I’m Not Afraid to Give Birth


I can already hear you thinking, yeah right…” but believe it or not, I am really not afraid of giving birth to our baby boy. Why?

Here are four reasons why you shouldn’t either:

1. Giving in to fear (and the stress associated with it) is the most negative thing you can do to your baby. According to Web MD, “when you’re stressed, your body goes into “fight or flight” mode, sending out a burst of cortisol and other stress hormones. These are the same hormones that surge when you are in danger.” If this stress doesn’t let up, the effects on your baby can be lasting. Besides, the more relaxed you are during labor, the more your body opens up and does what it’s meant to do. Tenseness and fear will only make labor last longer and according to multiple studies, is also more likely to lead to an intervention.

2. I’ve always had faith in my body. Luckily, from the beginning of my pregnancy, I’ve had the positive mindset that my body is fully capable of birthing children. My mother had a similar experience and had three healthy, positive, natural births.  I am okay with temporary childbirth pain — it only means that the baby is cooperating and that he will soon be in my arms. Totally worth it!

3. I feel prepared. I feel educated. I know how to breathe and how to focus. I have a good support system with me. Although I don’t know what this sort of pain will feel like exactly, I am ready to deal with it.

4. Birth is the most exciting, beautiful, empowering thing I know I will ever experience. No woman who has given birth hasn’t been changed by the experience somehow. I am excited (not afraid) to experience childbirth and let it transform me: empower me as a woman and fulfill me as a new mother.

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Johanna Riehm teaches in the department of Communication and Media at Manhattanville College and in the department of English at Mercy College. She teaches courses in the history of communication, public speaking, and social media, as well as creative and technical writing workshops. Johanna’s work has been featured in Graffiti Literary Magazine, The Write Place at the Write Time, The Bangalore Review, Cactus Heart Press, and the LaMothe Review. She is working on her first longer work, a creative nonfiction novel called We Carved Our Names in Tamarind Trees.

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