I love re-framing traditional concepts of birthing to more positive and empowering perspectives. Recently, I was reading an older issue of the International Journal of Childbirth Education and came across a concept that I immediately loved and will incorporate into my birth classes from now on. Most childbirth educators are familiar with the Fear-Tension-Pain cycle–wherein fear raises tension in the body which leads to pain and so on. Reducing one element in the cycle leads to reductions in the others–i.e. reducing tension through relaxation techniques leads to less pain and then less fear.
While this is still a very useful concept and I will continue to use it, the new perspective I just read about was the Excitement-Power-Progress cycle. The idea being that labor can be greeted with excitement and welcome instead of fear and anxiety. As the power of birth grows, so does the progress towards meeting your baby! So, you can greet the increased power with excitement and confidence and know that your body is making beautiful progress.
The author of the article I was reading (Stacey Scarborough), phrased it like this:
“Fear = EXCITEMENT about being labor and having a baby!
Tension = POWER, strength, or energy!
Pain = PROGRESS”