I want to share a fear release exercise that I’ve used several times at Blessingways for pregnant friends. I got the idea from The Pregnant Woman’s Comfort Book and then modified the wording slightly. I think it is a powerful exercise to do in a group. We circle around the pregnant woman holding hands and then read the following together:
There goes all fear you hold about giving birth. The birth will be perfect.
There goes all fear you hold about healing. You will heal beautifully
There goes all fear you hold about not being a good mother. You will be enough.
There goes all fear of never being creative again. You have a deep well of creativity within your soul.
There goes the deepest, most private fears you have about giving birth. You will be enough.
You will be enough. You are strong enough.
Depending on the setting, I’ve also changed the word birth in the second-to-last-line to “life” instead.
This is a concept I like to introduce in childbirth classes. I first came across the phrase “worry is the work of pregnancy” in my most favorite of birthing books, Birthing from Within by Pam England. I’ve noticed that women often feel like they shouldn’t have worries during pregnancy and that talking about their fears is somehow “dangerous” (like it will make the fear come true). Bringing fear out into the open and “looking at it” instead of keeping it tucked away and bothering you is actually one of the best ways to work with it. Another common concern is that your worries are “silly” or unfounded. It is okay to have worries, even “silly” ones! The strategy Pam suggest for exploring your worries is as follows:
Explore each worry with questions:
°What would you do if this worry /fear actually came true?
°What do you imagine your partner and/or birth attendant would do/say?
°What would it mean about you as a mother if this happened?
° How have you faced crises in the past?
°What, if anything, can you do to prepare for, or even prevent, what you are worrying about? What is keeping you from doing it?
°If there is nothing you can do to prevent it, how would you like to handle the situation?