By Emma Present
Pregnancy and fear are an unavoidable partnership.
As our bellies swell so does our list of fears.
We fear soft cheese and sea food, we fear fridge smells and bacteria.
We fear loss, disease, deformity, discomfort and change.
We fear ourselves, our hormones, our reactions, our tears, our bodies.
We fear birth, pain, intervention, birth plan failure, we fear white coats and often we fear their recommendations.
We fear the commitment it takes to attachment parent, we fear being milked out, touched out and spaced out. We fear the lack of sleep, the lack of alone time, the lack of fresh laundry and we fear the sling carry.
We fear the effects of the pregnancy on our bodies, the effects of the new addition on our relationships and the effects of Motherhood on our sanity.
We fear the hair loss, the waistline, the stretch marks, the wrinkly belly and the tea bag boobies.
We fear not knowing the answer and we fear the Mamas that seem to have them all.
We fear our own ability in every step, every week and every decision.
For some of us that fear comes and goes and we dare to discuss fears openly with compassionate friends and family, we may even class our fear as manageable. At the other end of the scale the fear is a constant presence that suffocates and paralyses. Our fear is a burden that we wear daily and hide the hell out of because of the shame of ‘not coping’.
Supression is not the answer.
Some of us suppress the fear and reflect to the world a version of ourselves that we are more comfortable showing. The blooming mother-to-be that we expect of ourselves, that is everything to everyone. The mother, carer, partner, teacher, employee, entrepreneur, chef, housekeeper, the one with it all under control. There is no time and no energy left to address these fearful thoughts that plague us in the night when our eyes close.
Suppression, though sometimes a necessary coping strategy to create space and prioritise, can not be sustained for long periods without repercussion to our well-being. Nine months worth of suppression of pregnancy and birth related fears could have direct implications on the birth and postpartum bonding and recovery.
Suppression is often unconscious, a resistance, refusal or fear of letting go. We hold onto our fears and bury them deep within. The stored emotion and energy turns stagnant and stops the free flow of divine energy through our being. This stagnancy can settle in our bodies on a physical and physiological level. The energy centres most affected by this stagnancy are the second and fifth energy centres or Chakras. The stagnancy can manifest in our physical bodies as pelvic, neck, shoulder and jaw tension. The stagnancy in the upper body from all the words left unsaid and/or in the pelvis where many of our emotions are stored. The thing is, we ladies with swelling bellies need our jaw and pelvis to be free like the wind at this important time.
We need the freedom of our jaw to voice our pregnancy needs and birthing desires, we need jaw mobility so that we can scream the primal scream. We need pelvic mobility because this vital structure supports our bodies and the growing baby. We need that beautiful pelvic bowl to widen, to find fluidity and flexibility, to be strong, stable and spacious, to be alert and connected to all the energy available as we bring our babies into this world.
If you have a tendency to suppress emotion and fear try to speak it out. Think of it not as a complaint or a show of weakness but the need to cleanse your energetic, mental and physical body of stagnancy. Get it out into the ether, dispersed, supported by universal energy leaving you more free. If that compassionate friend or family member is hard to come by, write your fears down and share them online in a supportive Natural Parenting community.