Why are we afraid to give birth?

“Why aren’t women being empowered and supported during their pregnancies so that they can get excited and look forward to their births?”

I really find it sad when I speak to first time moms and they say things like: I am going to TRY for a natural birth. (Have faith in yourself darling!)


So, there is no denying that I am an advocate for natural birth and attachment parenting, but I did ask some moms questions on why they feel they can’t do it.

So here we go:

  1. The Media and Hollywood. That was about to be mentioned by everyone. Who can tell me in all honesty that they have never seen a women in a movie/ TV show/ “reality series” give birth. And the mom is always on her back, screaming and swearing through contractions. Even if Hollywood had the perfect opportunity to prove that birth is powerful they won’t, because sensation sells. We have grown up believing what the media told us- that birth is painful and short and that it is normal to give birth in a hospital. We see these images as kids, watch it over and over and we even read it in books. Because normal birth is not a money maker and is not sensational.
  2. Other women (insert your mother/ sister/ friend/ random lady at Spar) telling you their horrific birth story. Were in essence we should be supporting the new mom in her decision and be positive about birth. Yes, I have seen cases where birth does not go as planned, and some mom’s idea of a “perfect birth” might not be the same as yours, but we need to support each other.
  3. Health Care Professionals- Pregnant women gets treated like vessels and pregnancy is a condition. Where as this is a very normal process that a women goes through. You are not another baby popping machine in a line of other ones. There is some hope- the doctors, midwives and consultants that are backing women up and believing in their ability to know when and where to give birth are changing the birth culture one delivery at a time. Those women that are pushing those barriers for a birth they believe in are shaping birth for the women all around them. The doulas, birth companions and antenatal educators that are spreading those good  vibes, and are preaching about what is normal are empowering women to believe in themselves and to trust their bodies, and those women continue to spread that positivity.

Trust your body and trust yourself. You are so strong. And you CAN do this!


7 Replies to “Why are we afraid to give birth?”

  • Every single woman has different birth. Actually every single baby has his/her birth story! And that’s different. And it’s not about woman as it self! Usually we are afraid of what we don’t know and my experience shows that woman with unwanted or unexpected pregnancy isn’t ready to natural birth. I am an advocate for natural birth too! We need to inspire other woman and stop telling horrific birth story. How can your babies birth story can be horrific? My girls birth stories are beautiful!

  • I just had my second natural labour yesterday! It really helps to have an obgyn (or midwife etc) who supports what you want to do. With my first pregnancy I was like… well there’s Option A and Option B and neither are too fabulous! So I spoke to all my friends who had kids and asked what they recommended… by far natural was deemed the best. And the healing afterwards is really so quick; your body is made for it. I totally root for natural BUT you also need to have an open mind that if an emergency c-sec is needed and best for baby then that’s ok too. At the end of the day though, it’s your body, your baby, and your decision 🙂

    • Congratulations mommy! Wow! I am a firm believer in our bodies natural ability to give birth, but I also thank God for the option of c-sections as it literally saved the life of my youngest daughter. I feel that OBGYN’s should support our wishes should we decided to have a natural birth. I sometimes feel that they treat birth as a delivery. Pizza and my books from Exclusive Books get delivered. But babies are born… And should gynaecologist’s change their way of thinking- we would be fine.
      But again- so happy for you and wishing you all of the best on your new little baby! xoxo

  • We were actually discussing this on Sunday at family lunch. My niece who is 22 has been told her hips are too narrow for natural birth… this gets me so angry every time. No one knows how your pelvis will react until you are actually in labour. She’s not pregnant yet and probably far away from that but I have told her about Genesis.

    She saw me have my boys at Linkwood so had this idea of going there when the time comes but I told her Genesis is better. She said but surely medical aid won’t pay for that so I told her last time I checked Genesis was on most medical aid’s preferred lists (even the cheaper options) because they know you have the best chance of a normal birth there which costs them less.

    I’m glad we started having these conversations in my family as my nieces start heading towards starting their families.

    My mother must just stop with her “they leave you to suffer in the UK” stories so we can stop scaring these girls.

    • Hi Beth, that makes me angry too. During birth miraculous things happen- I have seen very small mommies give birth to beautiful and large babies. I think your position during birth makes a huge difference- lying on your back tend to be a bad idea for smaller mommies but if she is in a position where her pelvic floor is opened more (e.g squatting position) she will birth with greater ease. In regards to Genesis, they are a beautiful birth facility that is fully covered by your medical aid. They also offer emergency c-sections should it be necessary. I was also scared of birth because of all the horrors people told me, where as a matter of fact it is a beautiful natural thing just as having a wee or breathing 🙂 xoxo

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