Stop telling pregnant people negative birth stories
Everyone who has given birth has a story to tell. And, unfortunately most of the time they tend to share the negative side of their story rather than the positive. I’m not saying pregnant people are fragile but, especially if it’s their first pregnancy, they’ll naturally be experiencing a heightened level of anxiety and stress. Part of this is caused by the increase in hormones but it’s also the natural way to feel when faced with the unknown.
If you’ve had a traumatic or negative birth experience, you should absolutely talk about it – but talk to the right audience. These stories are important too, and you shouldn’t keep it to yourself. Sometimes speaking to a professional or an older family member will help you process your experience. Please, resist the temptation to regale your stories to your pregnant friend.
If you’re pregnant – and more so if it’s your first pregnancy – avoid negative birth stories at all costs. They are not helpful. Every birth experience is different, and everyone’s threshold for birth is different. Negative birth stories have a habit of hanging around in your subconscious. Horror stories are hard to forget and can manifest into fear, anxiety and stress, so the less you’re exposed to them the better – for you and your baby.
Here’s how you can protect yourself from negative birth stories:
- If someone tells you a negative story, ask them to tell you something positive about their birth.
- Ask to change the subject. Explain that you want to experience it for yourself and you can talk about their experience when you’ve had your baby.
- Don’t read about or watch negative birth stories.
- Work with a professional antenatal caregiver. Invest in this time, it will be worth it.
- Use positive language when you talk about birth.
- Seek out positive birth stories. There are lots and lots of them online.
- Read daily positive pregnancy affirmations.
- Walk away. Don’t listen. If you’ve asked someone to stop telling their negative birth story and they don’t, just leave.
Your body is made to give birth. You can do it!
Your experience is not someone else’s. So own your story.
Plan to make it as positive an experience as possible. And make sure you’re well informed about birth, as this will also help your experience. Even if your birth story doesn’t go completely as planned, having a positive outlook on it from the start will vastly shape your experience of the whole thing.