Are you afraid of having a normal delivery? Take a sit, let’s talk from a mother and doula to a mom-to-be 🙂

It’s common to develop some level of anxiety or fear about natural childbirth, as it is a significant life event involving physical effort, pain, joy, and a whirlwind of hormones.

Many women may fear not the childbirth itself but the unknown—that is, what they imagine or have heard (often negative stories) about childbirth from friends or family.

Others may have had a difficult or traumatic childbirth experience before, which naturally can fuel the fear of giving birth again—a natural defense mechanism of the body. Alternatively, they may fear potential complications that can arise during childbirth, such as bleeding or problems with the baby’s health.

Regardless of your situation, the first and most crucial step is to understand that childbirth is a natural process that thousands of women have gone through and continue to do so every day. And you are no less capable than any of them.

As this is a common concern among expectant mothers, I’ve brought forth reflections and important tips to help you cope with and overcome the fear of childbirth. Come with me!

plano de parto para cesareas

How the media impacts women's perception on childbirth

Media, which also includes TV shows, movies, and of course social media, can have a significant impact on how women perceive and expect childbirth to unfold.

Research suggests that media representations of childbirth can contribute to unrealistic expectations, even generating feelings of inadequacy or disappointment among some women.

In the media, we often see two extreme opposite scenarios: either the fast, clean and painless childbirth that happens like magic; or the traumatic and violent childbirth in which the mom-to-be is screaming from start to finish, she loses a lot of blood, and very often, she dies in the end.

Frequently, we find fantastical depictions, such as births that almost automatically lead to emergency cesarean sections, instead of the slow and gradual progression that can be perfectly monitored and guided by the medical team (which is what really happens in the real world). This sends a message. And a powerful one. It teaches women that childbirth is inherently dangerous, unavoidable painful, and that medical interventions are always necessary to save her life.

These awful and unrealistic representations of childbirth hinders women’s experience during childbirth as it becomes challenging to manage anxiety and frustration if the only reference you have is from a movie where the woman dies in the end, right?

It’s important for women to be aware of the impact that Media as a whole can have on their expectations and to remember that each pregnancy and childbirth is unique.

We need to separate fantasy from reality and remember that often these media portrayals are written by men who have never given birth and never will, not by women with real references to normal childbirth.

doula é profissão

What makes you afraid of childbirth?

The first step to overcome the fear of childbirth is to identify the source of your fear so that you can better understand and confront it. How can you do this?

Reflect on your experiences

Consider any past experiences or events that may have contributed to your fear of giving birth. Perhaps you’ve had negative experiences in previous pregnancies or births, or you witnessed a traumatic childbirth, or heard stories about it from someone.


Talk to your doctor and your doula

Both your doctor and your doula can help you understand the stages of childbirth and manage expectations, providing insight into what to expect on the day of delivery. The birthing team or your doctor can clarify any specific doubts and concerns you may have that could be fueling the fear of childbirth.


Seek support

Engage in conversations with other women who have gone through childbirth or join a prenatal group. This can help you feel more informed and less alone, realizing that others may share similar fears and can work together to clarify and overcome them. Facing our fears is always less daunting when accompanied! Sharing your feelings with a trusted friend, family member, or your doula can also be helpful.


Consider therapy

If your fear of childbirth is severe (tocophobia) and is impacting your daily life, it may be important and necessary to seek professional help. A therapist can work with you to identify the sour

Strategies to overcome the fear of childbirth

Here are some tips and strategies you can adopt today to begin overcoming your fear of childbirth:

Learn how childbirth works

Learning about the stages of labor and delivery will help you feel more prepared and in control of the situation. You can read the various articles we have here at Vila Materna in the Pregnancy and Childbirth section, participate in Natural Childbirth groups on Facebook, or even consider enrolling in a Childbirth Preparation Course.


Build a Support Network

Having a support network of loved ones, such as friends, prenatal groups, or a community of family members who have gone through childbirth, can be very helpful in reducing fear and anxiety.


Practice relaxation techniques

Deep breathing, meditation, yoga, and other relaxation techniques can help you manage stress and anxiety during labor and even throughout pregnancy.


Consider hiring a doula

A birth doula is a trained professional who provides emotional, physical, and informational support to a woman before, during, and after childbirth. She is the only professional in the birthing team exclusively dedicated to the pregnant woman, ensuring she has a positive birthing experience. A doula can be a valuable source of support and help you feel more confident and prepared.


Remember: It’s normal to feel anxious about childbirth, and there are many resources available to help you manage your fears. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. You don’t have to go through this alone.

Como um curso de preparação para o parto pode ajudar a superar o medo do parto

Um curso de preparação para o parto pode ser um ótimo aliado para superar o medo de parir, não só porque são preparados por especialistas que lidam com o parto e com gestantes (que também sentem medo e ansiedade) diariamente, mas principalmente porque são feitos exclusivamente para isso!


Geralmente, esses cursos são projetados para educar e apoiar as mulheres enquanto estão aprendendo a navegar nesse novo universo da gravidez e parto. Os cursos:


Ensinam sobre o processo de parto

Durante o curso, você vai aprender sobre as fases do trabalho de parto e do parto, quais são as opções para gerir a dor das contrações e como lidar com os desafios do período pós-parto. Com esse conhecimento, você pode se sentir mais preparada e confiante, pois saberá o que esperar ao invés de deixar a imaginação entregue ao medo do desconhecido.


Técnicas de relaxamento e de enfrentamento da dor

Durante o curso de preparação para o parto, é provável que você aprenda técnicas de relaxamento, como respiração profunda, meditação e visualização, posições para alívio da dor e estimulação da dilatação. Essas técnicas são essenciais para conseguir lidar melhor com as dores e o estresse durante o trabalho de parto.


Apoio e orientação

Muito além do conhecimento teórico e das técnicas práticas, os cursos para gestantes também têm uma componente psicológica muito importante. Eles criam um ambiente de apoio para as mulheres fazerem perguntas e discutirem suas preocupações com outras grávidas e profissionais da área. Isso pode ser uma fonte valiosa de apoio e orientação durante a gravidez. 


Conexão com outras mulheres

Um curso de preparação para o parto também pode ser uma boa oportunidade para se conectar com outras mulheres grávidas que possam estar experimentando emoções e desafios similares. Trocar dicas e experiências de quem está passando pelo mesmo é aproveitar a experiência prática e real de mulheres como nós que sabem o que estamos passando. Saber que não está sozinha é meio caminho andado para a tranquilidade.



É importante notar que a experiência de cada mulher no parto é única e o curso de preparação para o parto é apenas um recurso (poderoso) para você se preparar. Também é importante discutir suas preferências e preocupações com seu médico e seguir as orientações. Nem o curso nem a doula podem parir no seu lugar, esse é um processo seu. O seu momento.


Você pode ficar parada e deixar o medo tomar conta ou pode começar a enfrentá-lo hoje e assumir o controle do seu parto. E aí? Qual vai ser?

denise gomes curso para gestantes

Curso para Gestantes

Não vá para o parto com dúvidas! Assuma o controle da sua gravidez e viva uma Gestação Plena com este curso para gestantes da Dra. Denise Gomes!

Doula Aline Rossi

Aline Rossi is the founder and writer behind Villa Mater. Aline is a Brazilian mother expat in Portugal, feminist, certified birth and postpartum doula, having supported dozens of women in home and hospital births, as well as in the transition to motherhood after childbirth. Devoted admirer of Maria Montessori and Paulo Freire works on education and pedagogy.


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    Villa Mater is an information website based on scientific evidence about pregnancy, motherhood and education, with a strong commitment to the rights of women and children.