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I decided to bring out this surprise sneaky podcast episode BEFORE the start of season 2 because I didn’t want to wait that long to share this. This podcast came about as a result of a client session I had a few weeks back. We were talking about control; losing control, being in control and feeling out of control. One of my client’s fears was losing control, which is very common among pregnant women when they think about birth. I myself experienced this too. The thing is, control is quite complex and there are many aspects to it. So if we are to clear this fear we need to do some digging first.

At the end of the session, my client said that this conversation alone gave her a HUGE attitude shift and now SHE GOT IT! It was soon after that I started thinking about you my lovely listeners, especially those of you who have emailed me.. specifically those of you who are due in the next 6 weeks! I had to share this BEFORE season 2 so that you could benefit from it too.

So here it is.

Fear of losing control, and how to overcome it

When it comes to control, there are different aspects to it that I think is worth exploring as the subtle distinctions between them are important.

HAVING control and BEING in control

Firstly there’s the idea of having control or being in control… this typically applies to situations… are you in control of what is happening externally? what people are doing etc. If being in control is very important for you, then when other people have control instead of you, it can can often cause problems, especially if you’re a control freak!

FEELING out of control

This is different from NOT BEING in control. This is an emotion where you FEEL out of control… and this doesn’t necessarily have a bearing on reality. We often hear people say how they felt completely out of control in a particular situation, and yet on the outside it looked like they’d got it together… so this is an emotional response. If this emotion really takes hold, then it often leads to the next one which is

Losing control

Which for many means emotionally losing control, losing a grip, not being able to keep it together. We can see this happening in someone and they might start getting emotional or angry. Or it could mean losing control of their senses or their body… like screaming or grunting.

Someone who FEELS out of control doesn’t necessarily become that person that loses it though.

So why am I sharing this? Well, one fear that crops up time and time again when it comes to birth is fear of losing control. But what does that mean exactly?

If this is one of your fears then I’d like to invite you to give this some thought. If you’re familiar with the 5-step process that I share that can be used to clear your fears, then you’ll be pleased to know that you can use it to help with this very issue. But in order to do so, you need to be pretty clear on what you mean by LOSING CONTROL.

  • Is it a fear of not being in control of how the birth is going?
  • Is it a fear of losing it emotionally and crying, getting emotional in a way that you can’t control?
  • Is it a fear of losing control of your body and pooing and weeing everywhere?
  • Is it fear of losing control over the decisions being made about your birth? So the medical team retaining control?

What is it for you?

Having a better understanding of the various aspects of control can help us to figure out how to help you get past this. So if this is an issue for you I would urge you to give this some thought and take the time to work on this in advance of your birth.

So why am I urging you to sort this out?

This fear of losing control can only cause problems during birth. For a start it’s a fear and so will have a negative physiological impact on your body during labour and lead to things like a long labour or painful contractions. [spp-tweet tweet=”Birth requires you to let go; Let go of your need to be in control, let go of your need to control your body, let go of your need to control the situation. “] THE ONLY THING you should be focussed on is staying in the birthing zone so that your body can just get on with it.

But it’s not as simple as that. In fact, birth requires you to be able to play at both ends of the control spectrum simultaneously… at the BEING IN CONTROL END and at the LETTING GO END. Let me explain.

You need to LET GO of your body fully… surrender all control to your body. It knows what it’s doing. If this is your first birth YOU don’t.. when I say you, I mean your mind, your ego (that’s responsible for triggering the negative emotions). But your body… with 1000s of years of evolution behind it DOES KNOW! Your body knows how to birth a baby.

But you also need to stay in control… of your mind. You need to be in control of your mind so that you’re available to do what needs to be done.. if you notice any painful twinges, you need to be alert and with-it enough to alert a midwife, or perhaps it’s a sign for you to refocus your mind back on your breathing and your affirmations and less on your fears and inner chatter.

So you need to let go of your body but be in control of your mind AT THE SAME TIME ….. for hours!

If you’re a control freak, this is not going to be easy for you. Even if you’re not, it won’t be easy. But don’t worry, I’m not talking about this to stress you out and leave you hanging.

I’ve created a free download to go with today’s episode if you think this is something that you need to work on. It’s a script that you can use as part of the 5 Step Head Trash Clearance Method to help you to reach a place of neutrality between control and letting go. This will help you to move between both places much more easily.

During the podcast I also mentioned Due Date Calculation Cheat Sheet that you can use to calculate a more realistic due date (based on science!). If you head over to this podcast episode you can grab the cheat sheet straightaway using the download link.



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Alexia Leachman

Alexia is the host of the Fear Free Childbirth podcast and the author of Fearless Birthing, Childbirth, Midwifery & the Media, and Clear Your Head Trash.

Alexia supports families planning pregnancy and birth. She helps them to overcome their fears and feel calm and confident about birth and pregnancy.

Alexia also trains birth professionals in the Fearless Birthing, a unique approach to birth preparation that is ideal for those who have fears around birth.
Alexia Leachman
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