Welcome back to the Fear Free Childbirth podcast!
After a long break, I’m bringing the podcast back. Fear of birth and pregnancy is a common experience for up to 85% of women, but it is not something to be ashamed of. The way I see it, there are two main types of fear when it comes to pregnancy and birth;
- Mild or Moderate Fear – this is usually due to misinformation or lack of education.
- Deep-rooted Fears – typically stemming from conflicts in personal values.
Addressing these fears is crucial not only for having a fear free childbirth but also for setting women up for success in motherhood.
In this episode, I explore the multifaceted nature of fear and how it goes beyond simple anxieties. I talk about the importance of addressing fears early on, preferably before getting pregnant, to ensure a more enjoyable and prepared pregnancy journey.
I also dive into my plans for the new season, which include expert interviews, covering new topics, and exploring the mental and emotional aspects of the journey to motherhood.
Join me in this thought-provoking episode as I delves into the importance of conquering fears and empowering women to have a fearless childbirth experience.
Here are just some of the questions i explore in this episode;
- What are the two types of fear when it comes to birth and pregnancy?
- How common is fear around birth amongst women?
- What causes mild/moderate fear around childbirth?
- Are deep rooted fears easier to overcome than mild/moderate fears?
- What are some conflicts in personal values that deep rooted fears can stem from?
- Why was the Fear Free Childbirth podcast put on hold?
- What can listeners expect from the new season of the Fear Free Childbirth podcast?
- How does addressing fears and conquering them prepare women for childbirth and motherhood?
- How can listeners support the Fear Free Childbirth podcast?
- What kinds of topics will the podcast cover in future episodes?
Resources mentioned during the episode
Here are some of the resources and materials mentioned during this episode that you can use to address your fears and anxieties related to childbirth and pregnancy:
- Fear Free Childbirth Facebook Group: Join the Fear Free Childbirth Facebook group for more support and connection. The group is full of peeps struggling with the fears, but also mamas who have come out the other end and friendly birthworkers.
- Find self-healing resources, including inner child wound healings, to facilitate personal transformation.
- Fear Clearance Starter Pack – the fear clearance scripts for the top 10 most common pregnancy and birth fears. And you can upgrade to the full collection of the top 30 fears that i see time and time again when I’m working with women helping them to overcome tokophobia.
- The Fear Free Childbirth Shop – my shop is packed with products and self-healing resources that you can use to clear your fears and anxieties. You can buy Fear Clearance audio tracks, Trauma & Wound Healing activations, Birth Affirmations and more…. Visit the shop here.
- Books: Read my book to find out how you can clear your fears for a positive birth.
- The Clearance Club – My self healing membership that you can use to clear your pregnancy and birth fears and anxieties. Access my vault of self-healing resources to tackle anxieties in all aspects of life – not just pregnancy and birth.
00:00:22 Fear Free Childbirth podcast is back after a break due to personal challenges. Alexia shares her experiences and why she decided to bring the podcast back. She also discusses the upcoming season, which will include expert interviews and new topics. The podcast aims to help women conquer their fears surrounding childbirth and motherhood.
00:10:00 Motherhood brings anxiety and fear at every level. The birth experience is a gateway to a transformative journey. Healing and self-care are important for mothers. Different tools and techniques work for different people. Self-healing resources can lead to incredible transformations.
00:16:45 Hidden wounds and judgment in motherhood journey
00:20:52 Healing journey, tokophobia, motherhood, spirituality, inspiring stories, fear and childbirth
00:25:15 Understanding fear in birth and pregnancy: Two types of fear exist. Mild or moderate fear, common due to a lack of information, can be overcome through education. Deep-rooted fears are conditioned and require subconscious change. Conflicts in values, such as freedom vs feeling trapped or independence vs. needing support, trigger anxiety
00:31:15 Single parenting and the struggle for independence
00:36:05 Fear of birth and pregnancy; healing opportunities
00:40:12 Massive fear, various types, common among women
00:44:30 Get rid of fears before childbirth and pregnancy
00:49:51 Fear-free podcasts and courses for pregnancy
You’re listening to the fear free childbirth podcast with me, Alexia Leachman. Let me help you to take the fear out of pregnancy, birth, and beyond. With a mix of real life stories and experts sharing their wisdom. I’ll also be sharing psychology insights to help you to cultivate a fearless mindset. Be inspired and be in it with fear free childbirth. And now it’s time for the show.
Hello, and welcome back to the Fear Free Childbirth podcast. My name is Alexia Leachman, and thank you so much for joining me today. So here we are. The fear free childbirth podcast is back after a long break. So I want to talk about today where I’ve been and why I’ve brought the podcast back, but also what you can look forward to on this new season of the podcast. And then I’m gonna dive into this week’s topic, which is how do we have a fear free childbirth? I thought it’d be really good to start back from the top and really just dive back into the main topic of this podcast, which is fear and birth and pregnancy. So some of the questions I’m gonna be diving into today are, well, how can we have a fear-free childbirth? And what does that look like? But also, what about fear? What is fear when it comes to birth? What are typical birth fears? And also, when is a good time to address your fears? If you’re scared of pregnancy or scared of birth, when should you look to do you know, address all of that and conquer it? Should you wait until you’re pregnant, or is it a good idea to start thinking about this well in advance? So these are some of the questions I’m gonna answer as part of today’s episode. But first, I wanna update you on where I’ve been why I stopped and why I’ve come back, and also what you can look forward to on this new season of the fear free childbirth podcast. So where have I been? Well, I think I put the podcast on hold just as COVID was hitting, and we were going into lockdown. Now for many of us, that proved to be a very difficult period for goodness knows how many reasons. I mean, the world’s changed, didn’t it? None of us saw that coming. But this happened to coincide with me and my son live in the UK and trying out living in France. So we were wrestling with living in this very small rental accommodation. Suddenly, the kids weren’t at school and I was homeschooling in French, which is a huge learning curve for me at the time. I had no office. There was no decent Internet. And suddenly, the whole family was living in this tiny house. And I had nowhere to do any work and I was wrestling with moving to a new country and dealing with something that a lot of parents were facing at the time, which is homeschooling kids, which I’m not a teacher, so this did not come easy to me. And, also, I was doing it in French. I speak French. I’m bilingual. But this was a massive, massive challenge for me. And we didn’t know anybody. We had no support. We had nobody around us that we knew because we just left the country. So in all of that, I simply could not carry on doing what I was doing at the level that I was doing it, and I just had to put everything on pause. And then the next few years were just a real drama and challenge as we were moving around the country, trying to figure out, are we gonna live in France? Are we gonna do this? Are we gonna go back to the UK? What are we doing? And it was really hard, and I hit some real moments where things were very, very difficult for me. And I was questioning a lot of my work. I was changing my direction. I was just sort of being tumbled around in trying to pursue a life dream that we’d always had as a family, which was to move to the Mediterranean and live a life that we’d always dreamed of. But let me tell you for free, pursuing your dreams is not always easy, but we stuck to it. And here I am sitting now in our new home in the south of France, living the dream that we worked so hard to get to experience. But that journey has been challenging, to say the least. But now I’ve got my feet firmly back under my desk. I have an Internet connection that I can rely on. I have a desk in an office and things are a little bit more normal. Although I dare say the world out there has changed beyond recognition from the time when I was doing this podcast regularly. And so this is part of the reason, really, that I wanna bring the podcast back is because, you know, I think when it comes to women facing pregnancy, women facing birth now, things have changed and moved on quite significantly. There are a whole new load of things that are present that are adding to the fear factor that I really wanna be part of that conversation and support women with. And so my intuition called about 6 weeks ago, 2 months ago, went, “Lex, you really need to bring that podcast back”. And I was like, what? I’ve parked it. What are you talking about? What? I’ve moved on from that. But 1 thing I’ve learned is never to ignore my intuition – at least that’s what I’ve learned over the last 3 years, is that my intuition has my best interests at heart, and I better listen to it. Because it’s when I’ve ignored it that I’ve driven myself into a ditch. And when it’s spoken to me and I’ve listened and acted on it, that, actually, it was right. It was always the right thing to do. So I’m trusting my intuition this time around. And when it told me you’re bringing back the fear for each other podcast, was like, gulp. Okay. Alright then. Let’s do this. So here I am, bringing back the c 3 child birth show. So that’s why I’m back now. So what I wanna just dive into now is what you can look forward to on this new season of the podcast. As we all have, I’ve grown as a person. I’ve had new experiences, and my perspectives have shifted on a number of things. And so things move on. Things evolve. And so that includes the way that I want to do this podcast. So I just wanna share that with you so that you can come on that journey with me. And so that you know what to expect when you think, oh, hang on. Is she is it gonna be like before? Well, yes, it is gonna be like before because There’s a lot of what I did before that was brilliant and worked so well. And I’m not saying that because I think I’m so great, but because I get all these amazing emails from listeners telling me how much the podcast has helped them. And I’m so grateful for everybody that has been emailing me over the years, letting me know how it’s helped them on their journey. And so I’m gonna double down on the stuff that I know has been working really well. You know? Things that you love, I’m gonna be doing more of that. So there’s gonna be more expert interviews, and I want to cover new topics you know, things I haven’t covered before or new angles on previously covered topics because I’m hungry for information. I’m hungry to learn new things, and I wanna bring you on that journey with me so that we can share in this together. So if there are any interesting new things that you’ve come across that can help others on this journey to motherhood, then do let me know because, you know, I’m we’re all in this together right. And so let’s share in that journey. And I think the first thing I want to say is recognition, really, that even though this show is all about helping you to take the fear out of pregnancy and birth, actually, what we do when we address our fears and conquer our fears is it doesn’t just set us up for birth. It sets us up for life as mothers, as women. And that’s 1 thing that really has well, brought many tears to my eyes, actually. When I first announced that I was bringing the podcast back, in my Facebook group for the podcast, the fear free childbirth Facebook group, do come and join the Facebook group if you’re still on Facebook. I realized that, you know, the social media landscape has changed quite a bit, and then other people are abandoning Facebook. But there is a Facebook group there for listeners, so do come and join us. But when I went back in, I said, hey. I’m thinking about bringing the podcast back. Oh my goodness. I was overwhelmed with these stories that women were sharing about how they address their fears to prepare for birth, and how doing so enable them to really pursue life beyond the birth, you know, as mothers pursuing things that were really meaningful to them that felt like calling You know, they have the confidence to leave the job and set up their own practice or their own business. They rediscovered some of that they really wanted to do, and they have the courage to do that. And so this fearlessness that we can work hard to cultivate as we help prepare ourselves for this big epic moment, which is childbirth. Let’s not pretend that that’s the only thing that we’re doing here. What we’re actually doing is getting rid of our fears for life. You know, when you conquer your fear and then you are able to have this incredible birth experience that is so empowering that just helps you to activate that inner power and confidence in yourself. That stays with you. You bring that into your life as a mother. You bring that into your life beyond birth, into motherhood. And so I want to carry on this conversation into the motherhood experience because we become mothers, and then we have another baby, you know, that this is a cycle that we go through. So, yeah, I want to expand that conversation to talk about some of the things that we do experience in others.
You know, the anxiety, doesn’t necessarily go away- we have new fears as a mother. There’s a postpartum period where you might have breastfeeding fears, and then the parenting really kicks in where you’ve gotta start disciplining your children or not, whatever your decision might be, and being judged in the playground when you’re dropping off the kids by the other mothers. You know, how you’re raising your children, all of this carries with it anxiety and fear at every level. And so this is what I wanna talk about. This is what I really want to spend time having really juicy conversations about. Really exploring the motherhood aspect that goes beyond birth. But, you know, the birth really focuses the mind, doesn’t it, when you are making that transition from someone who isn’t a mother to a mother, and that at birth moment is almost the gateway. It’s the portal that you go through. And then what’s waiting for you on the other side? This is what fascinates me. Listen to these stories of how birth is transformed women of how they’re changing their life as a result of what they learned about themselves in preparing for birth. This is what I think we can all learn from, whether or not we’ve given birth yet or not. There’s something in this for all of us to gain from. So I wanna go deeper into this mental and emotional health conversation. You know, more meaty conversations about the healing journey. You know, how do we heal from our anxieties and our fears? How do we set ourselves up for success in terms of a great birth experience, being the mother that we want to be for our children, the role model that we want to be for them, but also acknowledging the desires and the needs that we have as individuals as women so that we’re not sacrificing our sense of self, our sense of identity, that we can have it all. You know, 1 thing that I’ve done a lot since parking my birth, where I was working a lot with women outside of birth, And I’ve worked a lot with business women and business leaders and how some of those who are mothers who are wrestling, you know, young kids with being a CEO or launching our own business and having the children at home and trying to balance all of that. And where do you put the boundaries in? How do you put yourself first, when there’s somebody else that needs putting first to you? How do you not forget who you are? How do you create balance and honour your own needs throughout all of this journey because that is very important. You know? How can your kids will look to you for inspiration and as a role model. And if you’re not honouring yourself, then what are you teaching them? These are really important things that I think we need to be talking about. So how do we activate this inner power in ourselves? How do we heal in such a deeply profound way that we benefit, that our family benefits, that our kids benefit, that we’re setting you know, we’re setting up then for happiness and fulfillment so that they are able to live rich enriched lives and to be happy people and humans that can that can support life for all of us here. So this self healing journey is something that I really wanna dive more into my journey is very much about self healing. I did all of my fear clearance work myself. This is what I help my clients to do. I share my tools, my resources with them to help them to take ownership of that healing journey so that they are in control of their own mental and emotional help health because that really does put you that’s the kind of thing that activates your inner power. That’s the kind of thing that really puts you in the driving seat. So that you’re able to take full responsibility if you’re like, and for others in a really meaningful way. So, yeah, I’m gonna talk a lot more about healing, a lot more about self healing, and things that you can use to help you on this journey. I wanna talk to the professionals that help others to heal. There are some incredible modalities and approaches out there that we can be using to help us on our healing journey. So I wanna talk more about those. What works for different people? Because we all respond differently. We all have different, you know, different things work for different people. There are certain tools and techniques that work really well for some and not well on others. And so we all have our personal preferences. So it’s really about inviting that conversation with diff with from people who got different experiences so that we can learn from each other. And throughout all of this, I’ve been you know, 1 thing I’m really passionate about is the self healing journey and helping other people to really take responsibility for that. So even though I’ve not been doing my birth book, I’ve been creating loads of self healing resources, things that you can use to help you on your healing journey. That’s whether or not you’re healing your fears and anxieties around pregnancy and birth, or anything else that you’ve got going on, whether it’s any triggers or traumas, your anxiety, things that and making you feeling depressed, experiencing depression. There’s lots that I’ve got that are really there to help you on that self healing journey. So I wanna talk more about that with you, some of those things. Like, for example, I’ve created a whole range of inner child wound healings that you can just work through at your own pace. And these are really, I mean, these are really potent, and they’re well worth doing, especially if you’re struggling with things like, persistent anxiety or fear in your life. You know? Not everybody can afford to see a professional, to get them to help them with this stuff. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t undertake that level of healing and see incredible transformations in your life. I’ve got a self healing membership, and there’s 1 lady that joined the membership. And she blew my mind. She couldn’t afford to work with me. She had tokophobia and depression, and she wasn’t able to leave the house at all. She said she was curled up in the fetal position, just crying, couldn’t leave the house. And she thought that was it. She called those her dark, dark days. And within 2 months, she was able to turn her life around. She healed the depression and tokophobia all on her own using the things in my membership. I mean, it completely blew my mind.
I mean, it completely blew my mind. So I’m in the middle of tracking her down right now so that we can have a conversation about that because that’s truly inspirational because I think if more of us could be healing ourselves of these conditions that are really debilitating and holding us back, then imagine what a great place the world can be if we could all be bringing about that kind of personal transformation. So I want to really dive into these wounds that we are experiencing in these wounds, these traumas, the things that we have as women and as mothers and how they affect us on this journey.
You know, like, let me just quickly mention the judgment wound, for example, and how many of you experienced judgment. I know I was working with a lady recently who is on her tokophobia recovery journey. And she’s so worried about how other her friends would judge her for becoming pregnant because they’re not they’re not wanting that at the moment. So whether she would lose those friendship circles. And then she was talking about how she’s worried about, you know, the judgment that she might then receive be, like, judged on depending on the kind of birth that she wants, whether it’s vaginal birth or c section and how there’s so much judgment around all these various decisions that we make throughout the whole of this journey throughout pregnancy, birth. And then into adulthood, it’s fraught with judgement and these people pleasing stuff. Wanna dive into that because we don’t need to be doing that. We don’t need to be worrying about this stuff. We need to do what’s right for us and our family and our children. And that’s gonna be different for everybody. So we don’t need to be pandering to these wounds. Right? So I wanna dive into these wounds that we’re struggling with. And look at the traumas that are affecting us on this journey that we have. I mean, there we talk a lot. You know, when you listen to a lot of birth and pregnancy podcasts, You will hear a lot about birth trauma, and that’s a really obvious place to start when we talk about trauma that affects us on this journey to motherhood. But through the trauma healing that I’m doing with my clients, I’m realizing the extent to which there’s so many hidden traumas, hidden wounds that we really don’t know about that we’ve experienced. And a lot of these are micro-traumas. These are small events that you wouldn’t you won’t even remember that happened when you’re 4 or 5 and that you’ve they just could have merged into all these other experiences you had in your life that haven’t really stood out, but they gathered. They’ve sort of it’s like sand. On their own, a grain of sand is nothing. But, you know, if you fill a bag of sand, it’s pretty heavy. And it’s quite unpleasant, you know, to be carrying that kind of thing around. Very itchy in your clothes. Very unpleasant right if you get sand caught up in places. So these wounds, even though they’re tiny, they can really create quite a rub, a lot of resistance, They can be the source of phobia and fear. And a lot of these can be very unexpected in nature. I’ve got a really good episode for you coming up about the kind of traumas that can be behind tokophobia, but also body image issues, and how those interplay on the pregnancy journey. So this conversation about traumas and hidden wounds, I think, can really be helpful to understand what some of those wounds can be. That that you can start maybe peeking at, having a better understanding of, to help you to to be this serious woman who can do whatever she wants and, you know, just be empowered and be strong. And live the life that you want for yourself and your family. So yeah. So I’m gonna be diving into all of that in a lot more depth because this is stuff that really gets me going. As you can tell, I hope, I’ve touched a lot of this. I go into a lot of this on my other podcast, the Head Trash Show podcast. But I really wanna bring a lot of that to this podcast as well because I’ve noticed how much this plays out in the pregnancy, birth, and motherhood journey. That I really wanna share this with you. And I also wanna talk about the spiritual aspect of this journey to motherhood because this has been such a huge aspect for me, and I don’t think I really talked about it that before on the podcast. When I did the podcast before, it was very, very early in my own motherhood journey. My first episodes were recorded. I think my second daughter, she was breastfeeding. I was in the first 8 weeks of my newborn. You know, she was a brand new tiny little squidgy thing when I was recording my first episodes. And so I was still in the throes of getting to grips with motherhood. And I think I still am. Don’t get me wrong. I haven’t I’m not like I’ve nailed it in any way at all.
So but this healing journey, I’ve never stopped that healing journey. You know? I I it was my tokophobia that brought me to the healing table. It forced me to do my healing. And that healing that I did, I’ve not stopped. I’ve continued. And the more that I’ve healed, the more this has raised my own level of consciousness that has made me more intuitive, that has really opened up the spiritual part of me that maybe wasn’t as developed before, as opened before. And the more conversations I’m having with women who are on a similar who are on this motherhood journey. A lot of them are talking about these same experiences, and so I just wanna bring this aspect of ourselves the fall and how this spiritual aspect can really help us to support us on this journey together. So we’re gonna be diving into that as well. And finally, I’m gonna be doing lots more stories with you because I know that you love the stories. Right? So I’ve got some tokophobia recovery success stories, some tokophobia success birth stories, and I’ve got some incredible life stories forming that conquer their fears. To give birth, but not just once, but several times. And then they’re pursuing their lives calling. They really have become fearless. In every way as a result of clearing their fears for birth. And I want this to be an inspiration to you because I know that when there are some first time mothers that might be listening to this show, maybe they’re expecting their first baby and then maybe the idea of addressing fears or doing some of the healing work might not seem that doesn’t seem too appealing. Sounds like a lot of effort. Not really sure. Maybe if I just go with the flow, go you know, it’ll be alright. Women have been doing this for years. I’m gonna be fine. Well, maybe you’ll be fine, but I would definitely urge you not to go with the flow as so many of the stories that I’ve got coming will kind of say that a lot of these women went with the flow first time around. It didn’t quite work out, and that’s why they kind of really knuckle down and did the work for the second birth because they did not wanna repeat of their first birth. And so, yes, the benefits of doing this of preparing mentally and emotionally for your birth is really important, but it’s not just for the birth. It’s also for you as a person and for what lies beyond birth. And so some of the stories I’ve got to share with you are will illustrate that so you can really kind of have an understanding of the potential of the pregnancy journey how it can impact you and your life. There’s 1 story that just blows my mind. And we, I think me and Susie. Listen out for Susie’s in the view. Pretty emotional the whole time she was talking. There’s lots of sniffling and wiping of noses going on. But Susie was terrified of birth, absolutely terrified. So not only did she go on to have 2 babies herself, but she is now a surrogate. And it’s on her second surrogate baby. I mean, mind blown or what. So look out for that story, that Suzie’s story coming up on the podcast. So, yeah, lots more life stories, real stories from women that have conquered their fears that I want those stories to be a true inspiration for you as you’re facing this, the most momentous of journeys. And I also wanna be sort of touch on some of the stories, but a little bit unusual things that, you know, things that can enhance your journey to motherhood and beyond that maybe you might not have heard about. They’re a little bit more unusual, a little bit different, that could really make a difference for you because, you know, it’s not all happening in the mainstream. There’s also really interesting stuff in the side streets. Right? So let’s shine light on those side streets. So so, yeah, that’s what you can expect to hear on the podcast coming up. Now I’m gonna dive now into talking about fear and how you can expect and prepare for a fear for each childbirth.
But before I do that, I just wanna mention that I’m gonna do some shout outs at the end of the show for friends and fans of the show, so I want you to stick around for that and listen to the show to us at the end.
So I now want to answer the question, how do we have a see a free childbirth.
So I think a really good place to start is to understand the nature of fear and especially when it comes to birth and pregnancy. The way I look at this is that there are 2 types of fear. The first 1is mild or moderate fear. And a lot of these fears, I think that most women have, you know, up to 85 percent of women report experiencing fear around birth. So it’s not unusual. In fact, it’s very common And most people, if you share that you have fear, will kinda go, oh, yeah. That’s that’s usual. You know, most women do, but it’ll go away. Well, no. It doesn’t always go away. Sometimes it does go away, but some people have very strong levels of fear or deep rooted fears. So I think it’s worth understanding these different types of fear that exist when it comes to childbirth and pregnancy because they’re not I don’t think they’re typical, to be honest, I don’t think it’s the it’s what you normally find. So let’s dive into this then. So the mild or moderate fear, the 1 that I think that most women experience is really down to not being informed or maybe being misinformed. It’s basically fears of the unknown. When you think about your education and going to school and what you’ve learned about childbirth, what you’ve learned about pregnancy, it’s probably very little. In fact, the only thing that you probably have been exposed to is a really nasty video of a woman giving birth on a back screaming in pain. And that’s kinda set the level. And then that’s just been reinforced through really poor depictions of childbirth. In films and on soap operas and all of that. So you grow up believing that birth is this incredibly pain and humiliating experience. But childbirth pain is the gold standard in pain. You know? Everybody kind of compares their experience of pain to birth because it’s considered to be the most painful experience on the planet. So this is what women are facing. And this is what sets the tone for fear. Now the way that you get over these kinds of fear is simply through education and starting to become informed. And so this is how, you know, listening to podcasts like this 1 in really, really helpful because you start to educate yourself on what is actually going on on the facts And in your fears start to drop away, you start to think, oh, I know what’s going on now. I know what to expect. I don’t need to see this. So a lot of fear that people have it is really this kind of and these fears tend to be that mild or moderate level. And that once you’ve listened to loads of podcast episodes, read up on a few birth books. Suddenly, you feel a lot more comfortable with what awaits you. Now once you’ve done all that, if you’re still experiencing SEER, then you have this next type of fear that I describe as being deep rooted fears. Now these are different because they will not be able to be shifted by just reading a book or listening to a podcast because these are like like they sound, they are deep rooted. And That means it’s part of your conditioning. It’s part of your behavior patterns. It’s part of who you are. And so for you to change that part of you that there is arising from your subconscious, then that’s where you need to go to do the change work. It’s within the subconscious. So operating at a conscious level, like reading, listening, is not gonna do the shifting. It’s just not going to do the work. So, typically, this requires maybe therapeutic and conventional or using techniques that operate and create change. At a subconscious level. And, really, when I call them deep rooted fears, they’re actually, in my experience, at least conflicts in our values. And it’s the conflict that creates this rub that is the trigger for fear and anxiety. Let me just give you some examples so you know what I’m about. Right? So your desire for freedom, we live in a culture that values freedom speech and all of that. And so we expect freedom. It’s 1 of our collective values. And yet, that comes up against this feeling of being trapped by the pregnancy journey or the birth experience or motherhood and a sense of not having that freedom or choice being taken away. So there’s conflict between freedom and these feelings being tracked It’s that that creates the fear. It’s that that creates the anxiety. Then you’ve got, for example, another 1, very common independence. So, again, a collective value. So you want to be independent. You know, maybe you’ve lived your life up until now. You’ve got your you know, you’ve earned your own money. You’ve got your own stuff. You’ve got your own car, your own house. You know, you are independent. Now you’re facing a period of your life where you will be dependent on others for support. Other people are gonna need to help you through this pregnancy experience, the birth experience through motherhood, you know, to do all that stuff on your own is just a big ask. Okay? So you’ve got this conflict between your desire for independence, you value independence, and yet you will need to be dependent on others. You know, if you’re not gonna be working, then you’re gonna be dependent on your partner. To continue owning the money so that you’re able to maybe take time off work. But, also, you might you’ll need support of other people around you, you know, so that you can get some sleep so that you can function
Do you know raising kids on your own is a challenge. Okay? But there’s also the other part, which is you will now be dependent upon. You know, your children will depend on you. So where does that leave you and your desire for independence when you’ve got these stragglers that require you to be there for them. You know, you can’t go up and do what you want now, can you? Again, this is desire for freedom versus, oh my god. There are people that are relying on me now. Like, I don’t have the freedom and choice to do what I want with my life. So all of these conflicts is is what’s creating these deep rooted anxieties and fears. And we need to unpack all this and heal this conflict because that is what’s gonna heal the fear. Right? So these deep rooted fears, they don’t necessarily show up as strong fears but they’re deep rooted in the sense that they’re gonna be much more difficult to shift by just talking your way through it and rationalizing your way through it because that’s not how we heal those kind of conflicts. At least that’s not in my experience. And it can be done very quickly with the work that I do. We do this very quickly. It doesn’t need to take long. I suspect that if you have to talk your way through that and do it rationally, that that kind of change work would take a good, you know, a few weeks or months or whatever. When you’re pregnant, you just don’t have that kind of time. Right? Now so let’s sort of deep rooted fears. Let’s park those now. And then let’s talk about the strong levels of fear and phobias. Now when you’re having a strong level of fear, it’s very different to the deep rooted. Deep rooted can be strong. But it doesn’t mean, you know, you could have a strong level of fear that isn’t deep-rooted because there’s a phobic response going on.
And often, when there’s a strong level of fear or a phobic response going on, there’s a presence of trauma that is directly seeding this fear. Or the phobia that you’re experiencing. Now I dare say that we’re all experiencing trauma on whatever level that we have not healed yet, that it’s affecting us in lots of ways on this journey. And I’m gonna be touching a lot more on this in of the episodes. But I’m specifically talking to the traumas that have directly impacted how you feel about pregnancy, birth, and motherhood. Those specific trauma. So we’re talking traumas around birth experiences, And that might also be your own birth experience that you probably have no conscious recollection of miscarriage experiences, And anything that you’ve had that’s been sexual in nature that is in the pelvic area, maybe you’ve had a something for a procedure in a hospital environment that didn’t go brilliantly that has left you feeling very vulnerable. So anything like that could be directly impacting how you feel about birth and pregnancy. That’s the kind of stuff that is gonna be feeding the strong fears and potentially making it a phobic response for you.
And so, you know, when you have a phobic response for What what does a phobic response look like compared to maybe just sort of strong levels of fear? You know, when you have a phobic response, it’s more There’s strong avoidance going on. It can feel you know, you’re desperately trying not to get pregnant. You don’t want to be yeah. You don’t want it, but there’s a party that also wants it. You know, there’s this little conflict between wanting to be pregnant. Wanting to have a baby between not wanting to get because there’s this deep rooted, strong phobic fear that’s going on around this idea of pregnancy in birth. And so when it comes to conquering your fears and, you know, if you wanna have that fear free trial, but how do you deal with all of Well, an important first step is really to understand what’s going on for you. You need to kind of break down the fear strip it back into all its constituent parts so that you have an understanding of what those individual fears, anxieties, and conflicts are, for you. Now for those of you that aren’t familiar with my work, I’ve developed a process, fear clearance method, that I used to get over my tokophobia. And this is the process that I go through, and I share the process. I show you how to do it in both of my books. Fear birthing, and clear your head trash.
So you can go to both of those websites, do your search for both of those on Amazon, and you will find the books and the process inside. And you can start doing this right away. It’s a DIY process. But, essentially, the way that I go through this is I break the fear down into the constituent parts.
Because when you talk about a fear of birth or a fear of pregnancy, it’s not you know, you can’t just say, oh, well, I’m just gonna clear my it’s a fear of birth and it’s a fear of pregnancy. No. It’s so many more things than that. It’s lots of things that are underlying that are contributing to birth and pregnancy feeling, like this challenge for you. So it’s important to really strip back and to break down all of that into these individual conflict So, for example, you know, it might be that you need to work on your conflict between freedom and feeling trapped or independence and being dependent. That’s the kind of thing that I’m talking about because it’s that that is creating the fear as women. We have this life moment, this transitionary event that is forcing us to confront our fears. You know, guys don’t have to go through this. They can kind of never ever confront their fears and their conflict because they don’t have to face this kind of event. And so we’re lucky in that respect. You know, there are some women that feel that pregnancy and birth is is a burden for us to bear. And that may be the case because it’s not always an easy process to live through. But my goodness, it comes packed with opportunity for healing and to find yourself and define yourself and to empower yourself. And it’s rich for all of that. And so when depending what you’re facing as part of your pregnancy journey, your birth journey, contemplating parenthood. You know, for the stage where you think you might want to start planning for a family, but now you’re getting all of it panicky over it. Well, these feelings that you’re being presented with are gifts. There are opportunities for you to dig, to understand why you’re feeling that way. And to heal it. Once you heal it, you can overcome all this and crack on with doing the thing that you wanna do, which might be to have a super huge, large, lovely family. Right? Then you’re in a position of choice. When we’re tokophobic, when we have strong levels of fear, That choice isn’t there because we make our choices to avoid the thing that we fear. So many women with strong levels of fear will avoid thinking about it, avoid sex, avoid just avoid looking at pictures, avoid conversations about pregnancy, but there’ll be a total avoidant. And if they end up getting pregnant, then they’re gonna avoid the potential for vaginal birth because that could be too terrifying for them. So they’re gonna take themselves down the c section route. C sections, I have no preference or judgment on either. We choose the birth that’s right for us. But many women do choose c sections because they’re fearful of what the child birth entails. And so c section represents more certainty for that because they can pick a date. They think, well, it’s gonna hurt, but at least I’m not I I can I can know what to expect with the c section? I’m kinda it’s a known quantity. Whereas the date of birth is this huge unknown. I mean, it might be really quick. It might be really fast. It might be really slow. It might be it might not hurt at all, but it might be really awful. And then end up in a sea section anyway, You know, there’s this huge range of unknown around of a child birth that the c section doesn’t quite have.
And so those that fear change, those that fear the unknown will often choose the c section because that feels more comfortable for them. So when you’re looking at how you feel about birth and how you feel about pregnancy, it’s really encouraging you to start thinking about what those individual things are, you know, so that you can break it down. When I work with my clients to you know, I’ve been working there with women to help them overcome over 8 years. So I’m very familiar with what these fears are, and it’s almost predictable what those fears are going to be, what the things that we need to work on together, what we need to clear using the process I’ve developed, Head Trash Clearance, that it’s predictable.
And I’m gonna share us what some of those things are with you because, you know, you might think, oh, well, what are they? Tell me, Lex. Tell me. I wanna clear this stuff. Well, sure. I’ll tell you. Losing control, huge. A fear of losing control or not being in control, that’s a massive level of fear. This feeds into all sorts of things that show up for people. There’s fear of being trapped, which I mentioned already, the loss of freedom, loss of choice, fear of change, which I’ve touched on already. And that’s not just I mean, change is a big big thing. I could do a whole podcast on change alone, but we’re talking life changes. We’re talking relationship changes. We’re talking body changes. And these body changes, sometimes they’re tied into body image issues. I’ve got a whole episode on that coming up as well because That can be a very big deal for those that are wrestling with body image issues. Fear of death which is very close to the kind of fear of complications and things going wrong. Then there’s medical fears in there as well, you know, injections and medical procedures and hotter environments, all of those carry different levels of fear as well. So these are just some of the fears that I see time and time again. And what’s really interesting actually is that most of the fears that we work on aren’t necessarily birth related. So you might go, well, what do I mean by that? So, for example, 1 common fear that a lot of women have is fear of tearing. Well, when we kind of break it down and clear all the conflicts and the anxieties, then the fear of tearing kind of falls away. That’s not really a thing because, actually, it’s symptomatic of a conflict that’s going on. So most of the fears that are really contributing to how you might be feeling about pregnancy and childbirth are human fears. They’re gonna be fears that everybody all humans experience, you know, fear of change, not being in control, fear of loss of freedom. These are things that everyone wrestles with. But as you’re facing this journey, you’re being forced to confront it, and that’s the bit that’s causing the problems potentially if you’re experiencing high levels of fear. So I would encourage you to simply to start jotting some of these things down and compiling your own CLEAR clearance list. This is exactly the process I go through with my clients. So when we start working together, they fill out this form, but I kind of ask loads of questions because I’m super nosy, but it’s really helpful because it helps me to break this down for them. And then I come up with our own fear clearance list. And this list typically ranges from, I don’t know, 10 or 15, if you’ve got, like, a low level, moderate levels of fear, up to 40 items on the list. So women with tokophobia typically have 30, 40, 50 items. If they’ve got anxiety, If you know, resting with anxiety as well, it could hit 50-60 items which you think a wow, Lex. That sounds like a lot. Well, yes, it is. But phobia is, as anxiety is big, meaty mental health conditions. You know? And then there’s lots of things that contribute to them being a thing. So we muck it all out. We create lists, and then my clients, they just work through and clear them 1 by 1. Now if you want to do this, I’ve made this super easy for you, and I went through recently, I went through all of my client notes, and I identified all the common things that women who have tokophobia or strong levels of fear around childbirth. I wrote down the definitive list. Right? This list has got 30 items on it. And I would say, If you’re struggling with strong levels of fear and birth, that your stuff’s gonna be on this list. This list would probably cater to for about 80 percent of women, I think. Because the other 20 percent is all very unique. It’s gonna be down to if we have had traumatic experiences or what our own life experience has been. So it’s not a list that is gonna be getting a hundred percent results with everybody, but it’s gonna, you know, help you move the needle in a massive way.
And you can now buy this list of me with all the fear clearance scripts, and you can just crack on on your own. You don’t need to read my book. You don’t have to learn my method. You just have to be able to read English. If you can read English, and you want to clear your fears, and you wanna work through a to do list. That to-do list is available for you to go on the website. So just go to the Fear Free Childbirth shop and just look for the Pregnancy and Birth Fear Clearance pack. There are 2 types. It’s the top 10 pack and the top 30 pack. And the top 30 pack is for those people with lots of fears, and the top 10 pack is for those with mild fears. So that would be a really good place you’d start. And a lot of the things I’ve talked about here are included in those packs. You can really you can start right now and clearing some of your fears because that is what’s required to get rid of your fear of childbirth and pregnancy.
And, actually, a lot of these fears. You know? And I talk about the fear of losing control. Well, that is not that’s not just a birth fear. That is a human fear, as I mentioned. And so when you’re a parent, and your kids are like, there’s chaos in the house, and nothing is where it should be. They’ve just emptied the LEGO box all over the floor. Dinner is late because you’ve burned everything because you were too busy getting distracted by something else. The dog has just knocked over the plant or whatever. You know, suddenly, you’ve lost total control in the house, and it’s a total mess. And you’re trapped there because nobody’s around to help you. Your other half’s gonna be late home because they’re stuck in traffic. And so all of your triggers are suddenly being pushed on all sides. If you heal that before baby has arrived, then that kind of situation, you’ll be able to handle much more easily. Whereas if you’ve got that stuff going on, into parenthood, then the parenting journey could be a lot more dicey and a lot more challenging for you. So doing this kind of healing work before babies arrive is highly recommended. So I would and this takes me to my next question which is, you know, a lot of you say, if I’ve got fears of birth or pregnancy, when should I address my fears? Should I do it before I get pregnant, or should I can I just leave it to pregnancy? I would recommend that if you have any anxieties or any fears whatsoever to address those as soon as possible. Like, why wait? Why sit with fear? Why sit with high levels of anxiety? Because it’s getting in the way of you enjoying life. And so my position will always be if you’ve if you’ve identified something that is making you feel unhappy or uncomfortable or fearful, get rid of it as soon as possible. Why why hold on to that? You’re worth it. You’re worth having a life that is enjoyable where you’re happy. So for me, the idea of carrying around our anxieties and our fears longer than we need to feels really odd to me. Like, the minute I identify a fear or an anxiety, I’m like, right. Gotta get rid of that. That’s gotta go. That’s getting in the way of me being happy and an awesome person. And for myself, my family, for, you know, for my life, that I’m not gonna let this get in my way. So I just wanna get rid of it. So I would always encourage you that if you are aware of fears and anxieties around this journey that you’re facing, the journey that you want to embark on, to address that sooner rather than later. And another reason why I think you should do that is because sometimes it might take you longer than you think. But also when you’re pregnant, you’re on a timeline. You know, there’s a due date arriving, and, yes, due dates are very flexible. It’s a due month. But, nevertheless, it’s heading your way. And it might be earlier than you think if you have a baby that wants to turn up early. So you have pressure that might get in the way of you being able to really kind of immerse yourself in that kind of change work that’s needed. So this is another reason why I think you should just get all this stuff done why you’ve got the time and the space in your life to think about this stuff so that when you get pregnant, you’re able to enjoy it from the get go. That if new fears have come to you while you’re pregnant, then you can work on those and you know what you’re doing. You’re familiar with the tools. You found out the things that can help you’ve got the tools and resources available to you. You’re not struggling around last minute going, oh my god. I’ve got 6 weeks till the due date, and I still feeling and I haven’t done my yoga, and I haven’t and you’re in this panic zone, which is not good for you. It’s not good for the baby. Give yourself the time to do what’s gonna help you enormously to prepare through the pregnancy journey, but also for the birth. Journey. So I’m gonna wrap up there because I think that’s enough for today. So I promised I was gonna do some shout outs with you before the end of the show So shout outs are I really wanna give a big shout out to all the people that are still listening to the show even though I’ve been on a pause for so long. I’m talking to you, Susie. I’m talking to you, Jennifer. Also, I want to give a shout out to Mandy Rees for buying me and my team a coffee. So, yes, you can now support the podcast and invite me and my team a drink If you want, you can just go to support the show page. Head over to fear free childbirth dot com forward slash support the show. And you can buy us a drink. You can buy us a monthly drink. At the moment, the people on my team, I’ve got Emma, I’ve got Eds, I’ve got Shayaan, I’ve got Mariano, and we come together to help make this podcast possible. So, you know, if you wanna show support for the show, then, you can head over to the support of the show page. Buy us a drink, and it will be very much appreciated.
And you are guaranteed a shout out in future episodes. Thank you to those that are following you know, following my work and continue to listen to the podcast, and I really wanna bring more brilliant shows for you, more brilliant interviews, more brilliant stories to inspire you and empower you on this journey through pregnancy, birth, motherhood, and beyond. Thank you so much for joining me today, and I will see you next time here at the Feel Free Childbirth Show. Bye for now.
You’ve been listening to the Feel Free Childbirth podcast with me, Alexia Leachman. Fear free childbirth is the online destination for women seeking to take the fear out of pregnancy, birth, and beyond. Fear clearance meditations, self healing products, and courses, professional training, and specialist programs for overcoming tokophobia And if you’ve enjoyed this episode, then check out the fear free childbirth membership. It’s a bit like Netflix where you can binge on a boatload more, fear free childbirth, content to inspire you on the journey to motherhood and beyond. More interviews, more birth stories, more expert wisdom. Visit Feel Free Childbirth dot com to find out more.