Worry is the Work of Pregnancy

worry is the work of pregnancy

The reduction or even elimination of WORRY is often a main goal of expecting parents, and of the professionals who work with them. The positive intention behind this approach is obvious…but perhaps we ought to examine it a bit more closely. One of Pam England‘s important insights is that “Worry is the work of pregnancy.” In other words, worries, anxieties, and fears are normal parts of preparation to face the unknown. Paying attention to these feelings, rather than suppressing or ignoring them, can help expecting parents build the strength and coping power required by the initiations of birth and early parenthood. Here are Pam’s classic words on the topic…   

Many new mothers are surprised that they didn’t feel prepared for birth; they express deep regret that they didn’t acknowledge or listen to inner doubt or fear during pregnancy, instead brushing it away with positivity, denial, or obsessive information-gathering. Yet worry is part and parcel of experiencing a Rite of Passage; facing the unknown naturally elicits a bit of fear.

Worry is a kind of curiosity, wondering about what might happen and how you can respond. Use your imagination and creativity to awaken hidden sources of courage and power within you; worry can help you to become stronger.

A Birth Warrior worries effectively: acknowledge that the thing you worry about (perhaps secretly) could happen. Then imagine: if it did happen, what is one small thing you could do to help yourself get through it? In the long run, doing that one small thing may serve you better than doing nothing, hoping it won’t happen, or expecting that someone else will save you or fix it.

– originally published in 2015

About Pam England

Pam lives, writes, and paints in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She is the author of Birthing From Within, The Labyrinth of Birth, and Ancient Map for Modern Birth (link to purchase). She is currently working on her next book, Birth Story Medicine. She also hosts workshops and speaks at conferences on topics such as preventing and healing birth trauma, cesarean birth, storytelling, visualizations, hypnosis and many other aspects of mentoring parents during the many life transitions they experience in the childbearing year.

1 Comment

  1. 4 Common VBAC Prep Mistakes • Bearfoot Mama on September 3, 2020 at 10:05 pm

    […] I know we just talked about all the things you need to be doing, but another thing that is super important for birth is trust and relaxation. After all you can do, your efforts are only 90% of the equation. At least 10% is on God/fate/the universe. To prepare for the unexpected, we need to let go and learn to trust the team we’ve built and let go of perfection. […]

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.