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Addressing Common Labor Fears with Emotional Freedom Technique

Posted on January 23rd, 2013 by | 2 views
by Monika Benoit

If you're nervous about giving birth - you're not alone! Most pregnant women, especially first-time mothers, worry about what their labors will be like. If your due date is approaching and you're feeling increasingly irritable, agitated, nervous or anxious - you may want to consider trying an acupressure-inspired method known as Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) to help you neutralize your labor fears, relieve frustration and promote healthy relaxation during pregnancy.EFT is relatively simple to learn, easy to practice, and safe to use during every stage of pregnancy. The process involves using the fingertips to tap lightly on body parts that correspond to pressure points on the face, torso and hands. Words and phrases that help you stay focused on specific aspects of your problem are repeated as the tapping is done. Basically, the idea is that stimulating pressure points with the fingertips sends kinetic energy down into the body's energy system, effectively balancing the body's energy; this gently neutralizes negative emotionsThe most important step of EFT is identifying one very specific concern, emotion or issue to work on. Once the symptom, fear or issue is identified clearly, it needs to be broken down into a 2-5 word phrase. This phrase is then inserted it into the following sentence and is stated three times while the first pressure point is stimulated: "Even though I have this (problem, issue or emotion), I deeply and completely love & accept myself."As the remainder of the pressure points are tapped, a shortened version of this phrase is repeated:

"This (problem, issue or emotion)."

Before doing EFT for the first time, it is important to first familiarize oneself with the pressure points that will be used during the process. These points are to be tapped repeatedly, using two hands on the points which have two sides (such as the sides of your eyes) and one hand on single points (such as under your nose). The following points are the most commonly used in

  1. The middle of the outside edge of your hand (known as the "karate chop point")
  2. The top of the head
  3. At the beginning of the eyebrow
  4. Near the outside of the side of your eye, near the temple
  5. Right underneath the eye where the eye socket begins
  6. Directly under the nose
  7. The center of the chin
  8. Your knobby part of the beginning of the collarbone
  9. About four finger lengths down from the armpit

If a pregnant woman wanted to use EFT to address a common fear, like thinking she wouldn't be able to handle the pain of labor, she would repeat the following while she tapped on the karate chop point, "Even though I'm afraid that I won't be able to handle the pain of labor, I completely and deeply love and accept myself."

Here are some examples that have helped other women overcome common labor fears. The following sample phrases are meant to inspire you to identify and address your own issues. Remember, you simply choose a specific problem to work on, use of one of the following phrases to formulate your own EFT phrase to repeat as you tap your karate chop point, focus on the problem at hand as you tap the remainder of the pressure points and repeat until you no longer feel emotionally intense about the issue at hand.


1. I won't be able to handle the pain.

"Even though I know labor will be painful..."

"Even though everyone I know has had a painful labor..."

"Even though my first labor was painful..."

"Even though its normal to have pain during labor..."

"Even though I know I will end up getting an epidural..."

"Even though I am convinced that pain and discomfort are supposed to be part of labor..."


2. I'll need an episiotomy, I'll tear, or have a bowel movement during labor.

"Even though I am afraid of getting an episiotomy..."

"Even though I am afraid of tearing during delivery..."

"Even though I am afraid of stitches..."

"Even though the thought of massaging my perineum is embarrassing..."

"Even though I am afraid I might poop while giving birth..."

"Even though I am embarrassed by the very idea of it...."


3. I'll be steamrolled into unnecessary medical interventions.

"Even though I'm afraid my doctor won't listen to me.."

"Even though I don't 100% trust my doctor..."

"Even though I haven't written a birth plan yet..."

"Even though I am afraid that my doctor won't adhere to my birth plan...."

"Even though I'm afraid of offending my doctor by demanding what I want..."

"Even though I don't feel like I have the support I need to go through this..."


4. I'll have to have a c-section.

"Even though I'm afraid I'll end up having a c-section..."

"Even though a c-section would be disappointing...."

"Even though I'll feel cheated if I don't get to experience birth the way I expect it...

"Even though I might not get to have my ideal birth..."

"Even though the possibility that it won't go the way I planned terrifies me..."

"Even though the birth of my first child was a c-section, and I feel like it wasn't really necessary..."

"Even though I feel like less of a woman because I needed a c-section the first time..."


5. I won't make it to the hospital on time.

"Even though I' m afraid that I won't make it to the hospital in time..."

"Even though I'm afraid I'll have the baby in the car..."

"Even though I keep thinking we might have to call an ambulance..."

"Even though I am afraid something might go wrong..."


These phrases represent different aspects of various issues. Don't feel obligated to use the exact wording used in the phrases - these are just some samples to get you started. They may or may not accurately describe your personal underlying issues. You may find it useful to try out multiple phrases before deciding on which ones to use as you do your tapping.

EFT is not a magic cure-all, but EFT can almost always help resolve the underlying emotional issues that may be causing your emotional ups and downs, and can, more often than not, take the edge off of your labor fears - allowing you to enjoy the birth of your child.


Note: The EFT method described here is a shortcut version that is popular among the majority of EFT Practitioners world-wide. For better results you may want to learn the original complete EFT Basic Recipe as taught by EFT founder Gary Craig. To learn more about EFT and how to use it, download a copy of the new e-book "EFT for Pregnancy and Birth" for free:

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