Unresolved emotional issues can contribute to anxiousness during pregnancy and complications during labor. Users of Emotional Freedom Technique, known most commonly as EFT, already know what a wonderful tool it is for neutralizing negative emotions and fears. EFT’s ability to alleviate physical discomfort while simultaneously relieving frustration, and promoting healthy relaxation, makes it a wonderful tool to use during pregnancy and in preparation for birth.
Using EFT To Address Labor Fears
If you are pregnant and feeling apprehensive about labor – simply address your feelings while tapping. To use EFT to address the anxiousness you feel when you think about going into labor, repeat the following while you tap on the Karate Chop Point: “Even though I am afraid of going into labor, I completely and deeply love and accept myself.” To help you focus while you tap on the rest of the points repeat a shortened version of that same phrase, something like “This fear of going into labor.”
Getting Good Results
Typically, EFT works best when we can be as specific as possible, whenever possible. To increase our chances of getting great results when using EFT to help release a common issue, like the fear of going into labor, it is important that we tap on only one specific issue at a time. It is also important to continuously re-focus your thoughts during the natural reflection points in between rounds of EFT tapping. It can be helpful to use the following four 4 techniques when identifying your issue, and deciding exactly what to tap on:
1) Becoming Aware of Your Body
2) Addressing Specific Events
3) Address Specific Aspects
4) Inner Imagery
When we are working with a large or global issue, like “fear of going into labor” for example, we may be trying to focus on too many feelings at once and EFT may not have any noticeable effect. To tackle such a global issue it is very important to focus in on specific parts of the issue. It is usually very useful to use all four of the following ways of “Getting Specific” as you work through any complicated issue.
Getting Specific with EFT
1. Becoming Aware of Your Body
Where do you feel the feeling in your body. What is it like physically? How do you experience this emotion in your body? For instance:
“Even though I feel the fear like a void in my chest… “
“Even though my throat feels constricted because everyone is always criticizing me… “
“Even though I feel this awful nervousness in the pit of my stomach… “
Many times, after tapping you will feel changes in the way the body is holding the emotion.
The sensations may decrease, change in quality, or even move to a different place in or on your body. When emotional energy moves around the body, this is known as “chasing the pain,” and this is a sign that you are on the right track.
2. Specific Events
Break your issue down by focusing in on specific events in your life that made you feel the same way earlier in your life, either recently or in when you were younger. What you believe about labor, birthing and your body’s ability, is based on specific old events, conversations, t.v. shows, etc… As you use EFT to address these specific events and memories as they rise up during tapping, your beliefs about yourself and your expectations of the birth process begin to shift. When addressing specific events with EFT you may say things like:
“Even though my mother told me that giving birth to me was the most terrible thing she ever endured… “
“Even though the woman in labor on the TV show died while giving birth… “
“Even though my doctor told me giving birth naturally would be impossible… “
As you deal with specific events, you will probably start to feel the emotions of those times. By thoroughly tapping for all the details of the memories that feel upsetting, you will effectively erase the discomfort that comes with the larger issue you initially chose to work on. Working with specific events is highly recommended and often gets the most noticeable results. Address each detail of your specific memory with as many rounds of tapping as needed – until your emotional intensity is a 1 or 0. Address each of your feelings, and each of the limiting beliefs you took on, with its very own series of tapping rounds.
3. Address Specific “Aspects”
Every issue we work on has many parts, many details, and many possible triggers for the uncomfortable emotion that we are feeling. Recognizing aspects and tapping very specifically for different aspects is another skill required for effective EFT. For instance, if you are afraid of going into labor, you may have many aspects of that issue to tap on:
– Anticipating the pain of your contractions
– Panicking at the thought of your baby “getting stuck”
– The fear that something unexpected may happen to you or your baby
You can continue to uncover aspects with the question, “What bothers me the most about going into labor when I think about now?” Eventually, there will not be much that bothers you and the fear will be gone, unless there are core issues around which “fear of going into labor” might just be the tip of the iceberg. Many issues carry a complicated mix of emotions. Let’s say you have tapped for your hurt in a certain situation. The hurt has subsided, but now you feel angry. As hidden layers of emotion emerge, these are more aspects of the issue and must be handled separately. Looking for different aspects and then specifically targeting these aspects with tapping will go a long way towards achieving lasting results.
4. Inner Imagery
Use an image to give your feeling more detail. If you are good at visualizing, imagine what the energy of the fear looks like, or feels like for you, and tap on the details of that image. Imagery is another way to listen to our feelings. As we tap, images often begin to change as our energy shifts. After tapping, ask yourself has the image changed in any way? How does it feel now? For example:
“Even though this anger is like a big, red ball in the pit of my stomach… “
“Even though this fear is choking me like a snake wrapped around me tightly…
“Even though I feel the sadness like a wave drowning me… “
Change Your Expectations, Change Your Birth Experience
Sit reflectively for a moment after each round of tapping and see what comes to mind. Clues about core issues or events can come up spontaneously as you work on an issue. Just follow your feelings and keep tapping until you feel your emotions becoming less intense.
Using EFT on a daily basis can help you accept yourself as you change and grow in preparation for birth without feeling fear, guilt, anger, resentment or panic. Changing your expectations and your beliefs by letting go of fear and tensions will allow you to birth comfortably. If in doubt contact a qualified professional.