• Sarah Maria

The ability to believe in your actions

Updated: Sep 13, 2020

Self-efficacy, self-confidence, and trust in nature

As a midwife, I always encourage women to trust in their bodies and their natural gut feelings, as you may have figured out by watching my other videos. Not because I like to see women suffer during labour, which I have to endure a lot day by day.

Midwives are aaaaalways accused of smiling as soon as labouring ladies start to have strong contractions, might seem like we are a bit sadistic. WE ARE NOT

We just truly believe, that nature knows exactly how things need to be done and that we should only intervene with our powerful mother nature to save lives when necessary and help to make the pain bearable - of course, we can be so thankful to have these cesarean sections and obstetric interventions.

But what do health professionals mean by “trust in nature and your body” blabla?

We, as midwives or doulas, speak a lot about self-efficacy. I can see your face now: self-efficacy, what the heck is she talking about? Some crazy psycho deal?

It is actually quite simple:

Like Birgitta Salomonsson and her colleagues, famous researcher in this field, explain in their study about set topic and childbirth that it is:

“the individual’s confidence in her own capability to cope with a specific situation”

The authors explain that self-efficacy has two different components:

  • First outcome expectancy, which is the belief in a certain behaviour being helpful in a specific situation.

  • Second: efficacy expectancy, the belief in one’s ability to perform a certain behaviour being helpful in a specific situation.

These two are not at all always concomitant. You can, for example, know that behaviour, let’s say stop smoking in pregnancy is healthier, but at the same time can be unsure about your ability to stop smoking. In addition, someone with high self-efficacy visualizes success, while those with low self-efficacy visualize failure and focus on things that can go wrong.

I see you are asking yourself, what this self-efficacy has to do with birth?

Self-efficacy has been identified as a factor that influences satisfaction with childbirth.

If you want to know more about self-efficacy sources and what you can do to strengthen in for labour, go subscribe to my newsletter and stay up to date with my posts!

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it’s not pain, but power!

Your midwife Sarah

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash


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