Being afraid of labor is completely normal and something that you should never feel ashamed about. That's right, the act of giving birth can be extremely terrifying, especially for those who have never done it before.
For most women, it is the pain that scares them the most. For some women, it is the mental challenge that frightens them, rather than the physical pain. However, it is important to remember that women have been having babies perfectly well for centuries and that a woman's body can just about deal with anything. But don't worry, your fears are valid and we're here to help. Here are 10 normal fears about giving birth and the realities behind them.
There are so many scary things to think about when giving birth, with some rather small and some extremely terrifying. One of the most common fears when having a child is the idea of tearing. In reality, tearing is not severe in the vast majority of cases and is actually not as common as some may fear.
Unfortunately, tearing does happen, with around 26% of women suffering from perineal tears that will likely need stitching and around 23% experiencing mild tears. However, just 2% of women suffer from extreme perineal tearing during birth, with some of that extended towards the anus. But don't worry, you are so busy focused on everything else, that most women don't even realize until after they have given birth if it happens at all.
For some reason, according to a number of women, pooping on the delivery table is one of the scariest things that can happen during birth. Yes, despite all the other things that may occupy your mind, most expecting mothers are absolutely terrified of doing a number two right there for everyone to see.
Unfortunately, pooping is pretty common, especially during the second stage of labor when the cervix is completely wide open. However, just remember that doctors and nurses see this stuff all the time, and you are no different from anybody else. Any evidence will be removed so quickly you'll likely never even know.
8 Long Labor
The idea of a long labor can be pretty daunting for an expecting mother, especially those who are experiencing childbirth for the first time. However, another fear can be that the baby just won't move at all, leading to an induction.
Yes, although most labors do begin naturally, some do tend to stay inside with doctors then suggesting a sweep in order to move things along. If this doesn't work, then doctors will try to persuade you to have an induction, which can be a little frightening for those who are expecting.
Nevertheless, it is important to remember that when the baby goes over 42 weeks it can be dangerous for both you and your unborn child, thus a medically recommended induction is most certainly the safest thing to do.
7 Too Late For An Epidural
The whole epidural debacle is something that has been discussed numerous times among specialists, mothers, and anybody interested in the wonders of childbirth. For many, the famed numbing needle can be a blessing. However, for others, it is the devil in disguise.
Whatever your thoughts may be, an epidural can really help those suffering from long labors and extreme pain. Sadly, there is a small window in which the medication can be administered, leaving expecting mothers to panic when they realize that it might be too late.
If it is too late, just remember that there are a whole host of other painkillers to use as well as meditation and mindfulness techniques that can also help.
It's natural to fear complications, especially if you are a first-time mother. In fact, in all honesty, most births undergo minor complications, with things such as tearings, the use of forceps, and c-sections all being more common than you may think.
Yes, despite what you might think, stress-free natural births where everything goes exactly to plan are a rarity, so it's not a bad thing to expect things to deviate from your plan.
However, such complications are usually very small, with doctors and nurses trained at the highest capacity to deal with just about anything. And, if something bad does happen, then remember that you are in the best place with the best people to help you.
5 Not Getting To The Hospital
One of the most common reoccurring dreams when pregnant is that of not reaching the hospital in time and giving birth in a taxi, car, or at home.
Sadly, the fear of not getting to the hospital in time can really mess with your anxiety, and is something that you don't want, especially when you are also worried about the actual act of giving birth and the pain that you might experience.
One good thing to remember is that the average time of labor is around eight hours, therefore it is likely that you will most definitely reach the hospital in time. And if you don't? Call the emergency services as soon as you are able to and follow their advice.
For some reason, several women are determined not to have a c-section, with some women regarding it as a failure of birth and others seemingly scared of the knife. However, whether it is in your birth plan or not, you should always accept the fact that having a c-section is a possibility.
Yes, it might be scary and yes it might not be exactly how you pictured giving birth, but look at it this way, there are no right ways to give birth.
Love them or hate them, c-sections are there for a reason, and in most cases, they really do save lives, both mothers, and babies.
3 Mentally Not Strong Enough
For most mothers, the pain is usually the scariest thing that they have to face. However, some women often worry that mentally they might also just not up to the job. Yes, giving birth not only requires the body to undergo a huge amount of physical pain but it also puts the brain through a whole host of mental anguish.
If you are worried, try to acknowledge your anxiety and validate it. There is nothing worse than feeling as if you are alone or that your fears are not real. Furthermore, try to practice some relaxation techniques. Things such as meditation and mindfulness can really help prepare your mind for what is about to come.
2 The Pain
It is no secret that childbirth is painful. In fact, childbirth is often said to be one of the most painful things that a human body can experience. Therefore, it is completely normal to get scared, panicked and worried about your upcoming labor.
Thankfully, due to modern medicine, there are a number of things that can help relieve the pain when giving birth, plus there are also several herbal and non-medicinal practices to use.
The worst thing you can do is ask other people about their birth, especially when they start telling you horror stories. Remember, every birth is unique and completely different.
1 Thinking The Absolute Worst
It is extremely natural to have dark thoughts when pregnant and especially when giving birth. Firstly, don't beat yourself up about it, just remember that your thoughts are completely normal as well as common. Secondly, don't compare yourself to anybody else and definitely don't read any birthing horror stories.
Just because something happened to someone else, doesn't mean that it is going to happen to you. Finally, make sure you are around people that care about you and are happy to let you talk about your worries. Letting out your dark thoughts are good for the brain and can help you rationalize each problem. If they are very severe and frequent please seek help from a medical professional.