Whether you are about to have your first baby or your fifth baby, you most likely have some fears about what will go on during labor and delivery. This is completely normal and to be expected. If you take a look at the most common fears women have, they all have one thing in common: fear of the unknown.
Some of the most common fears I hear women speak of are: being sent home from the hospital due to false labor, pain, health of the baby, epidural not working, emergency C-section, going to the bathroom during a vaginal birth, and doctors or midwives not sticking to a desired birth plan.
The thing about labor and delivery is that you can only plan but so much. No two labors are exactly alike and doctors cannot tell you with complete certainty what will happen once you go into labor. This leaves expectant moms with a feeling of helplessness, and for some, fear. While we cannot control what will happen with our bodies once we go into labor, we can control our thought processes and our breath.
I highly recommend taking classes for whatever method of birth you would like to follow. The more prepared you are and the more knowledgeable you are about the birthing process the less surprised you will be if things do not go as planned.
In addition to taking classes, I recommend spending some time focusing on how you’re feeling and thinking about labor and delivery. It doesn’t matter how silly or crazy you feel your fears are, they are still YOUR feelings and if pushed to the side, they are only going to explode come delivery day.
Here are some tips on how get your mind healthy for labor and delivery:
• Make a list of all of your fears and bring them to your next appointment. Just by talking to your doctor you may be able to check a few of them off your list.
• Share your fears with your spouse or birth partner. The person with you can be a huge help to your mental health during delivery, but only if they know how to help you. They need to know your specific fears, and in what ways you want them to help you.