Common Childbirth Fears and Tips to Cope With Them

Common Childbirth Fears and Tips to Cope with Them

It may seem like yesterday when you and partner were celebrating the news of your pregnancy! As time flies and you get closer to your due date, numerous feelings will cloud over you – excitement, pregnancy jitters and most of all, nervousness. It is fairly normal to be grappled with such feelings. However, sometimes fear may engulf you and make you overwhelmed. If you acquaint yourself with the reality of these fears, however, it may help in keeping the stress and anxiety at bay. This article talks about common labour and childbirth-related fears and how to cope with them.

What is Childbirth Phobia?

It is extremely normal for any would-be mommy to be surrounded by fears and worries. However, in some women, these feelings may become a tad bit stronger, resulting in a condition called childbirth phobia or tokophobia. This phobia is further classified into primary and secondary tokophobia. If you are dealing with this condition, your doctor may recommend treatment for tokophobia, an option best suited for your condition. However, if you embrace these fears and understand the reasons behind them, you might be able to deal with them in a better way.

10 Big Fears of Labour and Childbirth

It would not be wrong to say that every woman comes across various kinds of fears of labour and delivery during her pregnancy journey. However, the good news is that there are ways to tackle these fears and get over them. If you want to know how to overcome the fear of labour pain, well, here are some common fears and also effective ways of dealing with them:

1. “I wouldn’t be able to handle the pain.”

One of the most common fears in childbirth is the pain associated with it. All thanks to the scary stories from friends or relatives, most women fear physical pain.

Inability to Handle the Pain

How to Deal With It

There is no doubt that labour pain is unique and cannot compare to any other pain. However, the best part about labour pain is, it is not constant and the contractions come and go at different intervals. Also, if you manage the contractions according to your breathing pattern, it may help you sail through effectively through labour and delivery. If you want complete relief, an epidural should help you.

2. “I may poop on the delivery table!”

It is very common for most women to pass stools as they enter the second stage of labour.

Pooping during Childbirth

How to Deal With It

Your doctor and nurse, who are helping you with the delivery, are aware of this phenomenon during the labour. Rather it is viewed as a positive sign because it means you are pushing effectively. If this occurs, your nurse will clean you, without even bringing it into your notice. However, if you do want to prevent it, you may consult your doctor about getting suppository medicine to ease out bowel movement. You can also get an enema. Remember to eat healthy throughout pregnancy and avoid overeating while in labour.

3. “It will take long to recover from a C-section.”

Quite a few women, especially the ones who may have to undergo sudden C-section, may develop a fear that they may not recover quickly. They may think the caesarean delivery recovery will be more painful and take forever.

Longer Recovery from C-section

How to Deal With It

Your stitches will be sore for a few days and will take a little longer than vaginal delivery to heal. However, in both cases, a newbie mommy may take approximately 6 weeks to be up and about after the delivery. Therefore, once you get engrossed in taking care of your little one, you may not even realise or give importance to your pain. You can progress towards a faster recovery by opting for pain relief medication from your doctor. Plenty of rest, drinking a lot of fluids and eating healthy, green vegetables can expedite your recovery.

4. “ I may not be able to reach the hospital on time.”

Most women may feel scared of the fact that they may not be able to reach the hospital on time and deliver their baby in the car or at home only.

Not Reaching Hospital on Time

How to Deal With It

Labour is not a quick process. It’s not possible that you feel labour pains or your water breaks and your baby would pop out. From the time you start experiencing your first contraction until you deliver your baby; there is ample time for you to reach the hospital safely, so relax! If you are unsure, try to reach the hospital the minute you start experiencing labour pains or your water breaks. You can also opt for home-delivery with a midwife.

5. “My life will never be the same.”

This is a fear, especially in young mothers who feel giving birth to a baby would change their life and identity and it would never be the same.

Identity Crisis

How to Deal With It

There is no doubt that a baby will change your life. But it is for the good. It is a whole new chapter in your life; your little one is going to bring so much happiness in your life that cannot be compared to anything. Also, if taking care of the baby become too much for you to handle, you can hire a nanny or ask a friend or relative to babysit when you need a break. Ensure that you include some me-time so that you do not get overwhelmed by the stress. Read a book, or do something you love when the baby is asleep.

6. “ My partner may pass out in the labour room!”

You may think that all the screaming, pain and blood in the delivery room would be enough for your partner to pass out or feel nauseous.

Partner Passing Out

How to Deal With It

No matter how scared your partner gets at the sight of blood, as soon as the birthing process begins and he sees you bringing a baby into this world, he may not only feel settled but may also be helping you with the labour. But, if you have reason to think otherwise, talk to your partner about what to expect during delivery. Ensure that he has a snack to avoid getting weakness from hunger.

7. “My private parts will never be the same.”

You may fear that pushing out a baby from your vagina would make it loose and out of shape.

Private Parts Becoming Out of Shape

How to Deal With It

This is the miracle of the human body, even after childbirth, your body’s elasticity is likely to return. Also, adding squats and Kegel exercises into your daily workout regime after delivery may prove to be helpful.

8. “I won’t be able to enjoy intimacy with my partner.”

You may dread that you may lose intimacy with your partner and not be able to enjoy sex like before.

Sex after Childbirth

How to Deal With It

Getting intimate may be the last thing on your mind once a baby comes into your life. However, once you heal from the delivery and get comfortable with your little one, it’s possibel to bring the spark back and enjoy private time like you used to.

9. “My baby may be stillborn.”

One of the worst fears of any mother is having a stillborn baby.

Stillborn Baby

How to Deal With It

It is nightmarish to have this kind of fear but it is very common for moms-to-be to experience it. This may persist more in women who have high-risk pregnancies or who have already had stillbirths. The best way to overcome this fear is to monitor your pregnancy and your progress. If you experience this constant fear, you may talk to your doctor and she may recommend seeking a counsellor’s help for the same.

10. “My baby will get choked by the umbilical cord!”

Many expectant mothers have this fear that their baby may have the umbilical cord stuck around their neck, depriving the baby of oxygen and resulting in choking.

Baby Getting Choked by Umbilical Cord

How to Deal With It

Umbilical cord provides nourishment to your unborn baby. The cord is covered in gel, which makes it very slippery. Almost all babies may have the cord around their necks at least once during the entire pregnancy. You may even see your baby playing with the umbilical cord or chewing on it, during an ultrasound scan. In around 30 percent of cases, babies are born with umbilical around their neck. Your midwife, nurse and doctors are trained in dealing with these situations and may effectively undo the cord. Discuss with your doctor about the process in such cases.

Pregnancy and labour are one of the most beautiful and life-changing experiences in a woman’s life. This phase may not be all rosy but nothing in life comes easy. You are bound to experience all sorts of feelings and fear is one of them. However, the best way to overcome fear is to understand it. Once you crack your fear, you may no longer be scared. In some cases, you may not be able to manage your pregnancy-related fears, in such situations, you must seek professional guidance.

Also Read:

Surprising Things That Happen during Labour and Childbirth
How to Prepare Yourself for Labour and Delivery
Different Types of Childbirth and Delivery Methods

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