Every birth is different and whether it is your first child or your second. It is hard to know what to expect. There can be a lot of fears of the unknown and many new mothers all feel the same way, so I decided to reach out to mothers personally to ask them what their fears were when it came to the birth experience. Having hindsight with an issue like this can be a gift because it can help so many women going forward with their births.
So I was able to compile a list of the Top 5 Fears about Birth below to share with you!
Will the epidural hurt?
This one I have been asked..a lot. One thing I always tell a mother who asks this question is that the surges she is feeling will be stronger than the feeling of receiving the epidural. Also before the epidural is inserted, the doctor will numb the area with a tiny needle. The most pain you will feel is from the sting of this and it will only last for 5 seconds or so. The doctor will then insert the needle and pause between surges if needed. In the big picture of your birth experience, this will be one of the least painful moments, I promise.
Giving birth on the way to the hospital
There’s always the issue of going to the hospital to early and being sent back home that parents fear. But on the other side of the spectrum there’s the other fear of giving birth in the car on the way to the hospital. This is why timing your surges is so important, it can really help you make a good decision on when to head to the hospital. It is usually a good idea to follow the 5-1-1 rule (surges every five minutes, lasting one minute, for one hour). When you get to this point it’s probably a safe idea to get in the car and head over to the hospital. And I always say, if you feel like something doesn’t feel right always call 911, do not wait and do not try to get in the car to get to the hospital on your own, call for help.
Pooping in the delivery room
This is the fear that almost every mother I have worked with has definitely brought up. All I can say is that your body is a beautiful thing and it knows what it is doing. In the early stages of labor you body will eliminate all of the extra things it doesn’t need. For example, early labor signs can consist of diarrhea, cramping, vomiting etc. This stage of labor helps to clear out your system so that you don’t poop on the table. And for those moms who still do poop on the table, they usually never even notice it happened. Remember nurses, midwives and doulas deal with these situations everyday and the nurse will clean it up before anyone even knows it happened. This will actually be a very small thing in your entire birth process, so I always tell my moms to not worry about it as they will be busy and distracted doing other more important things.
That something will go wrong during birth
Fearing that something will go wrong during your labor or birth is another one of those very natural fears. The whole process can be very foreign and you never quite know how a birth will go. Luckily, we live in a city with amazing medical care and midwife care. All of our doctors are well trained to medically intervene when necessary. And during your labour, you will be closely monitored and so will your baby. So if anything does go wrong during your labor they will be proactive and quick if they feel there is an issue. Doctors are usually a few steps ahead and try to ensure the safest outcome possible for you and your family. So trust and know that you are in the best hands possible for a safe and healthy delivery.
Another worry that came up was the risk of premature labour. Usually as long as you and baby are healthy at your check ups there really should be nothing to about. If however, your doctor advises that you are high-risk, this could very well change your risk with premature labour. Either way it is so important to slow down and take it easy in those last month or two of your pregnancy. Try not to push yourself or your body too hard. Drink lots of water and rest when you are tired. Pay attention to the signs your body gives you. Your body is constantly communicating with you whether you acknowledge it or not.
Having a C section
I feel like this is a pretty rational fear as the likelihood of having a C section is a 1 -in-3 chance. I always try to remind my clients to keep the thought of a C-section in the back of their mind and try to not focus on it too much. We always openly and honestly discuss the details of a c section and the possibility of having one but as the saying goes “what you focus on expands”. And if for any reason you do end up having a C-section the most important thing is that mom is healthy and baby is healthy. It is OK to feel sad and disappointed if your wishes didn’t go according to plan. Knowing that you did your best in the situation is the most important thing and we have to remember that we cannot control the outcome.
The Fear of Pain
Not knowing what labor will feel like can be a frightening thought. And I’m sure you have heard countless horror stories of other women’s labors and deliveries. The best piece of advice I can give you is to try not to listen to these outside sources. Births do not have to be a fearful and painful process. Sometimes the emotions you carry into your birth can create that outcome. There are plenty of ways to help you manage your pain in labour. Acupressure, hypno-birthing, essential oils can really help you through. And being around the people or the person that loves you can be the greatest pain reliever there is!
Just know that you are not alone with your fears and every woman has questions or concerns when it comes to her birth. I hope you find what you need from this post and if you would love to chat further about any of these topics, please feel free to contact me directly!