Help! I’m Scared to Give Birth

Suddenly, it hits you! You look at the calendar and realize that your due date is just days away. All this time, you have been dreaming about the day you get to meet your baby. You have been counting down the days, and decorating the nursery and buying cute baby clothes. Now that the time is close you become strangled with a paralyzing fear and realize that you are scared to give birth.

This is perhaps one of the most common fears of first time moms. And second, third and fourth time moms. There is so much mystery revolving around the birthing process that you never quite know what to expect. Plus, there are so many thoughts of the things that can go wrong swirling around in your head that anxiety is completely expected. Making matters worse, is that you may not know what to expect – especially if your only information comes from other moms and pregnancy books.

You may be worried about whether it will hurt, if your water will break while you are in the middle of the store, or worse – stuck in traffic, or if your baby is going to be healthy. You may be afraid of pooping on the doctor, or not having your partner make it to the hospital in time. What if you can’t give birth? The list of fears and worries is potentially endless. But here’s the thing.

Women have been giving birth since the beginning of time. No matter how afraid you are, YOU CAN DO THIS. Whatever pain comes your way, will be forgotten almost immediately once you see your baby. Hospitals and birthing assistants today are literally prepared for everything, and your chances of everything going perfectly right – are much higher than they are that anything will go wrong.

Plus, your female body was perfectly designed to give birth. Take a look at how far you have come, and try to relax as much as possible. It’s perfectly normal to be nervous and anxious about giving birth, but the reality is that at this point you don’t really have a choice. Allow nature to take its course, and do your best to not complicate things by psyching yourself out. If you go into labor and delivery with a calm head, and a lot of faith that all will be well – you will have a much better labor and delivery experience.

There is no shame in being scared to give birth. More than likely, every woman nearing the electronic doors of the birthing center experiences moments where they don’t want to go in, terrified about what lies ahead in the hours before they meet their baby. (I was one of those women who sat in the car in the parking lot of the hospital with my husband for 30 minutes after my water broke refusing to admit myself out of sheer terror) And yet, when you leave the hospital with a bundled up newborn in their arms, you will feel nothing but love – and the stress and anxiety will be completely forgotten.

Also, before you give in to the fears of giving birth, consider that if labor and delivery were so bad, there would be very few women in this world who would choose to do it again and again. And yet millions of woman choose to give birth multiple times in their life. Embrace the experience as much as possible as it is one you will never get to relive.

Written By Stef, Mom of 4 @MOM-Spirational

This information is not intended to replace the advice of a trained medical doctor. Health & Parenting Ltd disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information, which is provided to you on a general information basis only and not as a substitute for personalized medical advice. All contents copyright © Health & Parenting Ltd 2018. All rights reserved.

Is This Labor?

It’s the middle of the night, you’re in your 39th week and all of a sudden you feel a strong tightening in your abdomen. The first thing you think is, Am I having contractions? Is this labor? For first time parents, one of the most crucial parts of pregnancy is to know when you’re actually having contractions, and when it’s time to pack up and head on over to the hospital. Not to worry, though, false contractions are very normal. If you end up making a few trips to the hospital and they tell you you’re not ready, you don’t need to worry. Many women have been through false alarms during pregnancy.

How To Know It’s Not Time Yet

Contrary to what we may watch on television shows or in movies, actual labor does not start suddenly; there is a general progression of events that happen prior to that. When you go into labor, your body has been preparing itself for weeks before it’s time for the baby to arrive. More often than not, first time mothers in their third trimester can trigger false contractions due to stress or hormonal changes, even dehydration. Even when you go into labor, it can be hours before you have your baby.

Signs of Labor or False Alarm?

There are several events that happen which are associated with labor. When these start happening to a woman, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s time to grab your overnight bag and jet to the hospital. It may be a false alarm, or it may be very early labor. These signs include:

  • Lightening

Lightening is when your baby settles down lower into your pelvis, getting ready to make his or her arrival. When the baby moves further down, it helps you breathe easier, and an added bonus is if you suffered from heartburn throughout your pregnancy, this may be a temporary relief. However, the increased pressure on the uterus will mean more frequent trips to the bathroom. Lightening might happen right before labor or weeks before; there is no exact time.

  • Passing of the Mucus Plug

The mucus plug is a seal that shuts off the cervix during pregnancy. When the cervix starts widening during the end of the third trimester, the mucus plug may be dislodged. This discharge might be clear or slightly bloody. In many cases, discharge can occur even a week or two before you go into labor.

  • Contractions

Contractions are one of the most common false alarms that women experience when in the later stages of pregnancy. False contractions are usually known as Braxton Hicks. They tend to cause the abdomen to tighten up and relax but don’t continue on at regular intervals. These contractions are quite different from actual labor contractions, which come in more regular intervals.

Signs of Actual Labor

The best way to tell whether you are in actual labor is to time your contractions. Keep in mind they usually start slowly and build over time. Time from the beginning of one contraction to the beginning of the next – this is how often they are happening (frequency). The length from the beginning to the end of a single contraction (duration) is important, too. If you call your healthcare provider, he or she will want to know both the duration and the frequency of the contractions, as well as how intense they feel to you. Once your contractions are coming every 4-5 minutes and they have been that way for about an hour, it may be go-time.

The other sign that labor has started is the rupture of your membranes, sometimes referred to as your bag of waters breaking. If you think your waters have broken, note the time, amount, color and odor (remember the word TACO), and notify your healthcare provider. Most of the time, contractions start soon after your water breaks; but, for some women, it could take as much as 12-24 hours.

In the end, those few extra trips to the hospital won’t hurt. When it’s time for labor and you see your precious baby, everything will be worth it.

If you have any fun labor stories to share, or can share some tricks to know what is a false alarm, let us know!

Written by Manal, first time mom and writer

This information is not intended to replace the advice of a trained medical doctor. Health & Parenting Ltd disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information, which is provided to you on a general information basis only and not as a substitute for personalized medical advice.  All contents copyright © Health & Parenting Ltd 2017. All rights reserved.