Towards the end of pregnancy, the thought of giving birth can be scary! But, is it normal to be scared of having a baby?
Set aside the fear of baby expenses and getting the right baby essentials, childbirth is a whole different scary thought. How can a baby the size of a watermelon fit through a hole the size of a tennis ball?
For me it was scary each time, increasing as I got closer to childbirth.
The first time I was young and so scared of that first experience.
After a traumatic emergency C-Section the second was nerve wracking.
I had a refreshingly easy V-BAC with my second, so wasn’t as scared with my third baby. But, that experience turned scary to me when I was taken for an emergency c-section again. *Good news I delivered naturally on the operating table!
Each birth was different and each birth came with different fears.
Fear of pain, fear of complications, fear of pooping on the delivery table. Yes, that can and does happen!
I was also, obviously scared of my first delivery, which didn’t go very smoothly.
Since birthing fears are no stranger to me I wanted to share with you some tips that helped me overcome the fear and things I wish I’d known before giving birth.
What is the phobia of having kids?
There is actually a phobia of giving birth. According to Wikipedia, Tokophobia is the “significant” fear of giving birth.
The British Medical Journal explains that fear of childbirth is very common, while Tokophobia is a more rare occurrence.
Women that suffer from Tokophobia report a deep fear of dying or harm coming to the baby from childbirth. This fear often makes it difficult for women to enjoy their pregnancy and look forward to the birth of their child. Some end up electing a c-section instead of a natural birth.
Since Tokophobia is often related to existing depression and PTSD, it’s a good idea to seek psychiatric or medical advice if you are experiencing overwhelming fear of childbirth.
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How can I overcome fear of childbirth?
- Hospital Professionals Know What They’re Doing
You can rest assured that the doctors and staff in your hospital delivery unit know what they are doing. They’ve delivered hundreds of babies and know what to do in an emergency situation.
Do research when picking a doctor. If you want your personal doctor in the delivery room when baby comes, make sure to choose someone who can meet that request. While your doctor is usually the one delivering, sometimes there will be a doctor on call. So, be prepared in the event that your doctor isn’t available.
Don’t be afraid to speak up in the delivery room. Let your nurses or a medical assistant know if you are in pain or need something. They have your best interest at heart and are there to help!
Knowing that you are surrounded with people that know how to take care of you definitely makes it less scary.
- No Shame During Childbirth
Pretty soon after I got pregnant with my first baby I realized all privacy would be thrown out the window when doctors visits came around.When the time comes to give birth there is no privacy at all.
There is also no shame to be had. You may poop on the delivery table during birth due to the pressure of the baby coming out.But, please know that these things are normal. The doctors and nurses delivering your baby see it every day and there is no reason to be embarrassed.When I was giving birth to baby number 2 there was so much pressure as I was pushing I was sure that would happen. I remember feeling so embarrassed. What if I poop in the delivery bed?To be honest I’m not sure if I did or not, the moment was too intense. But, that’s another reason not to worry about it. Focus on getting your baby out and don’t be afraid of privacy or embarrassing things that may happen.
- You will Have Everything You Need to Care for Your Baby
I remember hearing horror stories about breastfeeding before my 1st baby was born. How it would hurt, your milk might not come in, or you may not be able to breastfeed because it’s too hard.But, I was totally surprised how much support their is at the hospital after baby was born.If you are unable to feed they have formula there. There is also a lactation team to help you get the hang of breastfeeding if you need help.To my surprise I was able to breastfeed my baby and it wasn’t as painful as the horror stories I had heard. Although I’m sure everyone has a different experience.
I was able to continue this at home and the advice I got from the lactation specialists at the hospital really helped with my success.
- You Can Get That Baby Out!
Looking back on my deliveries I now know that despite my fears and worries the baby always came out somehow.
Three months after I had my last one I am now holding him in my arms and so in love. There is an end game ladies!
…and that end game is totally a reason to curb your fears.
As I said above, your doctor and medical professionals will know how to guide you through getting your baby out even if you don’t know what to do.
Take it from a mom who has had 3 babies through emergency c-section, VBAC, and then a VBAC baby that was delivered on the operating table as they prepared me for a c-section (that’s a long story for another time).
- It Will Be Over Faster Than You Think
When you think about it birthing a baby usually takes place over the course of 24 hours. It’s not going to last a lifetime.
This is a temporary situation. Thinking about it this way is something that helped me overcome my fear.
Knowing that no matter how painful or hard the task of getting a human baby out of my body was that it would be over.
Knowing that I would only be going through it for a matter of hours.
Then knowing that after those few short hours you will see a beautiful new face that belongs to you. Now it’s not so scary at all!
Bonus Childbirth Tips
Attend Lamaze Classes– Make one of your pregnancy goals attending lamaze classes. Childbirth classes can offer great tips for relaxing during labor and delivery. From breathing techniques to tips for your partner, attending these classes help you know what to expect during childbirth and give your partner some tips to help you along as well.
Hire a Doula– If you have it in the budget you might want to hire a doula to help you during childbirth. These skilled childbirth experts can give you massages during labor, help you with breathing, and more.
Do Some Reading and Research– Sometimes it helps to read books about what to expect during childbirth, hiring a doula, and helping your partner know what to do. I’ve listed some resources below that are recommended!
If you are pregnant know that it will be over sooner than you think. Trust your doctor and medical professionals that they will get you through this. You may lose your privacy during birth, but that’s totally normal. Know that you will have the tools to take care of your baby when it’s all over.
Do you have fear of giving birth? Let me know all about it in the comments below!