When you’re pregnant you have nine months to prepare for the birth of your child. And even then, it can seem like you may not be ready – especially if this is your first pregnancy. After months of reading pregnancy books, browsing web forums, and listening to birth stories from other women, nerves from the anticipation can mound. Just as the case with any unknown adventure, it is perfectly normal to have anxiety about giving birth.
You would be hard pressed to find a women who, at some point during her pregnancy, didn’t have moments of worry and fear of giving birth. As the due date draws nearer, these feelings can often increase. Overthinking and unanswered questions such as “Will I get to the hospital in time?” “How long will my labor take?” “Will it be painful?” can only make things worse. Anxiety is an unpleasant emotion, but extremely normal during this stressful time. Psychologists have even given a name to the extreme fear of giving birth: Tokophobia.
If you find that you are struggling with fear and anxiety about giving birth, there are a number of ways to get help and feel better about the upcoming experience.
Join a Pregnancy Class
Check with your doctor and local listings for pregnancy classes. There are many to choose from and most are free or fairly inexpensive. You may find that the hospital where you are registered to give birth offers pregnancy, birthing and post-natal classes. Taking a class will help you feel bettered prepared for the big day by detailing what you can expect while making you feel in control and confident. You may even meet women who are experiencing the same emotions who you can talk with and share your feelings.
From your partner to your doctor, you should be open and honest about your anxieties. Talking through your fears can help ease your mind. Whatever you are worried about your doctor can give you proper information and coach you through what to expect. While the internet has a lot of information, places like forums and message boards can misguide and cause unnecessary fear. Your doctor can provide you with a number of pamphlets and printouts to educate you about everything involved in the birthing experience from breathing to pain treatments.
This one might be easier said than done. But the truth is, women’s bodies are made to give birth and the process is completely natural. Most births are not complicated and in fact, very straightforward.
The nurses in the hospital along with your doctor are accustomed to handling the fears and concerns of women (and their partners!) and will be by your side the entire time guiding you through the procedure. Let them know your anxieties ahead of time and the process will go much smoother for you. Although it can seem scary because it is something you may have never done, birth truly is a natural and beautiful experience.
Well decided to get a C section due to circumstances of baby. Go in tomorrow. Super scared and nervous. It’s worrying that I’m not excited but I think it’s just because I’m so scared and have such bad anxiety. I was up all night with panic attacks.
As I am slowly creeping towards my due date I’m having some anxiety… About giving birth and being a good mother and hoping the bonding process happens quick between me and my baby. I am a first time mom…. Any advice to help calm the nerves?
I can’t take it anymore. I’m 3 days away from my expected due date. Everyone claims any time 2 weeks before or after. What do I do? I haven’t been so anxious about anything in my life. I hope he’s healthy and I have a smooth delivery…
I had the worst time at the hospital yesterday. Everything they did was so painful and uncomfortable I never wanna go back. I was so anxious to go since I’m overdue but I’m so terrified of giving birth… my pain tolerance is at an all time low…