Pregnancy is filled with ups and downs. While the thought of the arrival of the baby, or your glowing skin and shiny hair could make you happy, on the other hand, all sorts of considerations right from your health condition(s) to the birth of your baby would leave you anxious. Many pregnant ladies are scared of giving birth for the first time. It is obvious for first-time moms to go through the fear of birth. Given that it will be a completely new experience, most pregnant ladies wonder how they might cope with the pain and the life thereafter.
While many moms are even scared of dying while giving birth, it is 100% normal to be so, as most women are! However, the fear for certain women is so high that it affects their decision about pregnancy and childbirth. If you are scared of giving birth for the first time, you must mentally prepare yourself that something life-changing is to happen, which makes you feel scared and anxious.
In this article, we are providing tips on overcoming the fear of dying during childbirth and what you need to know about giving birth for the first time.
What Is It Like To Give Birth For The First-time?
If it is your first baby, it is obvious to feel anxious right from the beginning worrying and fearing about the whole experience. You might have a lot of questions on your mind regarding how much pregnancy labor a first-time mom goes through and if it is normal to feel scared about giving birth.
The labor usually starts when your baby tries to leave your womb or uterus. This could happen any time between 37 weeks and 42 weeks. However, the pregnancy experience varies for every woman. During your first pregnancy, you may experience labor pain symptoms such as abdominal or lower-back pain, severe pressure, or wave-like contractions that are similar to menstrual cramps.
You can also feel the discharge of amniotic fluid. This usually happens when your water breaks. Ascertaining when you will be getting into labor can be difficult. For first-time parents, it could be difficult to ascertain the true labor symptoms. They might mistake signs of false labor pains or irregular contractions (called Braxton Hicks contractions) for true labor.
With a pattern and steady progress over time, true labor can kick start slowly. Instead of the irregular Braxton Hicks contractions that come and go randomly, the true labor contractions will keep coming for an extended period.
9 Tips To Help If You Are Scared Of Giving Birth First Time
It is rare but some women are afraid of giving birth. Even if they want to have a child, they fear. This is a condition named Tokophobia. This could be developed at any time during early adulthood or the teenage years. This could be due to various reasons such as a frightening pregnancy and birth stories you might have listened to or an experience of sexual abuse or rape.
Feeling scared of giving birth for the first time can manifest itself in many pregnancy symptoms such as nightmares, heart palpitations, dizziness, shortness of breath, and difficulty in concentration. From wondering if you might be able to track those signs of early labor right to getting to the hospital on time, there are a lot of concerning factors to worry about. This could happen even during your second or third pregnancy too.
Related Reading: 7 Risks Of Inducing Labor You Must Know About
If you are willing to give birth yet wonder what to know about giving birth for the first time, here we give you a few insights and tips to manage them.
1. Track the reason for feeling anxious
There are a few causes that could make you feel scared of giving birth for the first time. Reasons such as a previous miscarriage, rape or sexual abuse, or exposure to a traumatic labor story are often the causes of early pregnancy anxiety. Knowing the source of fear is the key point in easing those feelings. You could maintain a journal that can help you list down your fears.
Though feeling anxious could seem to be a minor issue, it affects the lifestyle of the mother if she feels stressed most of the time. This could affect the baby’s growth as well as lead to complications during labor.
2. Be prepared
It is best to be prepared for the big day right from the beginning. Be in reality and manage your expectations. Do let go of that idealized image of parenting and childbirth. Connect with your partner during pregnancy and potentially be prepared for the first-time delivery. Try to retain a sense of self by doing things you would love to.
Being prepared is a clever way to overcome the fear of giving birth. Make sure you have your hospital bag for delivery packed in advance and ready to go which will give you a mindset of being prepared for the big day.
3. It is ok to feel nervous
Feeling anxious and nervous are common for first-time moms. You are not alone as it is okay. Emotions play a major role in pregnancy and if you seem unable to overcome your fears, it is ok being with it. Often, when we try to dismiss our emotions, it only comes back stronger. See if you can take some quiet time to sit with your feelings. Chances they might subside and you can feel calm.
It is ok to be nervous and express your emotions as feeling scared to give birth for the first time. Perhaps it is very common among first or unplanned pregnancies.
4. Everything takes its time
Giving birth could be overwhelming. One day it could feel like “I don’t want to deal with this sort of pain.” And suddenly one day you might be out there playing with your little world who is out of you. The entire process of giving birth is a lovely story for every woman. For a few, the delivery could happen very fast, while for others it could take generally long hours. This means you need to be prepared during all stages that lead to having your baby.
Related Reading: 12 Signs Of Healthy Baby In Womb- Trimester Wise
5. Learn to manage stress and relax
It is vital to have a good amount of rest during pregnancy. It is not just your body that is tired. Emotional stress can lead to sleep deprivation during pregnancy and pregnancy headaches which can affect you and your baby. Say no to something that could make you feel stressed. A stress-free lifestyle could give you positive thoughts on pregnancy.
Many first-time parents stress the fact of going late to the hospital when the mother goes into labor. Remember, labor takes time as is unlikely to happen before you reach the hospital.
6. Understand different labor positions
Lying on your back being a traditional way of giving birth puts pressure on the pelvic nerves which can increase pain. Changing positions during labor or walking around a bit could give you self-control thereby reducing the chances of medications and helping the baby move towards the birth canal. Make sure to practice these different positions beforehand. You could also seek assistance from those in the delivery ward.
7. Exercise and train for childbirth
Pregnancy can be hard as anything. All you need is a prepared mindset or someone who could help you throughout the process of pregnancy to help you cope with the changes. Also, make sure you work out regularly, as exercising during pregnancy helps to strengthen the muscles that you will be using during delivery. With regular exercise, you can alleviate muscle aches and pain that can occur after the baby is delivered.
Also, yoga poses like deep squats help ease discomfort during pregnancy and stretch your muscles thereby preparing you for childbirth.
8. Have an open mind
Having an open mind about what to expect in a delivery room could ease you if you are scared of giving birth for the first time. Pregnancy is full of ups and downs. Expecting the unexpected is what we know about pregnancy. Think about situations that might happen or not happen in the labor room. Also, find ways to deal with them positively.
Say for example you are 99.9% sure you will make it through vaginal delivery. However, you might need a C-section because your baby is in breach. How will you turn this situation into a positive one? By having an open mind, you can easily take control of any situation.
Related Reading: 40 Days After Delivery – 8 Precautions And 6 Ways To Spend Them
9. Educate yourself
If you are scared of giving birth for the first time, educating yourself about everything you need to know about childbirth will help. This could be anything like attending a prenatal class, reading blogs or magazines about parenting and childbirth, or even watching videos on YouTube. Many ways provide information that is required to educate yourself on this subject matter.
Gather information on the signs of labor, what happens during pregnancy, and how to take care of yourself after giving birth.
Most of the moms appear to be normal during the first two trimesters of their pregnancy. However, as the due date arrives, they get scared to give birth for the first time. It is completely normal to have anxiety while preparing yourself for labor. However, not knowing how labor will feel and what you need to expect can make it seem scary.
While everyone would have heard terrifying pregnant stories of long hours of labor or being stuck in traffic while the baby’s head crowns, this doesn’t happen in most cases in reality. Also, when you get into labor, there is a spike in your adrenaline levels that makes you focus on giving birth to your baby rather than on the pain.
Pregnancy is a beautiful phase. Stay calm and don’t panic thinking about birthing the child. All you need to do is make sure you and your partner have everything you need before you leave. Wishing you a happy delivery!