Do you have any fears that could impact your labour?
Giving birth is something you'll remember for the rest of your life and it's important to be as prepared as possible and also have some basic knowledge and understanding about labour and birth.
Giving birth for the first time is full of many unknowns. You've probably been told stories about labour and birth from friends and family. You may have seen some dramatic labours take places in movies. Negative birth stories can create fear in a pregnant woman. As well, past issues of abuse, the recent death of a loved one or serious trauma can also have an impact on how you labour and birth your baby.
One of the most common fears that pregnant women have is that something is wrong with their baby. They may also worry about dying during labour or their baby dying, fear of being out of control during labour, fear of labour pain or not being supported by their partner. Some women also worry about being bullied by their caregivers or medical team or are worried about medical interventions during labour.
It's important to confront and then deal with any fears or concerns you might have before you go into labour. Speak with your birth companion and medical team about your fears, concerns or worries. This can help put your mind at ease and help you to put some strategies in place to help your labour and the birth of your baby be a positive experience.
You could also talk with a professional such as a counselor, psychologist or therapist if there are reoccurring fears or traumas from the past that may arise in your labour and negatively impact it.
A common part of the birth experience is reaching a 'crisis of confidence' where you are no longer able to trust your own thoughts and feelings, you have a lack of confidence or belief in your ability to labour and birth your baby, as well as feeling self-doubt and fear. This can happen at any point during your labor and it is more common for women who are birthing naturally to experience this. It usually happens when you are fatigued or your labour moves to a new level of intensity.
Ongoing support and having someone to talk to at this time is usually the best way to work through a crisis of confidence. Arm yourself with as much knowledge as you can about what is happening and how you are feeling physically and emotionally throughout your labour.
If you have any ongoing fears, worries or concerns or you don't feel prepared, it might help if you sign up for some extra extra birth programs or classes when you are pregnant, so that you can arm yourself with more tools and tips to use in your labour.