Navigating Childbirth Fears
We believe you are strong and powerful, and can overcome anything that comes into your path!
Some of those things in your path may be fear of the unknown, a fear of unwanted interventions, or a fear of tearing when your baby is born.
Let’s talk about navigating those fears.
You’ve studied, and read, and polled your friends with kids, and yet you still feel like there’s so much you don’t know about having a baby.
You can hope it goes a certain way but there’s so much “wait and see how it goes.”
When will labor start? Will you have contractions or will your water break? When do you go to the hospital? So many questions!
If knowledge is power, how do you get some?
- Childbirth Education is an important part of preparing for having a baby. You will learn so much about your body, the process, and what to expect. By the end of class, you will feel better prepared and more confident about bringing your little one into the world.
- Taking a hospital tour is a great way to see firsthand what YOUR hospital looks, feels, and sounds like. You will also find out specific things about parking, visiting hours, what happens when you arrive in labor. Exploring labor and delivery in advance can be a great comfort when you arrive in labor because you’ll already know what to expect.
- A doula is a great source of comfort and knowledge because your doula has studied, and read, and learned all about how to support someone during the process. A reservoir of tips and suggestions, that you don’t have to worry about remembering, your doula is available for all your questions, even “when do we go to the hospital?” Your doula sticks with you the whole way through and never leaves your questions unanswered.
You plan, you dream, you get everything in place to have a birth that is powerful and gives you confidence… and then it doesn’t turn out that way.
Instead of staying at home during early labor, you have to go in as soon as your water breaks. Or during your labor you are told you need Pitocin or a Cesarean.
News like this can rock your world and be a little scary, even though you may know that it is the best thing for you and your baby.
So how do you navigate your birth plan going off course?
- Ask your provider and nurses as many questions you can think of so you have the information you need to make decisions and feel safe in the process.
- Have a support team that includes your partner and a doula. Those extra hands can help you breathe, listen to your fears, and help you process some of the change that is happening.
- Trust that you have made the best decisions for you and your baby. If that trust takes time to build, that’s ok. Your feelings are valid and it’s ok to express them, and hopefully that release brings healing and trust.
Pushing and Tearing
You’ve heard stories from your friends about tearing in labor and you start to wonder what you’ve gotten yourself into.
Hearing that most first-time mom’s tear is not that comforting because you’d rather not, thank you very much!
And the words “ring of fire” make you want to run in the other direction!
So what’s a body to do?
- Warm compresses applied to the perineal area while pushing helps the tissues soften and relax, making it more pliable and easier to stretch over the baby’s head. Perineal massage can also help with preventing tears, and your nurse or provider will be able to do this for you.
- Pushing in upright or side-lying positions help you and your body work well together. These positions can help disperse the pressure on your perineum also can give you better control when pushing.
- Pushing with your body’s urges and giving slow and steady pushes can help a person control their pushes and ease their baby out. Your provider or nurse can coach you through gentle pushing, which can prevent perineal tearing as well.
You have what it takes to get through your fears and birthing your baby!
Ask lots of questions, surround yourself with support, and remember you are powerful!