“I`m afraid of labor, so I`ll perhaps choose Caesarean birth,” “I don`t want to feel any pain, so I`ll choose an epidural.” Do you recognize yourself among women that believe so about natural birth? Were there such thoughts that came into your mind? You aren`t alone in this situation!
Fear of childbirth is a nightmare for some women. If you are at your first pregnancy and especially if you are approaching the magic moment, you probably already ask yourself questions about how labor will be, an experience which often generates panic among future moms.
Table of Contents
- 1 Where Does this Fear Come from?
- 2 Why You Shouldn`t Fear of Childbirth?
- 3 9 Most Common Q&A on Childbirth & Labor
- 3.1 What if My Water Breaks in Public?
- 3.2 How Big Is the Gelatinous Plug?
- 3.3 What I`ll Have a Short Labor?
- 3.4 Is it True that the Placenta Look like a Large Piece of Meat Full of Blood?
- 3.5 Is it a Good Idea to Let my Husband See Me Transfigured?
- 3.6 Will I Eliminate Faeces during Pushing?
- 3.7 Do I Need to Feel Ashamed about my Pubic Hair?
- 3.8 What if I`ll Need to Vomit while on the Birth Table?
- 3.9 Will Physical Change in the Genital Area Be so Dramatic After Childbirth?
- 4 Fear of Childbirth Is Natural
Where Does this Fear Come from?
Overtime, the moment of birth has been promoted as a moment of agony. Recent filmography took care to reinforce the idea of painful birth. Any scene of labor is accompanied by screaming and a transfigured mother who suffers. In reality, all grimaces on the face of a woman in labor occur mainly due to effort and stress.
When fear occurs, the organism and brain react immediately, and adrenaline increases. The result! Blood pressure goes up, heart rate increases and anxiety appears, which means there are all the necessary conditions for labor to stop. All the body`s muscles are tense, so the baby cannot make room to come out.
Fear comes when you believe you have no one to rely on, when is no one close to you to support you, to encourage you and tell you that everything will fine and you`ll succeed.
Think about an athlete who is running a marathon. Although he may have moments when he feels like quitting and sitting down to catch his breath, the cheers he hears near the finish line is an additional incentive to make the last laps of the stadium after finishing the marathon.
Childbirth is some sort of a race where, surely, you`ll have moment when you`ll feel exhausted, but you`ll go to the end if your mind is ready, you have a doctor that you can trust near you and you are surrounded by family and close friends at the hospital.
Why You Shouldn`t Fear of Childbirth?
The organism of a woman is genetically engineered to cope with birth, but a lot of times future mothers believe that childbirth is something that is happening to you and not something natural that you need to go through, without so many efforts.
Any woman who is mentally preparing for the big moment will look at it with much more confidence that nothing can go wrong. When you understand how the miracle of bringing a child into this world occurs and how you need to help the baby to be born, all fears disappear.
Be aware and conscious! Inform yourself, practice breathing exercises, positions that can help when labor comes, exercises for your muscles, go to prenatal courses and ask your partner to be active in all these activities, if possible.
9 Most Common Q&A on Childbirth & Labor
The most common questions about labor that most mothers ask themselves are: “When will labor start?” and “How painful will labor be?” Unfortunately, these are also questions that no one has an answer. However, you can get answer to other questions on difficult situations related to labor that sometimes you find yourself in and which may generate panic and embarrassment when thinking you need to go through all of them. Knowing the answers to all of these questions, you`ll probably better manage labor, no matter when it will start and how painful it will be.
What if My Water Breaks in Public?
First of all, you should know that despite general impression that usually labor starts with a “water break”, this only happens 1 out of 4 cases. Therefore, if the onset of labor has already been confirmed, there are little chances for you to be in a beauty salon or shopping when your water breaks. However, assuming that you are one of those women who experience this in a public area, you shouldn`t panic. The amniotic liquid doesn`t leak all at once, often the child`s head acting like a plug, preventing the liquid to flow. In any way, you`ll have enough time to get to the hospital.
You shouldn`t worry so much about the reactions of people around you! Obviously, they`ll notice you are pregnant and they won`t think you pee in public, and they may even notice what`s happening and even help. To avoid unnecessary stress, you may take with you during your last month of pregnancy spare clothes, useful in case your water breaks suddenly. The most important thing is to call your gynecologist, because the risk of infections increases once your amniotic sac breaks and that`s why you should immediately go to a hospital.
How Big Is the Gelatinous Plug?
You have surely heard that another signs announcing the onset of labor is the removal of the gelatinous plug. This may happen a few hours or days (even a 1 or 2 weeks) before childbirth. How does the gelatinous plug look like? It certainly doesn`t look too nice, but its elimination isn`t painful, and wherever will happen, there`s no need for panic. The plug is in fact an amount of gelatinous substance, often combined with blood, varying in size, but which usually doesn`t exceed the size of an egg.
Lots of times, this plug doesn`t eliminate all at once, but rather in larger or smaller pieces. Anyway, its removal is similar to a vaginal discharge during menstruation, so you can prevent any sensation of discomfort by using a tampon during the last days of pregnancy. The plug shouldn`t be confused with vaginal discharges often present towards the end of pregnancy, which often may have the consistency of mucus and may be accompanied by blood. – Read more!
What I`ll Have a Short Labor?
Basically, especially if you live and work in the city where you`ll give birth, you shouldn`t worry. However, to ensure your peace, there`s a simple solution. Stop working when your due date approaches and pay much attention to any signs of labor. A short labor can be, indeed, genetically inherited.
Is it True that the Placenta Look like a Large Piece of Meat Full of Blood?
Yes, it`s true! The placenta looks like an internal organ and it`s natural to be full of blood. The upside is that if is large and looks like a large piece of meat full of blood, it`s good. Anyway, no one is forcing you to look at it. The placenta is usually eliminated during the third stage of labor, a period of time which is no longer painful for the mother. In addition, you`ll have your attention captured by the screaming of your baby and you won`t have any time to think about your placenta. You`ll have your doctor to take care of it, so you shouldn`t worry about it too much. – Check this out!
Is it a Good Idea to Let my Husband See Me Transfigured?
Of course, a woman in labor may scream, moan, or have a behavior that she doesn`t usually show to anyone. But the movies that we see on TV often exaggerate these moments. After all, when we give birth, we don`t transform ourselves in other persons, but rather we manifest our personality with a higher intensity. Therefore, if you want for your husband to be present at birth, you don`t need to worry. He also needs to be informed about what will happen. Watching some real videos or documentaries that involve women in labor will both help you to be prepared to go through this experience together.
Will I Eliminate Faeces during Pushing?
First of all, you need to be aware that everything happening with you in the delivery room will be seen by everyone around from the medical point of view. Therefore, it makes no sense to feel uncomfortable with absolutely nothing. In addition, the elimination of faeces when the baby`s head comes out of the vagina is something normal, as the vaginal and rectum are parallel, and when the baby passes through the vagina, he puts pressure on the rectum, causing the elimination of anything that wasn`t previously been eliminated by enema. It`s nothing unnatural, and anyway, no one will tell you that this happened. It`s part of a natural act of birth, so that doctors and nurses treat this as something perfectly normal. So, it`s useless to be stressed by this.
Do I Need to Feel Ashamed about my Pubic Hair?
With the risk of repeating ourselves, try to get used with the idea that everyone in the delivery room look at these things, which for you may not be natural, as something perfectly normal that is part of the birth experience. Therefore, it`s not necessary to feel embarrassed in any way. Shaving pubic hair before a natural birth is something normal for nurses, so they`ll be prepared to deal with this. It`s not necessary to bother and do this at home, because you may find it hard to do it on your own anyway. In addition, in terms of hygiene, it`s more recommended for this procedure to be performed in a hospital by a nurse. – Click here!
What if I`ll Need to Vomit while on the Birth Table?
The answer is as simple as it can be! It`s a natural reflex and that`s why pregnant women are advised not avoid eating anything once labor started. The good side is that the same reflex that generates vomiting during labor is the same that helps when pushing the baby. Often after a woman in labor vomits, the dilation of the cervix occurs more easily. The sensation of vomiting may be accentuated by the drugs administered to relieve pain during labor. Also, this sensation might be stronger after experiencing an epidural, due to lower blood pressure.
Will Physical Change in the Genital Area Be so Dramatic After Childbirth?
These fears are natural, but you should be more optimistic. First of all, this isn`t as dramatic as you may think. The healing process after episiotomy lasts for 2 or 2 weeks, and if the wound is carefully cared, the scare will be almost unnoticeable. It may be harder at first to resume your sexual life, but with patience and understanding from your life partner, you`ll be able to overcome all small frustrations and you`ll return to normal in no time. The perineal re-education exercises will help you tone your genital muscles and slowly return to as it used to be. Additionally, you need to be aware that immediately after birth you`ll have other priorities anyway and that there are other ways to be gentle when you aren`t prepared to resume your sexual life. – More info!
Fear of Childbirth Is Natural
Fear of labor is natural, no matter if you are at your first pregnancy or not. No one will hide from you the fact that physically painful, but what you shouldn`t forget is that no matter how painful is and how much it lasts, is a sacrifice that precedes a wonderful moment of happiness – the moment in which you`ll hold your baby in your arms. If you`ll always try to think about this and if you`ll inform yourself properly, it will be easier to pass over the hardest part.