Whether you’ve just peed on the stick or your due date is quickly approaching, almost every pregnant person has fears leading up to their labor and birth. Let us remind you that you are not alone. At Doulas of Cincinnati we’ve helped prospective parents process a great deal of fears and questions.
Probably the most common fear in pregnancy is:
How will I manage the pain of labor and birth?
But there’s also:
Will I say something during labor and birth that I’ll regret later?...Will I hurt my partner’s feelings?...If I do, will they forgive me?
Will I lose control emotionally?
Will I lose control of my body?...Will I be loud? What if I scream or worse... Vomit?
Oh no! - What if I poop?
Will I tear?
Will I know if I tear?
Will my vagina ever be the same?!
What if I can’t do it?... What if I decide I want an epidural after all?
What if I want an epidural, but I’m afraid to tell my partner?...What if I get to the hospital too late and I have to have the baby without pain medication?
What if there’s an emergency and I need to have a cesarean birth?...What if I WANT a cesarean - What would people THINK?!
Wait...they’re going to let me bring the baby home?!...What if I’m not cut out for parenting?
Giving birth isn’t something that you do frequently, so it’s easy to spiral through all the what ifs.
So now you’re probably asking yourself:
What can I do to cope with my fears about birth and parenting?
Have conversations with your partner, family and friends.
Many expectant parents don’t realize that fear can affect the process of labor and birth. And it’s not just fear that the birthing person has. The fears and uncertainty of others during your pregnancy or even in the room during your birth can have just as much impact on your labor and birth as your own fears. While it won’t necessarily eliminate your fears, taking time to share your feelings and fears with important people in your life, and listening to theirs can help put everyone more at ease.
Seek out the information you need.
Many fears stem from just simply not knowing how labor and birth work. Taking a modern comprehensive childbirth class will help you process many of your questions and fears. Besides learning about how the body balances the process of birth, you’ll learn about the options available to you plus tips and techniques for comfort measures. Group classes give you the benefit of processing with a professional and your peers, while private classes allow for more personalized information at a time most convenient for you.
Gather your birth team.
Choosing your support for the big birth-day is no small task. You’ll want the best support from your partner, the best professionals, and maybe even your best friend. Having the added support from our birth doulas throughout your pregnancy will help you feel calm and confident.
Your doulas are available 24/7 to help you with your most important needs like:
- Connecting you with the best care providers and the perfect birth space.
- How to talk with your care provider and write your birth plan.
- Listening and guiding you as you process your thoughts and fears - you know...like what happens if you poop; and even
- Helping you figure out if you’re really in labor.
Plus, when it’s time for your birth, you’ll have the support you need with the familiar face and voice of your doula. Nobody does hip squeezes and counter pressure like a trained professional...we promise.
Plan for your Perfect Postpartum.
Preparing for birth is a big deal - it’s what the majority of expectant parents focus on during pregnancy. But what about taking time throughout pregnancy to prepare for bringing your baby(ies) home? When you spend time getting ready for being a family it can help put your mind at ease. Besides setting up the nursery and caring for your baby(ies), think about taking care of YOU.
Work with your partner and our postpartum doulas to discuss how you’ll handle:
- Sleep. Or the lack thereof...
- Meal planning and preparation
- Feeding your newborn
- Spending time with siblings; and
- Support when returning to work
Having the postpartum support you and your partner need will help you both manage the uncertainty and unpredictability of life with a newborn - or two! Once you’re home with your baby(ies) you’ll have your postpartum doula by your side as you get into the groove of your new normal and to reassure you as you discover your parenting style.