Pregnant women have lots of different fears during their pregnancy, labor, and delivery. And the fears don’t end there. They will continue to be worried about their baby for their entire life. She cares so much about this precious child inside of her and it’s her responsibility to make sure everything goes okay. What if she spends this entire pregnancy making sure she keeps this baby safe and then something happens during labor and delivery? She will continue to worry about every possibility, even though there are many things that are completely out of her control. While some fears are completely rational, other fears can be, well — weird.
But don’t tell a pregnant woman that. They are allowed to think about or worry about anything they want. Remember all those hormones? Hormones don’t help ease a woman’s fears. In fact, they make them worse. They make a mother worry about weird things and get emotional as well. With all those hormones running through her body, she’s not always in control of everything.
The main reason a new mom worries is because this is all new to her. She has never done this before and doesn’t know what to expect. What if something bad happens and there is nothing she can do about it? Even if she has done it before, this time could be entirely different. Every labor and delivery brings something new. And there’s probably nothing anyone can say to help ease her fears either. Here are 15 labor and delivery fears that would likely never happen.
15 Literally Peeing Your Pants
One fear that some pregnant women have is that they will literally pee their pants — meaning they will push their bladder out along with the baby. Pregnant women are allowed to have any fear they want, but you probably won’t push your bladder out during childbirth.
Although it’s extremely unlikely that you will push your bladder completely out of you, it’s actually possible that your bladder can shift after childbirth. This is called a bladder prolapse. It sounds scary, but it’s actually nothing like completely pushing out your bladder. This prolapse occurs when there is a weakness in the pelvic floor, which causes your bladder to move. It’s not a big deal and there are things you can do to repair the prolapse. The main thing you need to do is rest, which sounds fun — but not always when you have a newborn. However, don’t spend too much time worrying about this one.
14 What If I Don't Make It?
Not making it to the hospital in time is probably the number one fear of pregnant women — especially for first time moms who have no idea what labor really feels like. According to Fit Pregnancy, about 6,600 babies are born in transit each year in the United States. This means they delivered in a car, taxi, or bus, but they weren’t able to make it to their hospital or birthing center.
While this may sound like a lot, it’s not much when you consider that there are about 3,952,841 babies born in the United States each year. It comes out to be less than one percent, or 0.1 percent to be specific. If you’re an expecting mom, you will probably still worry about not making it to the hospital in time because that's what us moms do — we worry. But if it reassures you at all, you have a great chance of making it to the hospital in time.
13 What If It Stops Working?
Some women have the goal to deliver naturally — that is without any pain medication. Other women can’t even stand the thought of delivering without pain medication. Each woman handles their labor and delivery differently.
For those who are looking forward to receiving an epidural, it can be frightening to think of going through labor and delivery without an epidural. It can be even more scary to think of your epidural suddenly wearing off. Having your contractions gradually get stronger is tough for anyone. If your epidural suddenly wears off and you have to go from 0-100 when you aren’t expecting it, it is quite the shock and can be scary to think about. While that probably won’t happen to you, it is possible. That’s probably not what you want to hear. Although don’t think about it too much, as there are a lot of other things you will have on your mind.
12 Keep Your Eye On The Baby
Even the thought of having your baby given to other parents is frightening. As new technology is being implemented, it’s becoming harder and harder for babies to be switched. According to SFGate, only eight occurrences of baby switching were documented in the United States from 1995-2008. While it’s very rare, a new mom is still going to be afraid of this happening, and it’s completely normal to worry.
At the hospital where I gave birth to my two children, both baby and mom get a wristband. When mom and baby come close to each other, they make a happy reunited sound. However, if the wrong mom and baby are close to each other, an alarm starts going off. If the baby goes near an exit or elevator, an alarm also goes off. They also don’t have a nursery that they take baby away to, and they do almost all procedures in the room with us present. When you’re picking hospitals, make sure to check what system they have to prevent the switching of babies.
11 Making A Mess
If you are afraid of your water gushing and making some huge splash, I’m sorry to burst your bubble and tell you that probably won’t happen. I know when it happens in the movies it’s a big deal where the woman’s water breaks and makes a huge mess, but that’s not usually how it works. It is possible that your water can break in a big splash and make a big mess, but it’s very unlikely. You probably won’t make a big mess that needs to be cleaned up and you won’t ruin anything and be embarrassed.
When your water does break, it’s usually a slower leak. It’s usually so unnoticeable that pregnant women often mistake it for accidentally peeing themselves. Each pregnant woman can also have different amounts of amniotic fluid. There is a high end and low end while still being in the normal range so it can differ from person to person.
10 The Baby Will Be Very Slippery
One of my fears was that the doctor would drop the baby on the ground. It may sound weird but I was actually really worried! The baby is super slippery when it’s fresh out of the womb, and it seems like it would be very easy to drop the baby.
With my first baby, my doctor had someone shadowing them — either an intern or resident. The doctor told me that this other doctor was still learning and asked me if it would be okay if she could catch my baby. The younger doctor spoke up and said that it would be the first time she would be doing this and that it would be okay if I was uncomfortable with that arrangement. I said it was fine, but I was a little nervous about it. Although I was in so much pain that I stopped thinking about it quickly. The story had a happy ending and no baby was dropped on the ground!
9 How Far Is Too Far?
First time moms have a very high chance of tearing — it’s just part of birth. There are some women who are very likely and don’t tear, but don’t be disappointed if you experience some tearing. One fear of pregnant woman is that they will tear completely open down there and won’t be able to heal. It can also make those first few weeks of recovery and taking care of your little one very difficult.
Most moms experience first or second degree tearing. These include tearing into the lining and some of the tissue. In extremely rare cases, women can experience fourth degree tearing. This would include tearing multiple layers. Your doctor will have to sew each layer separately and it requires your doctor to be very thorough. Thankfully this is the least common tear. If you are worried about tearing, you can reduce your likelihood of tearing by trying other positions such as squatting, laying on your side, or on you hands and knees.
8 How Will I Know?
With my first baby, I didn’t experience a single contraction or any Braxton hicks. Actually I probably did, but they weren’t strong enough for me to realize what was happening. I was so scared that I wouldn’t know when I was in labor. I had no idea what contractions felt like and I definitely didn’t have any idea when I should head to the hospital. I started having contractions on a Saturday morning, but of course I didn’t know right away. I figured it out by Saturday night, but I didn’t think they were strong enough to head to the hospital. However, my contractions had been four minutes apart since noon, so I called my doctor and he told me to come in just in case. Of course I wasn’t ready and I was sent home.
While this sounds like bad news, it’s actually a story to reassure you. The next night my contractions were definitely strong enough, and I knew exactly when it was time to go in. It’s hard to tell at first, but follow your instincts as a mom.
7 Gender Reveal Surprise
The 20-week ultrasound is such an exciting time for a new mom. The best part is finding out the baby’s gender. Gender reveal parties are very popular right now which lets the mom and dad celebrate this exciting news with their close friends and family. However, what happens when you go through a gender reveal party, you paint the nursery walls pink, you buy pretty dresses, and your baby comes out as a boy?
I had several ultrasounds during my pregnancy, and I remember asking the ultrasound tech to double check the baby’s gender because I was so nervous to buy dresses and never use them! To help ease your fears, ultrasounds are very accurate at determining a baby’s gender. Technology today helps increase that accuracy and technology continues to improve everyday. My ultrasound technician told me that in her ten years, she only remembers being wrong about the baby’s gender one time. Those are pretty good odds.
6 The Horror Stories
So this one is a little creepy, but it’s a legitimate fear that many pregnant women have. Some women are nervous that their baby will scratch their insides when it comes out — similar to something you would see in a horror movie. I mean have you seen the sharp nails that babies are born with?
It’s creepy and it’s weird, but a pregnant woman is allowed to think about anything she wants. There are so many bad stories out there and when a pregnant mom hears something, her mind starts to spin about all the possibilities. When I was pregnant, my doctor told me to call her office if I have any questions instead of looking it up on the internet. The internet is full of bad advice from people who don’t always know what they’re talking about. It’s okay if you are nervous about really weird things happening, but try not to think about it too much and focus on finally seeing your baby.
5 How Much Pain Can I Handle?
It’s no secret that labor is painful. But it’s worth every ounce of pain once you’re holding your baby in your arms. Before you become a mother for the first time, you might be thinking about what the pain actually feels like. You don’t know exactly what it will feel like or how long you will be in labor. Labor could be quick but it could also last for up to a day.
If you want to deliver without medication, you are probably nervous about if you will be able to handle the pain. I can explain what labor feels like and I reassure you that you can handle the pain, but that won’t help you much. You won’t really know until you are actually in labor. You are the mom and you know exactly how much you can handle. Trust yourself and trust the process, and you will be able to handle as much as it takes to get your baby out.
4 Being In Labor FOREVER
So this is a little dramatic, but anyone who is currently pregnant or has ever been pregnant knows that pregnant women can be dramatic — and it’s completely okay. But one fear that has crossed our mind at one point or another is the thought of labor lasting forever.
Like I said, it’s dramatic. We know that labor won’t literally last forever, but it doesn’t stop the thoughts from churning in our mind. What if the baby never decides it’s ready and I don’t go into labor? What if I’m not able to push the baby out once it’s time? We think about not being strong enough to push the baby out and eventually having to do a C-section. We can't help but to think of all the bad thoughts possible. But I promise that labor won’t literally last forever, and you will get the baby out one way or another.
3 Epidural Risks
If you are thinking about getting an epidural, you have probably done all kinds of research. Even if you don’t want an epidural, you’ve probably looked around to reassure yourself that you are making the right decision. There are pros and cons of getting an epidural, and it really just comes down to a personal choice and what works for each woman. When thinking about getting an epidural, you’d be lying if you said that the thought of being paralyzed from getting an epidural hasn’t crossed your mind.
Maybe you know the chances are slim to none, but the thought has probably popped up. Epidurals are given to a pregnant woman while she is experiencing contraction so there is no way that she is able to stay completely still. Make sure you do your research and pick what works best for you based on research, and not on horror stories.
2 How Many Things Could Go Wrong?
Every pregnant woman has the fear that something will be wrong with the perfect new baby. It doesn’t matter how many ultrasounds you are given or how often the doctor reassures you, there will always be that fear inside of you.
When I gave birth to my second baby, the end was a little dramatic. My baby’s heart rate plummeted and my doctor rushed in to see what was going on. They found that I was completely dilated and ready to start pushing and they think the cord was getting pinched. This means I had to push her out as fast as I could, even without contractions. When she finally came out she looked so purple, and then I also heard my doctor ask another doctor to check her clavicle because she heard a pop. I was freaking out and asking if my baby was okay! She ended up being fine, but that doubt doesn’t leave a woman’s mind until they are holding their baby in their arms.
1 The Ultimate Sacrifice
Of course the ultimate sacrifice would be dying while giving birth to your baby. Even with all the advancements in medicine and technology, women still have the fear of dying during childbirth.
I will admit that I wanted to deliver my baby at a birthing center, but I was really nervous that something would go wrong and that I could even die! I didn’t need much intervention so looking back I know it would have been fine. The hospital I gave birth at ended up being really great and embraced all of my wants and needs, so it turned out great. But I would be lying if I said the thought of dying didn’t influence my decision to give birth at a hospital. I just wanted to be right there with a ton of doctors just in case something went terribly wrong. Dying during childbirth is extremely rare so try to stay away from thinking about that one if you can.