Having a baby is a joyous experience for most. However, the process of getting to hold that sweet newborn baby is often fraught with questions and concerns. When that long nine or so months is coming to a close, labor and delivery is on every mother-to-be's mind. Labor and delivery is simply part of the package, but even though it is known, thinking about labor and delivery can give a mom to be a fright.
It is very common to be concerned about how labor and delivery will go once you arrive at the hospital. When having a baby for the very first time, it is the unknown that is scary. Those feelings can creep up again even with the second, third, fourth (or more!) baby, as well. It is hard to know exactly what to expect, and that alone can prompt fear in any expecting mother.
When a woman goes into labor, her body takes over. The baby is going to be born no matter what, so when baby says it is time- it is time! Not knowing when labor is going to begin or how long it will be is a fear most mothers have. Each baby is different and all mothers have a story to tell. The best news is that eventually, it will all be over!
Having a baby brings loads of feelings including excitement, anticipation, and of course, fear. Having this mixture of feelings is totally normal. A brand new baby is so exciting, and we all want the baby to be born, but it is certainly not without some (very common) fears concerning labor and delivery.
15 Getting To The Hospital On Time
There is nothing like turning on the nightly news to hear about a pregnant woman who gave birth on the side of the road en route to the hospital, or a mom to be who gave birth just outside the hospital. It is a general fear that once labor begins you need to rush as fast as you can to the hospital, otherwise you better hope the backseat in that taxi is free from germs!
Babies can arrive quicker than expected, but it does not usually happen, and when it does a majority of the time it is not the first child for the mother. Typically, when labor begins, an expecting mom of a first baby has plenty of time- hours even to get herself to the hospital.
Oftentimes, women will eat something or take a shower before heading off to give birth. Time you contractions and once they get close together, that is when your physician will meet you at the hospital.
14 Unbearable Pain
Plenty of pregnant moms have sat at the doctor's office, having an ultrasound, hearing how big their baby is, and wondering how in the world am I going to push this thing out?! What is it going to feel like? Will it hurt? After all, we see the movies and videos of women screaming bloody murder and practically breaking the hand of their partner once they are in active labor.
Those scenes can give even the most confident women fear of the pain to come!
The thought of unbearable pain is a legitimate concern and fear of any expecting mother. There are pain medications that are available, such as the epidural, that may ease some of your fear. One thing that gets many women through the pain (and yes, there is no denying there will be pain!), is knowing that on the other side there will be a sweet, newborn baby.
Plus, once the baby (and placenta) is born, the pain, for the most part, stops.
13 Who Watches The Birth?
Does everyone want to hang out in the delivery room with you? Father of your baby, mom, mother in law, cousin, friend, etc?? Many pregnant women have people that want to be in the room while they are in labor, and even when they are pushing out that new baby.
Mothers to be fear how to let these people down if they do not want them in the room, or, they fear how these people will behave once it gets down and dirty during delivery.
When it comes to labor and delivery and who hangs out with you during these two amazing times in your life, it is completely your decision- and only your decision. If you are fretting and fearing over friends and family who insist or do not insist upon being in the room with you, try not to. You do not need anything extra to worry about during your pregnancy.
12 Not Knowing When Labor Begins
Every mom to be has a due date. However, not many babies are actually born on that actual due date. As you talk to those with children and discover this fact, it may place worry and fear in your brain knowing that your baby could be born really anytime they are ready.
It is very common to be fearful of a baby being born too early. No one wants that to happen. But a baby can be born two weeks or a few days before your due date and be at full term. Place this in the back of your head and have a plan ready- pack your bag, have emergency numbers handy, and listen to what your body tells you.
If you are concerned, talk to your physician, they have dealt with it all before so your concerns will likely be put to rest.
11 Following A Birth Plan
Many expecting parents have a set birth plan that they insist on following. A birth plan is designed to let your doctor and the hospital know your wishes in regards to your plans for when labor begins (such as, no epidural or episiotomy). A big fear among those with a plan in place is that their birth will not go according to that very important plan.
In fact, many worry that their birth plan might be thrown out the window completely!
Sometimes things do not go according to plan, right? Keep that in mind as you create your birth plan. It is simply a plan. Things can change, and they often do. Knowing this ahead of time and maintaining a level of flexibility will keep your mind at ease and not make you crazy when your plan needs to be changed last minute.
10 Going Number 2
The rumors have been heard. When pushing begins, something else may be pushed out that you would rather stay in! Going number two while attempting to push out the baby is a fear maybe pregnant women have, they think it will be messy and ultra embarrassing. After all, their husband or significant other is looking down that way.
Not to the mention the doctor, nurse, and whoever else wanders into the room!
When you have a baby, they tell you to push like you are pooping. It may just happen. But guess what? Doctors and nurses are so used to it, they will not even bat an eye! It is a normal bodily function, and if something extra comes out as you push to birth your sweet baby, it really is no big deal.
Know this going in that it could indeed happen, and warn your loved ones. All will be forgotten once you hold that brand new baby.
9 Afraid Of Having A C-Section
Whether you have a sectioned c-section for any variety of reasons, or you find out in the midst of labor and delivery that one must be performed stat, it can be a scary moment. Many mothers to be are fearful of having a c-section.
Either they do not want to have one no matter what, they start thinking about the actual cutting process, or they start freaking out that they will be awake and alert during this surgery (and it is surgery!). Regardless, many pregnant women are afraid of having a c-section.
C-sections are performed for a reason. We trust in our doctors that they are doing what is in the best interest of us and our unborn babies. Have the nurse talk you through what happens, and during the process have your partner or someone there to hold your hand. It will be over before you know it. If you question your reasons for needing one, speak to your physician.
8 Tearing Down There
How the hell is the baby going to come out?! Seriously?! Millions upon billions of pregnant women think this exact thought (and say it out loud!). It seems bizarre that a baby is supposed to be born from down there. A fear of tearing or requiring an episiotomy is quite common among expecting mothers.
Many pregnant women fear this because they worry it will hurt and they also worry about recovery. First, it is highly unlikely you feel any tearing (or cutting) at all. At this point, you will be actively pushing out your baby. Even if you have not received an epidural, that area down there seems as though it just naturally goes numb.
As for recovery, most new moms handle it just fine. You have your newborn baby to distract you from the pain and discomfort while healing!
7 Epidural Seems Scary
Many, many expecting mothers receive an epidural during labor for pain relief. If it provides relief from uncomfortable and often extremely unbearable pain during contractions, then what could be so bad about it? What scares most moms to be is the fact that the epidural is a shot that goes into your spine.
Basically, it numbs you from the waist down. Many women still feel something, such as pressure, but in most of the cases, labor pain is quite relieved.
The idea of having to have a shot in your spine is scary. Pregnant moms often fear that something could go wrong. In rare cases, it can. That is a real fear. Sometime as well, the epidural does not work as it was intended to do so. When a women in labor received the epidural she must remain very, very still.
The nurses and doctors assist her to ensure all goes well. Address concerns you have, and if it is still a real fear for you, remember way back when women gave birth will zero drugs!
6 Where Is My Partner?!
Labor can begin when we least expect it. It can start on a day much earlier than our due date. It can happen after our due date. No matter when labor begins, it is always just a bit of a surprise, even though we knew it was going to eventually happen. When labor is upon us, we want our significant other or labor partner there with us.
It is a fear among many pregnant women that this particular person will not be available to us or not answer their phone or texts as we are in labor!
These days it is pretty easy to get in touch with people. Imagine what it must have been like before cell phones?! A few weeks before your due date, make sure you have all your emergency numbers. Have a back up person you can call as well in case your number one suddenly is not taking your thousands of calls!
5 Making It All Worth It
Labor and delivery can be very scary, especially for new moms to be. Every woman's labor and delivery experience is different, so even though you may have heard stories and read books (like What To Expect), good or bad, you still do not know exactly what to expect. It is this unknown, like this pregnancy black hole, that occurs. We do not know what it will be like until it is over.
We are sure everyone can agree on one thing- all the fear and worrying about labor and delivery will seem like a distant memory. After you have been through labor and delivery, you may even say, hey that was not so bad (reasons why women have multiple children!). After all, you went into the hospital with nothing, and left with an incredible gift- your brand new baby. That makes it all worth it, doesn't it?
4 Pain Medication Won't Work
During labor sometimes all you want is drugs, and more drugs just to make that god awful pain go away!! Well, a big fear among pregnant women, especially those that have a low pain threshold, is that the pain medication will not work properly. Or worse, wear off leaving you in immense pain that you were not prepared to handle.
Yes, contractions hurt. And unfortunately, yes, sometimes the pain medication does not work as effectively as we hoped it would when it comes to combating those incredibly, uncomfortable, difficult to deal with, get this baby out of me, contractions! Also, the medications, such as the epidural, do affect women differently.
If you know this going into the game, you will feel more prepared. Remember, the pain ceases once that baby arrives- so keep your eye on the prize!
3 Labor Lasting Forever
We have all heard our mothers or grandmothers tell us the stories of how they were in labor for 96 hours with no pain medication. Hearing long labor tales can spark fear into even the most confident mom to be, as she begins to worry about labor lasting way too long. It is also the unknown, there is no way to determine how long your labor will last, and that can make anyone feel a little scared.
These days it is rare to have days and days of active labor. Typically your medical team will intervene and you may end up having a c-section. However, oftentimes with the first baby, labor may enter the double digits if you calculate very start to finish. Contractions can begin slowly and progress just as slowly.
This may make you feel like you have been in that hospital bed for days. Be prepared that the baby may not be born in a few hours, it may be more like ten hours or even more. But you are in luck- many labor and delivery rooms have televisions to help you pass the time!
2 Delivery Complications
The thought of something going horribly wrong during delivery can give anyone a panic attack. This is a fear that a huge number of expecting mothers have. It is very common to be afraid of things not only not going to plan, but of an occurrence happening that puts the baby or you in a life threatening, dangerous situation.
It is true, sometimes complications during delivery occur, but it is not very common. As a mom to be, you chose the best doctor and hospital for you and your baby, and trusting them can be difficult. But you have to trust the nurses and doctors.
They have seen it all before, and it things make a turn for the worst, giving up control to them is not only necessary but vital to the well being of both you and your unborn baby.
1 It Is Fairly Common!
You may fear how your body will handle the pain or the process of giving birth. We tend to fear what we think we cannot handle. It is very common. Being afraid of labor and delivery and all that goes with it is something that many, many women experience.
Yet, they all manage to get through it. It is important to know that whatever your fears and thoughts are, you are not alone. Remember, too, that you can always express your concerns to your doctor or nurse, there is nothing they have not heard before!
Think of labor and delivery almost as a gift. As a woman, you have the incredible ability to create and birth a human being! It is amazing. It is a miracle. Even though we all fear aspects of labor and delivery, when it is all said and done, we can look at and just say, wow, I did it – as you get that first glimpse of your beautiful new baby.