In many hospitals, the delivery rooms are not set up for comfort; rather, they are rooms full of strange and complex equipment. These rooms should handle most types of births and any emergencies likely to occur during delivery.
Most mothers get anxious thinking of labor and delivery and this can stress them out. This is the reason most hospitals encourage pregnant women to take advance tours of the maternity ward (plus the delivery room) so that they can familiarize themselves with the environment and some of the equipment they will encounter.
No matter how many articles and books a mom-to-be reads on the subject of childbirth, they are still not enough to prepare her for what she will go through in the delivery room and especially if she is a first timer. Every woman labors and delivers differently. What one will encounter during delivery is never certain and this can make many moms nervous of the unexpected and stress them out.
Moms are encouraged not to think too much about the delivery. Yes, it is important for them to be educated on what will conspire but moms should avoid stressing themselves with stories they have heard before or read about. Other people’s outcomes will not necessarily be theirs so they should wait to have their own experience.
Here are a few things that might stress moms out, though they should try to focus more on meeting their bundle of joy.
20 Strange Environment
As earlier stated above, the mom's comfort is not a priority when designing a delivery room. This room is full of all sorts of equipment and beds covered with plastics to ease cleaning after delivery. According to NHS, this has pushed even more mothers to choose home births rather than hospital ones because the acquaintance with their home surroundings puts them at ease.
Moms set on having a hospital birth should do a tour beforehand and choose a hospital that they are comfortable with. A familiar delivery room gives a mom one less thing to worry about and makes her time there easier.
19 Going Number Two On The Delivery Bed
The thought of going number two in front of people can cause a state of discomfort in some moms’ minds. However, as stated by babble, it is important for mothers to know that contrary to what they think, this is actually encouraged. It is usually a sign that the mother is pushing the right way.
It is natural for a woman’s body to clear the way for the baby before she can start pushing. Some moms get an early chance to visit the bathroom but some never have the time to do so. A number of hospitals also discourage moms from going to the loo; out of concern that the baby might come while she is alone in the loo.
18 Impolite Nurses
In many hospitals, experienced nurses deliver babies for moms giving birth naturally, since in such cases the doctor will only appear in the event of complications. For some nurses, the delivery process is too monotonous that they forget that giving birth is a new and hair-raising experience for most moms. They can dismiss polite requests and can be sometimes very rude to patients.
According to a mom who posted on BabyCenter, some nurses can negatively affect our stay in the hospital and make the birthing experience more difficult. At first, the nurses did not believe the mom when she told them she was about to deliver until they checked her and found that she was 7cm dilated. They also delayed her epidural and limited her bonding time with the baby.
17 Delivery Complications
As stated in msdmanuals.com, delivery complications are usually rare and when they do happen, most doctors deal with them in a timely manner. However, some complications can occur unexpectedly and the doctors have to conduct emergency surgeries. Even the best of doctors sometimes can prevent some complications from arising. When moms think about the possibility of this happening, this can stress them out.
Sometimes situations can hold doctors up elsewhere and make it impossible for them to make it in time for the delivery. This can make moms uneasy especially because they are the ones to make medical decisions and act fast in case something goes wrong.
The cost of medical care in the US is high. Giving birth in the hospital is usually expensive especially if the mom does not have medical insurance. Moms are likely to pay an arm and a leg if any complications arise during delivery. The amount of the total bill is likely to stress mom while she is in the delivery room especially if she starts thinking that there might be complications.
According to the study published in the Archives of Women Mental Health, the number one cause of stress even during pregnancy is money. Worrying about finances during this time can lead the baby to be lighter than he or she should be.
15 Tokophobia (Fear Of Giving Birth)
Wikipedia defines tokophobia as a significant dread of giving birth. Moms who have this phobia are likely to have a very difficult time during delivery because they always think of bad scenarios and all the things that could possibly go wrong during delivery. Some will even opt to go for C-sections just to avoid going through delivery.
Moms with this dread should go for counseling the moment they discover they are pregnant. By the time they reach their due date, they will be well prepared and less stressed about the delivery process, as advised by Tommys.
14 Uncomfortable Delivery Positions
As stated by babble.com, there is no mandatory position for a mom to be in during delivery. In fact, the common position known where a woman normally lies flat on her back is for the doctor’s comfort and not the mom. She should not be afraid of letting the doctor know that she prefers another position.
A mom can choose to stand, squat, lie down, or even be on her fours. It is better if moms identify comfortable positions for themselves, otherwise, an uncomfortable one will lead to stress while delivering. Adjusting a mom’s position sometimes during difficult deliveries can fix the problem.
13 Meconium Syndrome Aspiration (An Early Bowel Movement)
Sometimes when babies are distressed, they pass out their first bowel movement—referred to as meconium—while still in the womb. When the meconium gets into the amniotic fluid, the baby can inhale it. Once it enters the baby’s airways, it can block them and cause the baby to have difficulties breathing once they are born.
As much as this can stress moms, it is treatable. According to thebump.com, the baby normally spends a few days in the NICU. They will be put on a breathing machine for some days, moms can take them home once the condition improves.
12 Delivery Pains
Pain is relative to individuals and as revealed by kidshealth.com, every woman experiences pain differently. Some moms will cry their lungs out even when they experience the slightest pain while others will take it without as much as a hiss. A small percentage of mothers pass out from pain during delivery as disclosed by NHS. In such cases, the mothers have to have assisted deliveries.
Nonetheless, pain is inevitable in the delivery room and although this stresses mothers, they should realize that it does not last forever. Once they meet their baby, they will even forget about the pain.
11 Episiotomies (A Few Stitches To Patch Mom Right Up)
According to Merriam-Webster, an episiotomy is a surgical cut that is done to open up a woman’s birth canal and assist in a rather difficult delivery. It is essential in preventing the woman’s tissues from rupturing excessively. After birth, a couple of stitches are usually added to repair it.
Episiotomies require a lot of care and attention after delivery otherwise the mom might develop an infection. Most moms usually prefer not to undergo the procedure because it has a reputation of limiting a moms’ movement after birth. However, if the mom takes care of the wound well, it will heal within a couple of weeks.
10 Not Having Their Partners Present
Some hospitals do not allow moms to bring people into the delivery room. The reason for this is to protect them from what they will see. What happens in the delivery room is not exactly a pleasant sight. Research has it that most men cannot withstand the sight of everything that goes on in there, especially what happens to their women during delivery.
Therefore, the mother has to go through childbirth surrounded by strangers. Most hospitals, however, allow one at least person to ease mom’s worries. As claimed by whattoexpect.com, having someone to hold her hand and say encouraging words will reduce the stress the mom goes through during what essentially will be the most painful experience of her life is.
9 The Length Of The Delivery Changes For Everyone
No one can predict the exact time a mother will take to deliver a baby because women are different. However, some factors can delay or quicken delivery time. Baby Centre points out that the delivery of a baby can take even more than one hour.
Generally, first-time moms take longer to deliver a baby. The more time moms spend in there, the more pain they have to go through. This can be very stressful for them as they wait anxiously to hold their babies in their arms. However, moms are encouraged to stay calm as much as they can to hasten the whole process.
8 The Baby’s Position
Research suggests that 4% of babies end up in breech positions. This is where the baby’s feet or behind face downwards instead of the head. A breech baby can make delivery very difficult, sometimes even impossible, which means that the mom has to go for an emergency C-section.
According to moms on mamapedia.com, few babies change from the head down position during those last few weeks before birth and become breech. There are also those who refuse to engage despite being head down. When this happens, moms rarely give birth naturally. This can be stressful for a mom who had not planned for any other type of birth other than delivery through the birth canal.
7 Cervical Checks
Cervical Checks tend to be very invasive and uncomfortable procedures. Nurses do not enjoy performing them either, as stated by babble.com. However, this does not mean that they should be rough and worsen the mom's discomfort.
Given that the nurses will have to repeat the checks several times over until full dilation of the cervix, hospital staff should handle moms with a lot of care. Moms, on the other hand, need not shy away from telling nurses to be gentle while examining them. However, nurses also advise that moms should relax during these examinations in order to ease their discomfort.
6 Delivery Room Equipment
The delivery room has most, if not all, the equipment necessary during delivery and in cases where moms need help during a delivery. According to NHS, when some moms tire halfway through delivery, the nurses have to use forceps or ventouse suction cups to help push out the baby. There is also equipment for cutting the umbilical cord, checking on the baby, and cleaning mom up.
Therefore, the sight of the delivery room can scare a new mom and lead her to a lot of stress. It is important for new moms to be educated on the equipment beforehand during an advance tour of the hospital. The tools are all very safe and sterile so moms should not worry about them.
5 Birth-Related Contusions
According to statistics by teeslaw.com, some of the common contusions that occur during delivery include; uterine ruptures, prolapsed uterus, tearing of the birth canal, traumatic stress disorder, and post-partum hemorrhaging. The possibility of getting involved in such while giving birth can cause anxiety in a mom while she is waiting to have her baby.
Babies can also get hurt during birth, they can fracture bones, dislocate a limb or get a cut or bruise. However, moms should rest easy knowing that they have medical professionals around them who are capable of dealing with any issues that might occur during delivery.
4 Epidural Side Effects
Approximately 50% of moms in the US use epidurals to reduce the pain of labor, as revealed by americanpregnancy.com. However, epidurals have side effects that can stress a mother as she debates on whether to have it or forego it while waiting to deliver her baby.
The epidural injection decreases BP and can sometimes make delivery very difficult to the point that the doctor has to use forceps and a vacuum to pull out the baby. Other side effects include headaches, shivers, nausea, and backaches. This can be nerve-racking especially to a mother who is aware of these side effects.
3 Nuchal Cord (When The Umbilical Cord Wraps Itself Around The Baby's Neck)
A nuchal cord occurs when the umbilical cord wraps itself around a baby’s neck. It occurs in about 37% of births. According to medicalnewstoday.com, most doctors will not bother with adjusting or unlooping the cord during delivery as this may cause more issues. Doctors will refer a mom for C-section especially if the baby’s heart rate starts to decrease.
On a positive note, nuchal cords rarely cause any risk during delivery. However, the thought of the umbilical cord squeezing the baby’s neck can definitely stress out a mom; especially if she can hear the baby’s heart rate on the fetal monitor.
2 Fetal Distress
Fetal distress is an emergency delivery complication. A baby is in fetal distress if he or she is not getting enough oxygen. That is why the doctors have to monitor the baby’s heart rate during labor and delivery. A fetal heart rate monitor is what doctors commonly use to monitor the heart rate of a baby while still in their mother’s womb. Some doctor can also use a Doppler, which is a handheld device that can listen to a baby’s heart.
Thinking of this complication especially when the monitor starts beeping to indicate danger can be stressful for a mom. The best way to treat fetal distress is to deliver the baby so that the doctors can administer medical care, as indicated in abclawcentres.com. The mom has to go for an emergency C-section most of the time it occurs.
1 Unprofessional Staff
The moment a mom develops mistrust in the medical personnel who are supposed to take care of her while in the hospital she will definitely not have an easy time. She will constantly worry and always be on the lookout for what they could be doing wrong, instead of focusing on her own well-being. Cosmopolitan published a story about one of the nurses in Caroline Malatesta's delivery who held her son’s head to stop him from coming down the birth canal. She went to court and the court awarded her $16 million for the lawsuit.
Moms-to-be should find out about other moms delivery experiences in various hospitals and if possible get referrals for the best hospitals and doctors to avoid dealing with staff that will make mom uneasy. Moms can also request the hospital to let her use her own doctor if she is not confident in a hospitals capability.
Sources: babble.com, nhs.uk, babycentre.co.uk, merriam-webster.com, msdmanuals.com, tommys.org, mamapedia.com, thebump.com