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20 Ways To Feel Less Nervous About Labor

There are many things to feel nervous about in this world. We can be afraid of heights, public speaking and just about everything else. However, nothing sends shivers down a woman’s spine more than the thought of giving birth. Every pregnant woman gets hit with the thought at one point; this baby eventually has to come out and there are only limited options.

Many think that this fear only affects first-time moms, moms who have never done it before. This is partly true, they definitely do fear it because they have never done it before and they have no idea what to expect. However, moms who have done it before can be just as intimidated. I recently gave birth for the second time and I was almost more nervous because I had an idea of what was coming.

Being overly stressed and anxious when pregnant is never a good idea. It is important to stay calm at this point in life for mom's health and the baby’s. So, is there a way we can get over the fear of labour? The answer is maybe. While we may never get over the fear completely, there are things we can do to help settle the nerves just a little bit and here are 20 of them.

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20 Be Prepared

Sometimes the best way to get over a fear of anything is to be prepared. The more we know about something, the less we tend to fear it. We want to feel in control, and the best way to do this is to learn about it. Mom will want to make sure she does proper research and be wary of Google because there are a lot of scary stories out there that won’t help much.

Mom will want to learn about what happens during labour and how to be prepared. Make it more if a science and a procedure. However, it is important to still be a little wary, because everyone’s birth story is different and there are many ways that yours could unfold.

19 You Are Not Alone

When we are in a situation where we feel all alone, it can be a lot worse. It is much easier to face something when we know that we are not alone and that someone is with us. This is the mindset to have when you are about to face childbirth, you are most definitely not alone.

I read somewhere that every single day, there are about 350, 000 woman around the world giving birth. That is a big number and should tell you that you are in this with a lot of other women. When we think about how many other women are doing this, and getting through it, it can help us feel like we can do it to.

18 Self-Care Is Vital

Once you become a mother, even if it means you are caring for a baby while it is still on the inside can be difficult. You all of a sudden spend all of your time and energy taking care of someone else and forgetting all about yourself. You do this without even realizing it too, until you are burnt out. The best thing you can do is some self-care.

Take a trip to the spa when you feel the nerves and anxiety start creeping out or do anything else that helps you to relax. Maybe that means taking a nice long bath with a good book or going for a nice long walk in the park. You want to do anything that will help you relax and even take your mind off things for a little bit.

17 Face Your Fears

This one may seem a bit radical and it definitely may not work for everyone, but sometimes the best way to conquer our fears is to face them. This is the age-old piece of wisdom that is passed on. If you want to conquer your fear, then just do it. Well, if you are not ready to deliver you can’t exactly just do it, but you can watch it.

Head on over to your library, or even YouTube and check out some videos of women giving birth. It may be graphic, and that is why it may not be for everyone, but it can help. Watching other women go through it can help show you that you are not alone and that women do it every day and they survive. It will also help to see what happens after the baby is born, how everyone is just smiling and happy.

16 Every Story Is Different

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Here is the problem with the human race, we always end up comparing ourselves to others when it comes to everything. In how we dress, do our hair and even how we give birth. If you are pregnant chances are someone (or multiple people) have told you their birth stories and you immediately start thinking that yours will be like theirs.

This can be a problem if the person telling you the story had a rather difficult birth. It can make you even more afraid. It is important to tell yourself in these situations that every childbirth is unique and different. There is nothing to say that your labour will be anything like anyone’s who is telling you their story.

15 Focus On The Result

Sometimes, we get so preoccupied with our fear about giving birth that we forget that it is only a short moment in the lifetime of our child. We often neglect to think of what comes immediately after childbirth. That is the feeling of our little baby on our chest. This is the moment when most women forget about the pain and tears they just went through.

It is important to remember, if this is your first pregnancy, that there is a reason why women do this more than once. Tell yourself that as bad as childbirth must be, it must not be bad enough to prevent women from doing it again in order to get the sweet, beautiful little ‘prize’ at the end of it all.

14 Be Happy No Matter What

Have you ever noticed that if you are happy, your body is happy? If you just spend more time smiling, than you are bound to put yourself into a better mood? This same principle can be applied to help calm the fears of childbirth. As much as you want to scowl, wince and be afraid, if you just put a smile on your face than your whole outlook on life can change.

This can be difficult as you battle the woes and aches of pregnancy along with the fear, but that is why you also use other tactics on this list. Make sure you are engaging in self-care as well, to help with the pregnancy aches and to put yourself in a better place.

13 Keep A Journal

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Keeping a journal or writing of any kind can be very therapeutic. We have always been told that but very little of us actually partake in it. A pregnancy journal is a great thing to do for two reasons. The first reason is to help you remember your pregnancy. Nine months may seem like such a long time, but it goes by so quickly that you will be at the end without even really remembering it.

The second reason it can be so beneficial is because it can help you work through some of your fears and anxiety. When your mind is overcome with feelings, it can help to write them down. Getting them out of your mind on paper can help release some tension and make things easier to overcome.

12 Meditate

There is a new trend out there in the world and that is meditation and it is helping people all over the world overcome their anxieties and fears. It should work no differently for a woman who is fearing labour. If you are unsure how to meditate there are many courses out there that can help you.

Some people find it just as nice to play some white noise, such as the sound of rain or anything that calms you and sitting and trying to think of nothing. Just being present in the moment. Thanks to our smart phones, there are dozens of free apps at your disposal to help you.

11 Sleep

Sleep is one of the most precious things in our lives, and if you don’t think so now just wait until you have that little baby. Your world will revolve around getting the baby to sleep, you are getting sleep and everything about sleep. It also gets pretty hard to sleep when you are pregnant, especially near the end when everything hurts, and you have to get up to go to the bathroom every ten minutes.

Sleep is the best way to calm any fears. Our bodies do a lot of work while we are sleeping, and they recharge and refresh. If you are feeling extra anxious, have a nice calming bath and try and get some shut eye to wake up feeling refreshed.

10 Exercise

Exercise is something we all know is good for our bodies and our minds, it is amazing how a brisk walk or jog can help clear our minds. That must mean that this can help calm a nervous moms mind about giving birth. A lot of women are hesitant to work out when they are expecting, not wanting to do too much or put too much strain on the growing baby.

It is always best to clear it with your doctor first, but there is usually no reason why women can not get a work out in when pregnant. Even if it is just some light yoga or a brisk walk. These activities can help clear your mind and they will also help your body get ready to deliver. It is a win-win situation.

9 Talk To Your Doctor

There are a lot of visits with your doctor when you are pregnant, so it is easy to say that they can become like your best friend when you are expecting. Your doctor, whether it be an OB or a midwife, are there to help you but we don’t often use them like we should. We believe that they are strictly there for medical reasons, they are there for your mind too.

If you are feeling particularly scared and it is hindering your day-to-day life, it is always a good idea to talk to your doctor about it. Tell them your fears. They have helped hundreds of women deliver babies, and they have likely delivered hundreds themselves, so they have a lot of experience that can be very helpful for you.

8 Talk It Out

While we are on the topic of talking out your fears and worries, this point is so helpful that it needs its own segment. If you are not quite comfortable talking to your doctor or midwife, there is always the option of a doula. A doula is a specifically trained individual who is there for a pregnant woman to help her through the pregnancy and childbirth emotionally.

We all have support people in our lives and they are wonderful, but a doula undergoes specific training on how to help a woman through childbirth. How to get her through her fears and anxieties to create the calmest environment she can. Even if it is just to talk to you about your fears.

7 What Is Your Fear Exactly?

There are many parts of childbirth that can be scary. The unknown of when it will happen, the length, the pain and the medical risks can all be scary. It is important to really figure out what about labour scares you. What part of it seems the scariest and most overwhelming. When you can break it down into more manageable parts it may not seem so impossible.

If you are able to narrow it down to the exact thing you are afraid of you will be better able to tackle it. You will have specific questions to now ask, and parts to now research. If you can conquer that little part, you are afraid of it may make it all seem much easier to overcome.

6 Take It Day By Day

A woman has 9 whole months to worry and fret about childbirth. That is a long time, and the more and longer we worry about something the worse it is going to seem. It is much better to just take it day-by-day. Take each day being pregnant at a time, and that is all you can really do. If you just wake up each day and embrace it and face whatever life has in store for you it will be much easier.

I was always told two things in life; don’t worry about things you can’t change, and don’t make tomorrow’s concerns today’s problem. Childbirth will happen, and you can’t change that so focus on what you can control, like your birth plan. Also, don’t fear something that is not happening to your right now, it is creating problems.

5 Research Everything

This one goes hand in hand with getting more education about something. The more we know about something the less scary it can seem. We will feel empowered and aware of what is going to happen. It is important to do your research, however there is a warning label here. While you want to do your research, you want to make sure it is proper research.

Google can be your best friend or your worst enemy when it comes to research. Asking your doctor where a good place to look would be a great start. Make sure your research is limited to health-related websites as opposed to blogs and forums.

4 Do A Hospital Tour Before

The reason a lot of women are afraid of childbirth is because they do not know what to expect. We are all anxious about the unknown, so the best way to overcome that is to make it known. Just as it is important to do your research, it is also important to do a hospital tour. If you are giving birth at a hospital or a birthing center, set up a tour.

This will allow you to go and see the labour and delivery ward, and even the maternity ward for when you are in recovery. You will become familiar with where to go when the moment comes, and you will become familiar with the nursing staff. Depending on how busy they are, they may be able to answer some questions you have about certain procedures.

3 Plan The Driving Route

Another big fear when it comes to giving birth is that mom won’t make it to the hospital in time. That she will end up on the news because she gave birth in the car. This is a rare situation and if this is your first baby you will likely have more than enough time to make it to the hospital. If you still want to be prepared you can do some dry runs.

Get in the car with your spouse and drive to the hospital. Do it at different times of the day because you want to account for rush hour or busy weekend shoppers. You also may want to map out some alternate routes and time those as well in case there is construction or accidents when the time comes. It really is all about being prepared.

2 Stay Away From Dramatic Stories

Once you are pregnant, people will love to give you advice on any and everything. They want to tell you how to raise your baby and they will also want to share their labour stories. Be wary of this if you are afraid of giving birth. Be wary of any dramatic labour stories, or those stories with awful emergencies. These are rare cases and are in no way helpful because every labour is different.

You also may want to steer clear of any TV shows on babies and giving birth. These are bound to be dramatic stories because it is all about the ratings. They are sensationalized and in no way should be trusted as a reputable source for your own knowledge.

1 Just Breathe

Hopefully there have been things on this list that will help you overcome your fears. However, if nothing has helped the best thing you can do is just breathe. Try and relax and enjoy your pregnancy, you will miss it. At the end of the day, the baby will come out and no amount of fear or anxiety will change that.

I have given birth twice now, and was terrified each time, but now that it is over I realized that there really wasn’t much to be scared of. My body took over and it knew what to do. If it didn’t, there was a ton of doctors there that could help me.

References: Belly Belly, Today's Parent 

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