There’s no doubting the fact that giving birth isn’t easy. If anything, it is one of the hardest endeavours that a woman goes through in her life. Worst of all, with all the different possible scenarios that could occur during delivery (both before and after), there’s a good chance that you will experience a few surprises irrespective of how excellently you plan out your big day. It is for this reason that a majority of women out there are a bit scared of the day they go into labor no matter if it is their first baby or fifth.
If you ask a few real mamas, they will be more than glad to tell you about their delivery fears, how the entire process turned out and how they overcame their fears. For those who are afraid to ask, we at Baby Gaga have put together a list of the most common delivery fears that women face along with the low down on whether they are truly worthy of being scared of or not:
7 Fear # : I will not be able to bear the pain!
Trust me, none of us humans are fans of pain and with the sort of pain that women experience during delivery, it is totally natural for you to think that you will not be able to bear it. All through pregnancy and particularly at the onset of labor, many women think that they will not be able to go through with their labor. But the simple fact of the matter is that there’s no turning back and whimpering about it, or fearing it is not going to change a thing.
Now, let us move on a bit with that reality check. Yes, just the thought of bearing all that pain can strike fear in anyone’s heart but you need to bear in mind that as a woman and a mother, your body was made to go through this procedure what with all that pain and all. The moment your labor starts progressing, your endorphins are going to kick in, and with that, your body is going to take over the entire procedure and will help you deliver your baby. The good part is that there are lots of pain management options available these days. Hence, if the pain becomes unbearable, or if your labor continues to go on forever, then feel free to scream out for an epidural.
On the other hand, if you want to take the all-natural approach to delivery, then there are plenty of alternative pain management techniques that you can try out. These include hypnosis and even meditation. A majority of hospitals and birthing centers out there even offer hot water tubs for women going through labor to benefit from. Honestly speaking, this has the potential to ease the intensity of the pain so there really isn’t a thing for you to worry about even if you take the natural route to delivering your baby.
On the whole, pain management during labor shouldn’t really worry you. Just go through the different options that your hospital or birthing center has to offer and make a decision based on what you find most comfortable – you WILL be able to bear the pain.
6 Fear # : I will not be able to reach the hospital in time
I have come across quite a few women who fear that they will not be able to make it to the hospital in time for their delivery. Even if their hospital or birthing center is just about half an hour away, they stress all through their pregnancy that it will not be possible for them to make it there on time that too in the midst of all that pain. To tell you the truth, there isn’t much for you to get scared of in this regard, and we’ll tell you why.
The reason why it is possible for you to reach the hospital ‘in time’ is because labor, on average, lasts for up to eight hours. Yes, it might not sound like good news to you right now considering all the pain that you will have to bear, but if you think of it logically, eight hours is a whole lot of time for you to reach the hospital prior to your delivery – your chances of delivering a baby on the roadside are rather slim. Come to think of it, you don’t see a woman delivering her baby on the side of the highway every day, do you? The best part is that your body will give you quite a few warning signs well before your bundle of joy starts making his/her way down into the birth canal. You will know for sure when it is time for you to head to the hospital. The signs that you will most probably experience are inclusive of:
- Back pain
- Intense cramping
- Steady contractions
- Your water breaking
You may even fear having an extremely speedy labor, but even in such a case, there’s a good chance that you will reach the hospital in time. The best thing for you to do in such a scenario is to time your contractions just so you have estimate of the time it will take for your baby to make an arrival. However, if you want to relax, it is best for you to question your doctor and find out what you should do to handle the situation in case your baby decides to make an earlier appearance.
5 Fear # : I’ll die during labor
This may probably be the last thing on your mind, but trust me, there are plenty of women out there who are scared crazy of dying during labor. From hearing about how painful labor can be, and reading about instances of maternal deaths, women for some reason think that they will pass away while giving birth to their babies. However, maternal deaths are NOT as common as you may think they are.
Although people think that maternal deaths no longer take place, the fact of the matter is that women, even in developed countries continue to die during childbirth. However, to help you relax a bit, such instances are extremely rare and this particularly holds true for developed countries where adequate healthcare facilities are offered to women all through their pregnancies and delivery. Women particularly freak out when they hear of stories stating that maternal deaths are on the rise, but honestly speaking, these statistics should not worry you. Why so? Well, for the simple reason that the rate is still at a minimum at just about 11 deaths per 100, 000 births. Most importantly, all of the deaths that occur in such circumstances are the result of either poor medical care or due to particular prenatal complications that remain unresolved right up to the last moment. And there’s good news too – the recent changes introduced in the health care reform are focused on providing enhanced prenatal care to women who do not have medical coverage (or have poor coverage). With that, the rates of maternal deaths are bound to decrease over time, so if you fear such an occurrence while birthing your child, it is about time that you get it off your mind right away.
On the whole, maternal deaths are rather rare in countries like the USA, UK, and Canada etc. A majority of women who die during delivery belong to un- or under-developed countries in Southeast Asia and Africa etc. Yes, women in developed countries die as well, but they do not die because of excessive pain. They die of childbirth complications that include:
- High blood pressure
- Infection etc.
As long as you are getting proper prenatal care, the chances that you will die while birthing your baby are next to impossible.
4 Fear # : I will end up having a C-section
Most women are terrified at the thought of having to go through a C-section and are determined not to have one. Their fear takes such a toll on them that they don’t even want to talk or learn about the process. All through their pregnancy, they take every single step and precaution possible to avert the onset of any medical conditions that might demand getting a C-section done. What they don’t realize is that with time, there might be circumstances that just can’t be avoided and will definitely lead to a C-section, thus fearing the entire process is only going to make matters worse for you.
Having a C-section is always a possibility irrespective of whether having one is part of your birth plan or not. Yes, there are quite a few downsides of having a C-section including abdominal pain, longer recovery time, soreness and of course, a long dreading hospital bill, but undergoing a C-section in no way means a fail in giving birth or becoming a mother. Believe it or not, but a significant percentage of births around the world are being performed through C-sections these days for various reason. There really isn’t anything wrong with going through a C-section and considering that it is a possibility in every delivery, it is necessary for you to learn about the process and its realities. This way, in case you have to go for one, you will know what to expect from the procedure and how to recover from it.
Although people might tell you how horrible C-sections are, the fact is that having one is in most cases a necessity. The reasons why a C-section is typically performed include:
- A multiple pregnancy
- A large baby
- Failure of labor to progress
- Medical concerns like placenta previa, high blood pressure and diabetes etc.
- Feta distress
In situations like these, having a C-section is the safest means of delivering a baby – a healthy baby who can be held by a health mom, so if your doctor suggests a C-section (even an emergency one), don’t fear it or think too much about it – relax and just focus on delivering a healthy baby and getting well soon.
3 Fear #: I will experience delivery complications
Another fear that pregnant women at times face is that they will experience complications during delivery and something or the other is bound to go wrong. This particularly holds true for women who have been through a traumatic labor and delivery in the first place where quite a few complications came up. But things don’t always happen this way. There are plenty of women out there who have smooth deliveries without a single complication, and so can you, hence worrying about the unseen is really not going to do you any favors.
To be honest, fearing any and all unforeseen delivery complications is somewhat natural and rather real – and for good reason. The reason is that there are countless variables that could contribute to something going wrong during labor. These complications are inclusive of:
- Breech position
- Fetal distress
- Placenta previa
- Meconium aspiration
- Cephalopelvic Disproportion
- Nuchal cord etc.
However, the thing with a majority of these complications is that they will typically lead to a C-section and will not put your baby or you in severe danger. Most importantly, these complications might even get detected while you are still pregnant, so there’s a good chance that you will not face any major surprises as such. For instance, in your third trimester check-ups, your doctor will be able to determine the position of your baby in the weeks leading up to labor. This means that any sudden shifts in the position of your baby are not likely to take place. Even if your baby changes its position and goes breech, a C-section can always be performed so there really isn’t any danger to you or your baby. With current advancements in technology, there aren’t many conditions that can turn life-threatening so there really isn’t much for you to worry about.
To be honest, although it is fairly easy for you to fret all the what-ifs and what-nots in your mind all through pregnancy, it is highly recommended for you to relax and stop thinking about them. remember, your child feels every bit of stress that you do so you seriously need to keep stressing out at a minimum.
2 #: My birth plan will not work
Many women who have a birth plan fear that it will not work. For those who don’t have it written, the biggest fear is that their doctor or a nurse will give them an intervention without their permission. To be honest, no matter if you have a written birth plan or not, there is a good chance that it is not going to work come crunch time. This is because birth plans are just that – nothing more than ‘plans’.
The thing is that there are countless scenarios and situations that can come up as your labor progresses. Literally, the options are infinite in this regard and there is no chance that your birth plan will be able to cover them. There is no way for your birth plan to cover what will happen in case your child moves into the breech position, or how things need to be handled in case there is onset of fetal distress. For this reason, during labor, there is no guarantee that your birth plan will work, which deems it necessary for you to make up your mind that it is probably not going to go the way you have planned it out. However, if you are truly adamant about following your birth plan, then it is highly recommended for you to write it down to even the tiniest of details. This way, in case your baby is delivered by another OB/GYN, it will be easy for him or her to know how you wish to go about things. Doing so will also play a significant role in preventing others from making hasty interventions that are against your birth plan.
In case things do not go your way, or go completely against your plan, you will not be in the position to kick yourself later on for not fighting for how you wanted things to happen. With that, it is necessary for you to bear in mind the fact that there are countless circumstances that can arise and most of them will be completely out of your hands. With these, it will be just about impossible for you to follow your birth plan, so even if you have one at hand, make up your mind that you may not be able to follow it through.
1 #: I’ll poop on the table
Oh yeah, this one’s real. No matter how many times women are told that doctors see laboring women poop on the table all the time and just don’t care about it, they are still scared of pooping on the table and the embarrassment that would prevail.
To be honest, I completely understand their fear – pooping in front of six different people gawking between your legs is nothing short of being an utter nightmare. However, there’s no denying the fact that a lot – yes A LOT – of women poop on the table during labor and delivery. That’s right! There are plenty of women out there who, quite like you, fear pooping on the table and then do it during delivery without even knowing about it unless they are told by the nurse (most unlikely) or their partner. The fact of the matter is that even if you poop during delivery, there is a good chance that you won’t even care about it. This is because with all that pain, pressure, discomfort and all those doctors and nurses telling you to push, delivering a bit more than just your baby is going to be the last thing on your mind. So instead of fretting about it all through your pregnancy, relax and just focus on having a healthy pregnancy.
With a vaginal delivery, there’s always a chance that you will push out a bit of feces, but honestly speaking, it isn’t anything to be embarrassed about – it is completely natural. Also, you may experience a bit of diarrhea as well right before labor, which is your body’s way of keeping the digestive tract clean come delivery time. But with all that pushing and tugging during delivery, you just might pass a bit of feces as well. But the reality is that nobody cares. Even if you ooze a bit of poop, the doctor is going to continue doing whatever s/he is doing without even giving a thought to what has just made its way out of your body. Most importantly, you might not even know that you have pooped considering that the nurses are simply going to wipe it away and continue doing their jobs – to them, it isn’t a big deal.