Top 10 Things We fear About Birth
10) Being “seen”!
Often, women fear being seen in a vulnerable position during labor. It is not just the nudity part but also the vulnerability of labor. Choose your support team wisely. Provider/Doula/Family, you must be comfortable enough with those people to labor freely.
9) Water breaking in public!
A spontaneous rupture of membranes as the first sign of labor, happens less often than you might think. About 10-15% of women begin the birth process this way. If this does happen for you in public, it is likely that those around you will understand.
8) Accidently delivering at home or in the car!
Try not to give too much power to this. In most cases this is pretty unlikely. Keep in mind that birth/babies that come quickly like this don’t usually require much help.
7) Being separated from the baby at birth or during the hospital stay! Do your homework on this one. When possible, choose a Baby Friendly hospital. If not possible, visit the hospital, ask questions and go with your gut. A short meeting with the on-staff lactation consultant can give you a better sense of the facilities philosophy on this.
6) Pitocin! This medication is widely over-used. Discuss this fear with your provider and assess their reaction to your question. Having freedom of movement can ease the extra discomfort of Pitocin considerably, however, most hospitals require constant fetal monitoring in conjunction with it and want you to be in bed. Ask these questions at a prenatal visit.
5) Interventions! Everything we read during pregnancy tells us to beware of the intervention trickle down effect where one intervention leads to the next and so on… Again, discuss this concern with your provider and doula, get the facts and make informed decisions for you and your baby.
4) Cesarean Section! For many women, the idea of major surgery is terrifying. If you are anxious about this do your homework and make sure that your doctor views cesarean section as a last resort.
3) POOP! This was MY fear! It may happen. OK, it will probably happen… It’s normal, most women do and the nurses, doctors, midwives and doulas expect it to happen.
2) Episiotomy or tear! None of us are comfortable with the thought of our anatomy being cut or tearing. A warm compress against your bottom during the late part of labor can help relax the perineum and help it stretch. Ask your provider if they will help you with perineal massage.
And the # 1 fear associated with birth is PAIN!
Learn in detail about your pain management options, from movement to massage, breathing techniques to medications. Understand the benefits and risks as well as the alternatives to each and use wisely, your power to choose!