As you draw near your labor and delivery day, your mind can certainly be filled with all sorts of “what ifs” ! Be it first time moms or the experienced ones – it can get jittery as you get close to your due date. Your imaginations can simply go wild and you tend to think about the worse – case scenario ever possible. Even the calmest of women will experience some kind of anxiety related to labor and delivery. It is part excitement, part anticipation and part pure fear. Everybody knows that giving birth is not easy. And with the umpteen scenarios that could occur during delivery, you are bound to have some surprises regardless of how prepared you are for that big day. However don’t panic and just relax as here are some wonderful tips to allay your fears about delivery and get ready for the D Day.
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10 Common Fears Of A Pregnant Women and Ways To Calm Them
  1. Making it to the hospital in time: One big fear that haunts most moms to be is, whether they will get to the hospital on time when labor actually begins. Now relax and be calm as an average time span of actual labor will take around 8 hours. So the chances of you having your baby on the way in the car are almost nil. You will experience plenty of warning signals like severe cramps, back ache, timely contractions and even breaking of your water that all tell you that your baby is on the way out. So only when the contractions drop to around four or five minutes interval do you really need to panic. So relax and stop getting tensed unnecessarily
  2. Whether you will be able to bear the pain: Another huge terrifying thought is the pain that accompanies labor and whether you will be able to bear it. However, one thing you need to realize is your body has been equipped to deal with this kind of pain and once labor begins, your system will just take over naturally. You also have the alternative of asking for an epidural if you find you just cannot bear it. You have the privilege of screaming as much as you want if you find that it helps you. You could also opt for alternatives water birth that have been found to provide pain relief to some extent
  3. Having to undergo a C-section: Yet another common fear while pregnant is, whether you will have a normal delivery or will have to undergo a C section if any complication arises. A lot of moms to be are terrified of undergoing a C section and live in that fear throughout their pregnancy period. But one thing you need to realize is that there are actually some unavoidable circumstances that will make your doctor perform a C section and some of them are just beyond your control. So brace yourself that C section is always a possibility during labor and understand that having a C section does not mean the world is ending. There are so many C-sections happening all over the globe every day so just be calm and mentally prepare yourself for a C section if some kind of complication develops
  4. Fear of death: There is every chance that you may have watched a movie or video of some lady dying during childbirth and this now becomes another constant fear that haunts you everyday during your pregnancy period. Calm down as dying during child birth rarely happens these days. With increasing modern amenities and huge strides in medical science, death during birth is getting almost rare today. So relax and sit back as there is hardly any chance of anything unfortunate happening during your delivery
  5. Getting an episiotomy: A lot of pregnant women are frightened to getting torn out there and having an episiotomy done. You need to realize that a little bit of tearing does happen while giving birth and for all you know you may end up having a couple of stitches. You can discuss with your doctor about your fears and try practicing perineal massage if you want to avoid an episiotomy. And even if by chance it does happen, you would hardly realize it during that bustle and activity of giving birth
  6. Whether you will be in labor “forever”: Yet one more apprehension of most moms to be is how long your labor will last? Some fear that your labor will not progress as fast as you want it and are terrified of “being in labor forever”. Now you need to understand that no birth takes forever. The normal average labor span is around eight hours and your chances of extending even that is highly improbable. And also bear in mind the fact, you will not be experiencing sever pain right through these eight hours. And remember that those Lamaze and Bradley techniques can help to ease your pain and make it bearable to an extent
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  8. Complications in delivery: Another common fear among pregnant women is whether something may go wrong during your delivery and whether you will have a normal and healthy baby. Relax and just be optimistic and take all necessary precautions advised that are sure to help you have a normal delivery and a healthy baby
  9. Fear of stillbirth: Almost every mom to be has this fear at some point of time during her pregnancy. A lot of pregnant women often have some disturbing dreams during pregnancy which is absolutely normal and not anything negative. It is better to think about all the possibilities and to discuss them with your spouse and be prepared to cope up with outcome should it occur. If you dwell on the fear or become obsessed with it, then it this can have a negative impact and can be stressful. If this fear is very overwhelming, it is better to seek professional help
  10. Fear your doctor will miss your delivery: Another fear that bothers a lot of pregnant women is what if their doctor won’t arrive in time for delivery. Relax and remember most doctors live closer to the hospital and getting there is never a problem for them. If by any chance your doctor gets stuck in a horrible traffic jam and is not able to make it on time, do not panic. You will be far from alone in your labor and delivery room. Every labor room is attended by a team of professional ranging from experience labor and delivery nurses to attending physicians. So just sit back and relax as you will definitely be entering a place with high level of professional help and you will be properly attended to
  11. Fear of pooping on the delivery table: Many pregnant women feel that they will die of embarrassment if they poop on the delivery table. Just relax and remember this is just a natural phenomenon for a woman in labor to have a bowel movement. It is reassuring that the baby is on the way and vaginal delivery is progressing normally. Most of the staff in the labor and delivery room are used to seeing women in labor pooping or throwing up and so they are well prepared for this. So forget the embarrassment and feel happy that your baby is about to end the world
5 Useful Tips To Fight The Fear Of Labor And Delivery
  1. Avoid horror stories: Avoid watching shows in which childbirth is overdramatized and do not listen to negative experiences of people
  2. Find the facts: Do your homework and get all your facts right about labor and delivery. Learn about actual vs. imaginary risks
  3. Address emotional issues: Seek professional help early on if you have any history of depression, anxiety or other emotional issues like sexual abuse etc
  4. Learn to relax: Try and involve yourself in meditation, yoga and learn deep breathing exercises to calm your mind and body. Take peaceful walks and relaxing baths
  5. Ask for support: It is rightly said “problem shared is a problem halved”, Let your spouse, family, friends or your doctor know exactly how you feel, tell them about your fears and anxiety so that they can support you and guide your properly so that you feel strong and confident for your labor and delivery phase