At some point during pregnancy, most expectant mothers tend to experience rising anxiety about labor and birth. You might be very excited to meet your baby, but actually having the baby might be making you feel really scared. This is completely normal. First-time mothers and even mothers who have already had children are facing the unknown. You’ve probably heard horror stories from well-meaning people, which won’t help you feel calmer. Here are some top tips to help you manage your nerves.
One of the best ways to get over your anxieties around labor is to empower yourself with as much knowledge as you can. Find out as much as you can about labor, focusing your learning on birth as a normal, natural process. It can help your nerves if you feel that you what to do if things change during labor so you feel informed about the sort of decisions that you might be asked to make.
Birth classes are a good place to start to learn some ways to make labor a positive experience. You can use these classes to learn practical skills for coping during your labor and to teach your partner how to best support you.
You might also feel better knowing who can help you if something goes wrong, whether that’s a specialist doctor or one of the top birth injury attorneys.
You Are Not Alone
Women give birth all over the world every day. When you go into labor, you will not be alone, as all those women are making the same journey with you.
Women have been giving birth for thousands of years and your body has an instinctive knowledge of what to do.
Being supported during your labor will help you have a positive birth. You could hire a doula to support you during your labor, as having some experienced, trained support from someone you have chosen can relieve a lot of anxiety.
Take Care Of Yourself
Looking after yourself should be a top priority. Some exercise can help to lower stress and relieve some tension. It also helps to clear your mind. Try to include exercise into each day. Gentle exercise like swimming and walking is suitable for pregnant women, or you could go to a specific pregnancy exercise class.
It can be tempting to reach for the treats when you feel stressed out and in need of some comfort, but eating your feelings while you’re pregnant isn’t a great plan. Eating foods that are high in sugar can impact your health, which could make your low-risk labor much higher risk. Gestational diabetes is becoming more common, and diet, particularly ones high in sugar and processed grains, is the major contributor. If you want something sweet, there are some better alternatives, such as berries in smoothies, berries with fall fat yogurt, fruit with nut butter, dried fruit and nuts, and fresh fruit.
Face Your Fears
Think about what your fears actually are. Perhaps you have grown up hearing your mother tell your own birth story a lot, and it was a scary one. Growing up with the idea that birth is very painful and frightening can lead to you having a lot of anxiety about dealing with labor of your own. Maybe you have seen a movie or a TV show that has scared you into thinking that labor is very painful or that it’s really dangerous.
You might find it helpful to make a list of the things that you are worried about and talk about the list with your doctor or your midwife. If you are able to talk about your fears, they can help you face them and realize that your worries are completely normal.
Having these conversations can also help you to see that you have a lot of choice in how your labor goes. If you can start planning for the things that you’re worried about, you can feel more in control.
Each Labor Is Unique
Every labor is unique. It doesn’t matter how many times you go through labor, you will experience something completely new each time.
Going into labor expecting it to be just like your friend’s, your mother’s, or your sister-in-law’s means you’re forgetting that you aren’t any of those people. Their experiences during labor are unique to them. Where you give birth and who you have supporting you will have an impact on the experience you have too. Understanding that your labor will be unique to you can help you get your fears into perspective.
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