How to Deal with Pre-Birth Nerves
It is understandable that whilst you are pregnant, you will have some nerves and anxiety about the impending birth.
For some women, this can be a paralysing fear leading to them having medical intervention at the birth in order to help them through it.
In the main, however, nerves about the birth are usually able to be laid to rest but if you can feel your anxiety building, take action now. You can enjoy the birth of your baby!
Step 1 – Get Informed
The first step is to get clued about what happens during pregnancy, what to expect as you near the birth and the birth itself.
This means understanding the changes your body will go through, as well as some of the signs of impending labour. It means understanding the current thinking on giving birth and what you can expect when you arrive at the hospital.
For some women, it means getting clued up about home births too and how this works.
Step 2 – Talk to Trusted Friends and Family
You will find that most other women are incredibly supportive of you during pregnancy. So much so that during the birth, many women are now turning to trusted female friends and relatives to be birth partners.
They will understand your anxiety and rather than belittling it with ‘you will all right’, they will help you understand what could happen and how you can choose to deal with it.
Step 3 – Limit Horror Stories!
On one hand, you have friends and relatives who will be just as excited and anxious about the birth as you.
But on the other, you will have many friends and relatives who will seem to go out of their way to give you a horror story or two about giving birth.
Your own mum might want to share the story of how you were born. In some ways, this is to be expected but have you noticed how the majority of these stories centre around the ‘horror’ of this fantastic happening?
You need to limit these horror stories but firmly asking people not to ‘over share’ but also understand that everyone’s experience is different.
Step 4 – Talk to Your Midwife and Have a Plan
As you near the birth, your midwife will spend more time with you explaining what will happen and what to look for as you start labour and so on.
An important aspect of decreasing the nerves related to giving birth is that you have a plan for what you would like to happen. Although some people will have you think that once labour starts you will be in so much pain that you won’t care what happens, it could be that this is not the case.
Discuss with your midwife your fears and concerns. You will find that they have heard many of these concerns before and will be able to lay some, if not all your fears to rest.
Be clear about what you would like to happen and at one point you want the medical team to take over your care. Having this plan can make you feel less anxious because for some women, it is about feeling ‘out of control’ or feeling you have to agree to things that you don’t want.
Step 5 – Talk to Your Partner
You may be surprised to find that your partner is just as wary and anxious as you are able the birth. Quite often, they are unsure what their role is, how to become involved and what you want them to do in order to support you.
Your midwife will also help to allay their fears. Both of you should be involved in creating a birthing plan that suits you both.
Step 6 – Join an Ante-Natal Class
There is no substitution for talking to other women and their partners. Joining an ante-natal class is a great way of getting a support system around you that works.
You can share concerns – you will be amazed at how similar these concerns and worries are! And don’t forget, once your little bundle of joy has arrived, you can share your experiences with other expectant parents at ante-natal classes.
Share your concerns
There is a campaign that encourages us to share our concerns. #OKtosay is the hashtag for the mental health charity Head Together and the same goes when it comes to pregnant women sharing their concerns, anxieties and worries about giving birth.
If you feel anxious or nervous, and can feel it spiralling out of control, reach out – talk to your partner, friends or midwife, someone you can trust to give you both the information and support you need.
HARTMANN Direct offer a range of products suitable for use by pregnant women. Their incontinence products are also designed with the new mum in mind too.