Your feelings surrounding childbirth may vary from excitement and bliss to fear and trauma. Every woman experiences childbirth differently and has a unique and personal reaction to their experience. It’s not unusual to have anxiety surrounding labor and delivery, particularly if you’ve had a less-than-perfect experience before. While you can’t control everything about your birth, there are things you can do to prepare that will relieve stress and help to overcome your birth fears and anxieties when the time comes.
Reflect on Your Birth Fears
In order to process your emotions, you can’t ignore them. Make a list of what your birth fears are in order to start to move forward. Maybe your worries are informed by a past birth or simply from the uncertainty of your first. Personal reflection is important, but it’s also helpful to talk your list over with someone else, whether a trusted friend or a therapist. Sometimes saying it out loud is all it takes to feel better.
Knowledge is an incredibly powerful tool in overcoming fear. Listen to a wide variety of people’s birth experiences – in the form of reading, podcasts, or conversations – in order to understand the breadth of experiences. If you’re dealing with trauma from a past birth, it can help immensely to learn as much about your experience as you can in order to fully process it – especially if others have gone through the same thing.
Put Birth In Perspective
Labor and delivery, while undoubtedly significant milestones are only the beginning of your journey as a parent. While everyone wants to get off to a good start, your birth experience does not have to dictate what comes after. Think of the vast picture of your future life together with your child in order to put your birth into perspective.
Make A Plan – Even If It’s No Plan
A birth plan details your ideal birth experience, including medications, interventions, positions, and overall preferences for your care. Organizing your thoughts into a birth plan can be a great way to relieve stress and fear, and it should be noted that a big part of that is understanding and processing that birth plans are not set in stone. If you would rather go with your intuition when you go into labor, that is a perfectly valid outlook as well! What’s most important is that you feel heard and supported by your birth team.
One of the most important things a new or expecting mom can do in order to alleviate her birth anxiety is to find a support system. Whether it’s your partner, your family, your friends, or an extended community of people who are having similar experiences, feeling supported on your birth journey can make a huge difference. Support can come in all different packages, from physical to mental, personal, or professional – like a doula.
At Lamha Cumasach, we’re passionate about helping women throughout their birth experience with confidence so they can be empowered to enter motherhood. If you’re interested in learning more about what we offer, how we can help you overcome birth fears, and more, we’d love to chat with you.
Reach out today!