It is totally normal to feel nervous, anxious, scared or all the above about the labour and delivery process! If this is your first baby, the first time doing anything is a little nerve-wracking!
It is likely just the unknown that worries us, we just don’t know for sure what it is going to be like and how things are going to go.
What can I do?
I would say the first thing you can do to settle some concerns is to take a prenatal class! Knowledge is power, get educated so you know what to expect! It is always a better feeling to be one step ahead!! The Mama Coach prenatal classes are taught by a Registered Nurse and we cover the many ways labour can go. We want to support you through your pregnancy and provide quality education and resources. Our job is to help mamas feel less anxious and more excited about birth as well as prepped and ready to bring their babies’ home.
For a lot of parents, having a baby may be the first time in our lives that we have needed medical care. A first baby often has a lot of firsts. Sometimes it is your first hospital admission, your first IV…and so many firsts can feel overwhelming.
Wherever you choose to have your baby you can trust that your health care providers are there to support you, reassure you and keep you and your baby safe.
To help stay focused and calm, practice the relaxation type breathing. This is where you take a slow deep breath in through your nose and an even slower breath out through your mouth. This is a great breathing technique not only to get to through contractions but to get you through any painful procedure and/or stressful time. You don’t want to let fear take over, you want to be in control of the experience and the situations you may be facing.
Pain = fear, not this time!
As a labour and delivery nurse, I say this all the time…this is for sure one of the only areas of health care where it is okay if our patients are uncomfortable. Of course, we are there to make it the best experience possible for you, so we are happy to help with any non-medical or medical options to help relieve the pain. Typically, pain is associated with fear…when we are in pain we are scared. With labour, we know what is happening so the pain can be explained. We know there is nothing wrong, that this is a normal process and is a good thing! I know at the time it doesn’t feel like a good thing, but every painful contraction is productive, it gets you one step closer to that baby in your arms.
I think that if pregnant moms and their loved ones think of labour pain to be normal then it can change the way we feel about it and maybe even the way we cope with it. We don’t have to be scared of the pain, we can time contractions and anticipate when the next one is coming, that way it doesn’t surprise us or sneak upon us. We can prepare ourselves for the pain and as soon as we feel the contraction start, we are beginning our breathing technique. The pain will build, peak and then start to disappear. Pain associated with labour is intermittent, it comes and goes…we are never in constant pain, there is always a break. That break gets shorter as we get closer to having the baby but it is still there!
When comes time to deliver the baby, your health care providers are there to support you! They are going to encourage you, make sure the right people are there so you and your baby are safe. They will provide supportive care, will coach you and cheer you on!
When the baby is close to being born, you can see the finish line!! It can be a scary thought to push the baby out but again remember vaginally is the way most babies are born, has been this way forever, won’t be changing and both our and our baby’s bodies are meant to do this!
If your baby needs to be born via a caesarian section, that can be a scary thought for moms as it is major abdominal surgery. C-sections are done every day, and moms do so well! Everything heals really well and moms are up and about caring for their newborn in no time!
If you feel nervous about childbirth please reach out to the Mama Coach in your area to book a prenatal class! Our prenatal classes always come with email support until your baby comes if questions or concerns come up later!! Our classes are tailored to your pregnancy and birth wishes.